Towards a cohesive, holistic view of top predation: a definition, synthesis and perspective

Fabrizio Sergio, Oswald Schmitz, Charles Krebs, Robert Holt, Michael Heithaus, Aaron Wirsing, William Ripple, Euan Ritchie, David Ainley, Daniel Oro, Yadvendradev Jhala, Fernando Hiraldo, Erkki Korpimaki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    35 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Research on the ecology of top predators - upper trophic level consumers that are relatively free from predation once they reach adult size - has provided regular contributions to general ecology and is a rapidly expanding and increasingly experimental, multidisciplinary and technological endeavour. Yet, an exponentially expanding literature coupled with rapid disintegration into specialized, disconnected subfields for study (e.g. vertebrate predators versus invertebrate predators, community ecology versus biological control etc.) increasingly means that we are losing a coherent, integrated understating of the role and importance of these species in ecosystems. This process of canalization is likely to hinder sharing of scientific discovery and continued progress, especially as there is a growing need to understand the generality of the top?down forcing, as demonstrated for some members of this group. Here, we propose ways to facilitate synthesis by promoting changes in mentality and awareness among specialists through increased debate and collaboration, conceptual reviews and a series of exemplary case studies. The strategy will rely on the collective contribution by all scientists in the field and will strive to consolidate and formalise top-order predation as a holistic, cohesive, cross-taxonomical field of research studying the ecology, evolution and behaviour of apex predators and their capability to exert top?down forcing on lower trophic levels.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1234-1243
    Number of pages10
    JournalOikos (Malden)
    Volume123
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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    predation
    predator
    predators
    synthesis
    ecology
    trophic level
    community ecology
    biological control
    vertebrate
    invertebrate
    invertebrates
    vertebrates
    case studies
    ecosystems
    ecosystem
    trophic levels

    Cite this

    Sergio, F., Schmitz, O., Krebs, C., Holt, R., Heithaus, M., Wirsing, A., ... Korpimaki, E. (2014). Towards a cohesive, holistic view of top predation: a definition, synthesis and perspective. Oikos (Malden), 123, 1234-1243. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.01468
    Sergio, Fabrizio ; Schmitz, Oswald ; Krebs, Charles ; Holt, Robert ; Heithaus, Michael ; Wirsing, Aaron ; Ripple, William ; Ritchie, Euan ; Ainley, David ; Oro, Daniel ; Jhala, Yadvendradev ; Hiraldo, Fernando ; Korpimaki, Erkki. / Towards a cohesive, holistic view of top predation: a definition, synthesis and perspective. In: Oikos (Malden). 2014 ; Vol. 123. pp. 1234-1243.
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    abstract = "Research on the ecology of top predators - upper trophic level consumers that are relatively free from predation once they reach adult size - has provided regular contributions to general ecology and is a rapidly expanding and increasingly experimental, multidisciplinary and technological endeavour. Yet, an exponentially expanding literature coupled with rapid disintegration into specialized, disconnected subfields for study (e.g. vertebrate predators versus invertebrate predators, community ecology versus biological control etc.) increasingly means that we are losing a coherent, integrated understating of the role and importance of these species in ecosystems. This process of canalization is likely to hinder sharing of scientific discovery and continued progress, especially as there is a growing need to understand the generality of the top?down forcing, as demonstrated for some members of this group. Here, we propose ways to facilitate synthesis by promoting changes in mentality and awareness among specialists through increased debate and collaboration, conceptual reviews and a series of exemplary case studies. The strategy will rely on the collective contribution by all scientists in the field and will strive to consolidate and formalise top-order predation as a holistic, cohesive, cross-taxonomical field of research studying the ecology, evolution and behaviour of apex predators and their capability to exert top?down forcing on lower trophic levels.",
    author = "Fabrizio Sergio and Oswald Schmitz and Charles Krebs and Robert Holt and Michael Heithaus and Aaron Wirsing and William Ripple and Euan Ritchie and David Ainley and Daniel Oro and Yadvendradev Jhala and Fernando Hiraldo and Erkki Korpimaki",
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    Sergio, F, Schmitz, O, Krebs, C, Holt, R, Heithaus, M, Wirsing, A, Ripple, W, Ritchie, E, Ainley, D, Oro, D, Jhala, Y, Hiraldo, F & Korpimaki, E 2014, 'Towards a cohesive, holistic view of top predation: a definition, synthesis and perspective', Oikos (Malden), vol. 123, pp. 1234-1243. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.01468

    Towards a cohesive, holistic view of top predation: a definition, synthesis and perspective. / Sergio, Fabrizio; Schmitz, Oswald; Krebs, Charles; Holt, Robert; Heithaus, Michael; Wirsing, Aaron; Ripple, William; Ritchie, Euan; Ainley, David; Oro, Daniel; Jhala, Yadvendradev; Hiraldo, Fernando; Korpimaki, Erkki.

    In: Oikos (Malden), Vol. 123, 2014, p. 1234-1243.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Sergio, Fabrizio

    AU - Schmitz, Oswald

    AU - Krebs, Charles

    AU - Holt, Robert

    AU - Heithaus, Michael

    AU - Wirsing, Aaron

    AU - Ripple, William

    AU - Ritchie, Euan

    AU - Ainley, David

    AU - Oro, Daniel

    AU - Jhala, Yadvendradev

    AU - Hiraldo, Fernando

    AU - Korpimaki, Erkki

    PY - 2014

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    AB - Research on the ecology of top predators - upper trophic level consumers that are relatively free from predation once they reach adult size - has provided regular contributions to general ecology and is a rapidly expanding and increasingly experimental, multidisciplinary and technological endeavour. Yet, an exponentially expanding literature coupled with rapid disintegration into specialized, disconnected subfields for study (e.g. vertebrate predators versus invertebrate predators, community ecology versus biological control etc.) increasingly means that we are losing a coherent, integrated understating of the role and importance of these species in ecosystems. This process of canalization is likely to hinder sharing of scientific discovery and continued progress, especially as there is a growing need to understand the generality of the top?down forcing, as demonstrated for some members of this group. Here, we propose ways to facilitate synthesis by promoting changes in mentality and awareness among specialists through increased debate and collaboration, conceptual reviews and a series of exemplary case studies. The strategy will rely on the collective contribution by all scientists in the field and will strive to consolidate and formalise top-order predation as a holistic, cohesive, cross-taxonomical field of research studying the ecology, evolution and behaviour of apex predators and their capability to exert top?down forcing on lower trophic levels.

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    DO - 10.1111/oik.01468

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    JO - Oikos (Malden)

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    SN - 0030-1299

    ER -