Unexpected consequences of control: competitive vs. predator release in a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals

Wendy RUSCOE, David S.L. Ramsey, Roger P. Pech, Peter Sweetapple, Ivor Yockney, Mandy Barron, Mike Perry, Graham Nugent, Roger Carran, Rodney Warne, Chris Brausch, Richard Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Invasive species are frequently the target of eradication or control programmes to mitigate their impacts. However, manipulating single species in isolation can lead to unexpected consequences for other species, with outcomes such as mesopredator release demonstrated both theoretically and empirically in vertebrate assemblages with at least two trophic levels. Less is known about the consequences of species removal in more complex assemblages where a greater number of interacting invaders increases the potential for selective species removal to result in unexpected changes in community structure. Using a replicated Before-After Control-Impact field experiment with a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals we show that species interactions in the community are dominated by competition rather than predation. There was no measurable response of two mesopredators (rats and mice) following control of the top predator (stoats), but there was competitive release of rats following removal of a herbivore (possums), and competitive release of mice following removal of rats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1042
Number of pages8
JournalEcology Letters
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

invasive species
mammal
predator
mammals
predators
rats
Mustela erminea
mice
community structure
herbivores
vertebrates
predation
trophic level
herbivore
vertebrate
removal
possums
trophic levels

Cite this

RUSCOE, Wendy ; Ramsey, David S.L. ; Pech, Roger P. ; Sweetapple, Peter ; Yockney, Ivor ; Barron, Mandy ; Perry, Mike ; Nugent, Graham ; Carran, Roger ; Warne, Rodney ; Brausch, Chris ; Duncan, Richard. / Unexpected consequences of control: competitive vs. predator release in a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals. In: Ecology Letters. 2011 ; Vol. 14. pp. 1035-1042.
@article{5ed9270fd8204a96874d2f3e9aff1511,
title = "Unexpected consequences of control: competitive vs. predator release in a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals",
abstract = "Invasive species are frequently the target of eradication or control programmes to mitigate their impacts. However, manipulating single species in isolation can lead to unexpected consequences for other species, with outcomes such as mesopredator release demonstrated both theoretically and empirically in vertebrate assemblages with at least two trophic levels. Less is known about the consequences of species removal in more complex assemblages where a greater number of interacting invaders increases the potential for selective species removal to result in unexpected changes in community structure. Using a replicated Before-After Control-Impact field experiment with a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals we show that species interactions in the community are dominated by competition rather than predation. There was no measurable response of two mesopredators (rats and mice) following control of the top predator (stoats), but there was competitive release of rats following removal of a herbivore (possums), and competitive release of mice following removal of rats.",
keywords = "Competition, food webs, mark recapture, Bayesian analysis, pest control, predation, trophic cascades.",
author = "Wendy RUSCOE and Ramsey, {David S.L.} and Pech, {Roger P.} and Peter Sweetapple and Ivor Yockney and Mandy Barron and Mike Perry and Graham Nugent and Roger Carran and Rodney Warne and Chris Brausch and Richard Duncan",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01673.x",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "1035--1042",
journal = "Ecology Letters",
issn = "1461-023X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

RUSCOE, W, Ramsey, DSL, Pech, RP, Sweetapple, P, Yockney, I, Barron, M, Perry, M, Nugent, G, Carran, R, Warne, R, Brausch, C & Duncan, R 2011, 'Unexpected consequences of control: competitive vs. predator release in a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals', Ecology Letters, vol. 14, pp. 1035-1042. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01673.x

Unexpected consequences of control: competitive vs. predator release in a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals. / RUSCOE, Wendy; Ramsey, David S.L. ; Pech, Roger P.; Sweetapple, Peter; Yockney, Ivor; Barron, Mandy; Perry, Mike; Nugent, Graham; Carran, Roger ; Warne, Rodney; Brausch, Chris; Duncan, Richard.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 14, 2011, p. 1035-1042.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Unexpected consequences of control: competitive vs. predator release in a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals

AU - RUSCOE, Wendy

AU - Ramsey, David S.L.

AU - Pech, Roger P.

AU - Sweetapple, Peter

AU - Yockney, Ivor

AU - Barron, Mandy

AU - Perry, Mike

AU - Nugent, Graham

AU - Carran, Roger

AU - Warne, Rodney

AU - Brausch, Chris

AU - Duncan, Richard

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Invasive species are frequently the target of eradication or control programmes to mitigate their impacts. However, manipulating single species in isolation can lead to unexpected consequences for other species, with outcomes such as mesopredator release demonstrated both theoretically and empirically in vertebrate assemblages with at least two trophic levels. Less is known about the consequences of species removal in more complex assemblages where a greater number of interacting invaders increases the potential for selective species removal to result in unexpected changes in community structure. Using a replicated Before-After Control-Impact field experiment with a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals we show that species interactions in the community are dominated by competition rather than predation. There was no measurable response of two mesopredators (rats and mice) following control of the top predator (stoats), but there was competitive release of rats following removal of a herbivore (possums), and competitive release of mice following removal of rats.

AB - Invasive species are frequently the target of eradication or control programmes to mitigate their impacts. However, manipulating single species in isolation can lead to unexpected consequences for other species, with outcomes such as mesopredator release demonstrated both theoretically and empirically in vertebrate assemblages with at least two trophic levels. Less is known about the consequences of species removal in more complex assemblages where a greater number of interacting invaders increases the potential for selective species removal to result in unexpected changes in community structure. Using a replicated Before-After Control-Impact field experiment with a four-species assemblage of invasive mammals we show that species interactions in the community are dominated by competition rather than predation. There was no measurable response of two mesopredators (rats and mice) following control of the top predator (stoats), but there was competitive release of rats following removal of a herbivore (possums), and competitive release of mice following removal of rats.

KW - Competition

KW - food webs

KW - mark recapture

KW - Bayesian analysis

KW - pest control

KW - predation

KW - trophic cascades.

U2 - 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01673.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01673.x

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 1035

EP - 1042

JO - Ecology Letters

JF - Ecology Letters

SN - 1461-023X

ER -