Population growth lags in introduced species

Kelly, Catherine L., Schwarzkopf, Lin, Gordon, Iain J., and Hirsch, Ben (2021) Population growth lags in introduced species. Ecology and Evolution, 11 (9). pp. 4577-4587.

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When introduced to new ecosystems, species' populations often grow immediately postrelease. Some introduced species, however, maintain a low population size for years or decades before sudden, rapid population growth is observed. Because exponential population growth always starts slowly, it can be difficult to distinguish species experiencing the early phases of slow exponential population growth (inherent lags) from those with actively delayed growth rates (prolonged lags). Introduced ungulates provide an excellent system in which to examine lags, because some introduced ungulate populations have demonstrated rapid population growth immediately postintroduction, while others have not. Using studies from the literature, we investigated which exotic ungulate species and populations (n = 36) showed prolonged population growth lags by comparing the doubling time of real ungulate populations to those predicted from exponential growth models for theoretical populations. Having identified the specific populations that displayed prolonged lags, we examined the impacts of several environmental and biological variables likely to influence the length of lag period. We found that seventeen populations (47%) showed significant prolonged population growth lags. We could not, however, determine the specific factors that contributed to the length of these lag phases, suggesting that these ungulate populations' growth is idiosyncratic and difficult to predict. Introduced species that exhibit delayed growth should be closely monitored by managers, who must be proactive in controlling their growth to minimize the impact such populations may have on their environment.

Item ID: 70439
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
Keywords: invasive species, lag phase, population growth, prolonged lag, ungulates
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2021 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution.
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2021 00:37
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 100%
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