Predators reduce extinction risk in noisy metapopulations
Bull, James C. and Bonsall, Michael B.. (2010) Predators reduce extinction risk in noisy metapopulations. PL o S One, Vol.5 (No.7). ISSN 1932-6203
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0011635
Spatial structure across fragmented landscapes can enhance regional population persistence by promoting local “rescue effects.” In small, vulnerable populations, where chance or random events between individuals may have disproportionately large effects on species interactions, such local processes are particularly important. However, existing theory often only describes the dynamics of metapopulations at regional scales, neglecting the role of multispecies population dynamics within habitat patches.
By coupling analysis across spatial scales we quantified the interaction between local scale population regulation, regional dispersal and noise processes in the dynamics of experimental host-parasitoid metapopulations. We find that increasing community complexity increases negative correlation between local population dynamics. A potential mechanism underpinning this finding was explored using a simple population dynamic model.
Our results suggest a paradox: parasitism, whilst clearly damaging to hosts at the individual level, reduces extinction risk at the population level.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QL Zoology|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Life Sciences (2010- ) > Biological Sciences ( -2010)|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Population biology -- Statistical methods, Parasitoids -- Mathematical models, Bruchidae -- Mathematical models, Predation (Biology), Extinction (Biology)|
|Journal or Publication Title:||PL o S One|
|Publisher:||Public Library of Science|
|Official Date:||21 July 2010|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
|Funder:||Natural Environment Research Council (Great Britain) (NERC)|
|Grant number:||NER/A/S/2000/01288 (NERC)|
1. Huffaker CB (1958) Experimental studies on predation: dispersing factors and
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