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Indirect effects of predation in human-modified landscapes

Sahlén, Ellinor (2016). Indirect effects of predation in human-modified landscapes. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:116
ISBN 978-91-576-8735-7
eISBN 978-91-576-8736-4
[Doctoral thesis]

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Large carnivores affect prey species, with cascading effects on entire ecosystems. In anthropogenic regions large carnivores come into conflicts with humans, especially in rural areas where farming and hunting traditions are widespread. As a result, large carnivores have been eradicated from many regions across their historical distribution. Here, I explore human-predator-prey interactions, and how large carnivores and humans affect the space use, behavior, and long-term stress of ungulate prey in a region greatly modified by humans. Experimental and observational data are used to quantify behavioral and physiological antipredator responses of prey in areas with and without large carnivores. Further, I synthesize the effects of large carnivores on ecosystems in anthropogenic landscapes, and outline implications of large carnivore recovery for extant prey species and humans.

I found that prey in my study areas responded to increased perceived predation risk, even where the focal carnivore species (brown bear Ursus arctos) had been absent for over a century. Prey selected more open habitats in areas where they perceived predation risk to be higher. Further, I noted that risk posed by brown bears had the potential to cascade across trophic levels and impact on tree recruitment.

Higher temperatures and human infrastructure were associated with higher hair cortisol (stress hormone) levels in moose Alces alces, which may have implications with respect to the globally rising temperatures and the increasing anthropogenic disturbances across many landscapes.

In anthropogenic regions, humans may greatly impact ungulates, predator-prey interactions, and the ensuing cascades. One way to mitigate human impacts is to preserve old-growth forests, because these tend to have lower human activity (less roads and no set rotation times) and cooler microclimates. Another important aspect is the mitigation of human-large carnivore conflicts, as human perceptions of large carnivores may be the most important factor determining the outcome of large carnivore recolonizations.

Authors/Creators:Sahlén, Ellinor
Title:Indirect effects of predation in human-modified landscapes
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2016
Depositing date:19 October 2016
Number of Pages:41
ISahlén E., Noell S., DePerno C. S., Kindberg J., Spong G. and J. P. G. M. Cromsigt (2016). Phantoms of the forest: Legacy risk effects of a regionally extinct large carnivore. Ecology and Evolution 6(3), 791-799.
IISahlén E., Steyaert S., Kindberg J., DePerno C. S., Cromsigt J. P. G. M.*, and G. Spong*. Brown bears evoke a three-dimensional landscape of fear. (Manuscript)
IIISahlén E., Cromsigt J. P. G. M., DePerno C. S., Kindberg J., and G. Spong. Large-scale spatial variation in long-term stress hormone levels in moose. (Manuscript)
IVKuijper D. P. J., Sahlén E., Elmhagen B., Chamaillé-Jammes S., Sand H., Lone K., and J. P. G. M. Cromsigt. Paws without claws? Ecological effects of large carnivores in anthropogenic landscapes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (In press)
VSahlén E., Cromsigt J. P. G. M., DePerno C. S., and G. Spong. The return of large carnivores amongst predator-naive prey and people. (Manuscript)
UNSPECIFIED*These authors share senior authorship.
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher:Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8735-7
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8736-4
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:carnivora, ursus, ungulates, elks, predator prey relations, landscape, land use, animal behavour, human behaviour, stress, cortisol, geographical distribution, temperature, sweden
Keywords:Alces alces, antipredator behavior, browsing, cortisol, human-wildlife conflicts, large carnivores, long-term stress, predator-prey interactions, trophic cascades, ungulates
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13726
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
External funders:Gunnar and Lillian Nicholson Graduate Fellowship
Deposited By: Ellinor Sahlén
Deposited On:20 Oct 2016 06:41
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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