Predator control promotes invasive dominated ecological states

Wallach, Arian D., Johnson, Christopher N., Ritchie, Euan G. and O'Neill, Adam J. 2010, Predator control promotes invasive dominated ecological states, Ecology Letters, vol. 13, no. 8, pp. 1008-1018.

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Title Predator control promotes invasive dominated ecological states
Author(s) Wallach, Arian D.
Johnson, Christopher N.
Ritchie, Euan G.
O'Neill, Adam J.
Journal name Ecology Letters
Volume number 13
Issue number 8
Start page 1008
End page 1018
Total pages 11
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell
Place of publication Oxford , England
Publication date 2010-08
ISSN 1461-023X
1461-0248
Keyword(s) Apex predator
sociality
pest control
exotic species
ecosystem resilience
Canis lupus dingo
Summary Invasive species are regarded as one of the top five drivers of the global extinction crisis. In response, extreme measures have been applied in an attempt to control or eradicate invasives, with little success overall. We tested the idea that state shifts to invasive dominance are symptomatic of losses in ecosystem resilience, due to the suppression of apex predators. This concept was investigated in Australia where the high rate of mammalian extinctions is largely attributed to the destructive influence of invasive species. Intensive pest control is widely applied across the continent, simultaneously eliminating Australia’s apex predator, the dingo (Canis lupus dingo). We show that predator management accounts for shifts between two main ecosystem states. Lethal control fractures dingo social structure and leads to bottom-up driven increases in invasive mesopredators and herbivores. Where control is relaxed, dingoes re-establish top–down regulation of ecosystems, allowing for the recovery of biodiversity and productivity.
Language eng
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio Economic Objective 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30039762

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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