Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator-prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape

Dorresteijn, Ine, Schultner, Jannik, Nimmo, Dale G., Fischer, Joern, Hanspach, Jan, Kuemmerle, Tobias, Kehoe, Laura and Ritchie, Euan G. 2015, Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator-prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape, Proceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences, vol. 282, Article Number : 20151602, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.1602.

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Title Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator-prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape
Author(s) Dorresteijn, Ine
Schultner, Jannik
Nimmo, Dale G.
Fischer, Joern
Hanspach, Jan
Kuemmerle, Tobias
Kehoe, Laura
Ritchie, Euan G.ORCID iD for Ritchie, Euan G.
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences
Volume number 282
Season Article Number : 20151602
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1471-2954
Keyword(s) apex predators
habitat modification
large herbivores
top-down versus bottom-up
trophic cascade
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Evolutionary Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Summary Apex predators perform important functions that regulate ecosystems worldwide. However, little is known about how ecosystem regulation by predators is influenced by human activities. In particular, how important are top-down effects of predators relative to direct and indirect human-mediated bottom-up and top-down processes? Combining data on species' occurrence from camera traps and hunting records, we aimed to quantify the relative effects of top-down and bottom-up processes in shaping predator and prey distributions in a human-dominated landscape in Transylvania, Romania. By global standards this system is diverse, including apex predators (brown bear and wolf), mesopredators (red fox) and large herbivores (roe and red deer). Humans and free-ranging dogs represent additional predators in the system. Using structural equation modelling, we found that apex predators suppress lower trophic levels, especially herbivores. However, direct and indirect top-down effects of humans affected the ecosystem more strongly, influencing species at all trophic levels. Our study highlights the need to explicitly embed humans and their influences within trophic cascade theory. This will greatly expand our understanding of species interactions in human-modified landscapes, which compose the majority of the Earth's terrestrial surface.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2015.1602
Field of Research 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
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Created: Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 13:08:08 EST

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