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, 13 (8). pp. 1008-1018.
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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.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|Keywords:||apex predator, Canis lupus dingo, ecosystem resilience, exotic species, pest control, sociality|
|Date Deposited:||30 Nov 2010 06:28|
|FoR Codes:||06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 100%|
|SEO Codes:||96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%|
|Citation Count from Web of Science||