Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorWorsfold, Nicholas T.en_GB
dc.contributor.authorWarren, Philip H.en_GB
dc.contributor.authorPetchey, Owen L.en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-08-29T11:55:53Z
dc.date.available2013-08-29T11:55:53Z
dc.date.issued2009
dc.identifier.citationWorsfold, N.T., Warren, P.H. and Petchey, O.L. (2009) 'Context-dependent effects of predator removal from experimental microcosm communities', "Oikos", 118 (9), pp.1319-1326.en_GB
dc.identifier.issn00301299
dc.identifier.issn16000706
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1600-0706.2009.17500.x
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/300235
dc.description.abstractThe loss of a predator from an ecological community can cause large changes in community structure and ecosystem processes, or have very little consequence for the remaining species and ecosystem. Understanding when and why the loss of a predator causes large changes in community structure and ecosystem processes is critical for understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss. We used experimental microbial communities to investigate how the removal of a large generalist predator affected the extinction frequency, population abundance and total biomass of its prey. We removed this predator in the presence or absence of an alternative, more specialist, predator in order to determine whether the specialist predator affected the outcome of the initial species removal. Removal of the large generalist predator altered some species’ populations but many were unaffected and no secondary extinctions were observed. The specialist predator, though rare, altered the response of the prey community to the removal of the large generalist predator. In the absence of the specialist predator, the effects of the removal were only measurable at the level of individual species. However, when the specialist predator was present, the removal of the large generalist predator affected the total biomass of prey species. The results demonstrate that the effect of species loss from high trophic levels may be very context-dependent, as rare species can have disproportionately large effects in food webs.
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherNordic Ecological Societyen_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2009.17500.xen_GB
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Oikosen_GB
dc.titleContext-dependent effects of predator removal from experimental microcosm communitiesen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalOikosen_GB
html.description.abstractThe loss of a predator from an ecological community can cause large changes in community structure and ecosystem processes, or have very little consequence for the remaining species and ecosystem. Understanding when and why the loss of a predator causes large changes in community structure and ecosystem processes is critical for understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss. We used experimental microbial communities to investigate how the removal of a large generalist predator affected the extinction frequency, population abundance and total biomass of its prey. We removed this predator in the presence or absence of an alternative, more specialist, predator in order to determine whether the specialist predator affected the outcome of the initial species removal. Removal of the large generalist predator altered some species’ populations but many were unaffected and no secondary extinctions were observed. The specialist predator, though rare, altered the response of the prey community to the removal of the large generalist predator. In the absence of the specialist predator, the effects of the removal were only measurable at the level of individual species. However, when the specialist predator was present, the removal of the large generalist predator affected the total biomass of prey species. The results demonstrate that the effect of species loss from high trophic levels may be very context-dependent, as rare species can have disproportionately large effects in food webs.


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record