Climatic amplification of the numerical response of a predator population to its prey

Berlinda Bowler, Charles Krebs, Mark O'Donoghue, Jim HONE

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We evaluated evidence of an effect of climate on the numerical response of a coyote (Canis latrans) population to their keystone prey, snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), in a Canadian boreal forest. Six a priori hypotheses of the coyote numerical response were developed that postulated linear, nonlinear, additive, and interactive effects of prey and climate. Model selection procedures showed the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) had the strongest effect on the coyote numerical response via its interaction with snowshoe hare density, while other large-scale climate indices had very weak effects. For a given snowshoe hare density, a negative value of the NAO amplified the abundance of coyote and a positive NAO decreased coyote abundance. We hypothesize that the coyote numerical response is ultimately determined by the coyote functional response influenced by winter conditions determined by the NAO.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1153-1161
    Number of pages9
    JournalEcology
    Volume95
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    numerical response
    Canis latrans
    North Atlantic Oscillation
    amplification
    predator
    Lepus americanus
    predators
    climate
    functional response
    boreal forest
    effect
    winter
    boreal forests

    Cite this

    Bowler, Berlinda ; Krebs, Charles ; O'Donoghue, Mark ; HONE, Jim. / Climatic amplification of the numerical response of a predator population to its prey. In: Ecology. 2014 ; Vol. 95, No. 5. pp. 1153-1161.
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    Climatic amplification of the numerical response of a predator population to its prey. / Bowler, Berlinda; Krebs, Charles; O'Donoghue, Mark; HONE, Jim.

    In: Ecology, Vol. 95, No. 5, 2014, p. 1153-1161.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Krebs, Charles

    AU - O'Donoghue, Mark

    AU - HONE, Jim

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    AB - We evaluated evidence of an effect of climate on the numerical response of a coyote (Canis latrans) population to their keystone prey, snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), in a Canadian boreal forest. Six a priori hypotheses of the coyote numerical response were developed that postulated linear, nonlinear, additive, and interactive effects of prey and climate. Model selection procedures showed the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) had the strongest effect on the coyote numerical response via its interaction with snowshoe hare density, while other large-scale climate indices had very weak effects. For a given snowshoe hare density, a negative value of the NAO amplified the abundance of coyote and a positive NAO decreased coyote abundance. We hypothesize that the coyote numerical response is ultimately determined by the coyote functional response influenced by winter conditions determined by the NAO.

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