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Top predators constrain mesopredator distributions

Newsome, Thomas M., Greenville, Aaron C., Ćirović, Dusko, Dickman, Christopher R., Johnson, Chris N., Krofel, Miha, Letnic, Mike, Ripple, William J., Ritchie, Euan G., Stoyanov, Stoyan and Wirsing, Aaron J. 2017, Top predators constrain mesopredator distributions, Nature communications, vol. 8, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1038/ncomms15469.

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Title Top predators constrain mesopredator distributions
Author(s) Newsome, Thomas M.ORCID iD for Newsome, Thomas M. orcid.org/0000-0003-3457-3256
Greenville, Aaron C.
Ćirović, Dusko
Dickman, Christopher R.
Johnson, Chris N.
Krofel, Miha
Letnic, Mike
Ripple, William J.
Ritchie, Euan G.ORCID iD for Ritchie, Euan G. orcid.org/0000-0003-4410-8868
Stoyanov, Stoyan
Wirsing, Aaron J.
Journal name Nature communications
Volume number 8
Article ID 15469
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-05-23
ISSN 2041-1723
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Summary Top predators can suppress mesopredators by killing them, competing for resources and instilling fear, but it is unclear how suppression of mesopredators varies with the distribution and abundance of top predators at large spatial scales and among different ecological contexts. We suggest that suppression of mesopredators will be strongest where top predators occur at high densities over large areas. These conditions are more likely to occur in the core than on the margins of top predator ranges. We propose the Enemy Constraint Hypothesis, which predicts weakened top-down effects on mesopredators towards the edge of top predators’ ranges. Using bounty data from North America, Europe and Australia we show that the effects of top predators on mesopredators increase from the margin towards the core of their ranges, as predicted. Continuing global contraction of top predator ranges could promote further release of mesopredator populations, altering ecosystem structure and contributing to biodiversity loss.
Language eng
DOI 10.1038/ncomms15469
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
050205 Environmental Management
MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30098987

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.