Share This Article:

Canid Social Structure and Density Dependence Improve Predator-Prey Models of Canis latrans and Lepus californicus in Curlew Valley, UT

Abstract Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:2472KB) PP. 120-135
DOI: 10.4236/oje.2015.54011    3,523 Downloads   3,968 Views  

ABSTRACT

Prominent examples of predator-prey oscillations between prey-specific predators exist, but long-term data sets showing these oscillations are uncommon. We explored various models to describe the oscillating behavior of coyote (Canis latrans) and black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) abundances in a sagebrush-steppe community in Curlew Valley, UT over a 31-year period between 1962 and 1993. We tested both continuous and discrete models which accounted for a variety of mechanisms to discriminate the most important factors affecting the time series. Both species displayed cycles in abundance with three distinct peaks at ten-year intervals. The coupled oscillations appear greater in the mid-seventies and a permanent increase in the coyote density seems apparent. Several factors could have influenced this predator-prey system including seasonality, predator satiation, density dependence, social structure among coyotes, and a change in the coyote bounty that took place during the course of data collection. Maximum likelihood estimation was used to obtain parameter values for the models, and Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) values were used to compare models. Coyote social structure and limiting resources in the form of density-dependence and satiation seemed to be important factors affecting population dynamics.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Kay, S. , Powell, J. and Knowlton, F. (2015) Canid Social Structure and Density Dependence Improve Predator-Prey Models of Canis latrans and Lepus californicus in Curlew Valley, UT. Open Journal of Ecology, 5, 120-135. doi: 10.4236/oje.2015.54011.

References

[1] Krebs, C.J., Boonstra, R., Boutin, S. and Sinclair, A.R. (2001) What Drives the 10-Year Cycle of Snowshoe Hares? BioScience, 51, 25-35.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0025:WDTYCO]2.0.CO;2
[2] Molles Jr., M.C. (2008) Ecology: Concepts and Applications. WCB/McGraw-Hill, IA.
[3] Luckinbill, L.S. (1973) Coexistence in Laboratory Populations of Paramecium aurelia and Its Predator Didinium nasutum. Ecology, 54, 1320-1327.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1934194
[4] Lotka, A.J. (1925) Elements of Physical Biology. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 460.
[5] Volterra, V. and Brelot, M. (1931) Le?ons sur la théorie mathématique de la lutte pour la vie. Vol. 1, Gauthier-Villars, Paris.
[6] Rosenzweig, M.L. and MacArthur, R.H. (1963) Graphical Representation and Stability Conditions of Predator-Prey Interactions. American Naturalist, 97, 209-223.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/282272
[7] Beverton, R.J. and Holt, S.J. (1957) On the Dynamics of Exploited Fish Populations. Fishery Investigations Series 2: Sea Fisheries, 19, 533.
[8] Holling, C.S. (1959) Some Characteristics of Simple Types of Predation and Parasitism. The Canadian Entomologist, 91, 385-398.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4039/Ent91385-7
[9] Harrison, G.W. (1995) Comparing Predator-Prey Models to Luckinbill’s Experiment with Didinium and Paramecium. Ecology, 76, 357-374.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1941195
[10] Dennis, B., Desharnais, R.A., Cushing, J.M. and Costantino, R.F. (1995) Nonlinear Demographic Dynamics: Mathematical Models, Statistical Methods, and Biological Experiments. Ecological Monographs, 65, 261-282.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2937060
[11] Knowlton, F.F. and Stoddart, L.C. (1992) Some Observations from Two Coyote-Prey Studies. In: Boer, A., Ed., Ecology and Management of the Eastern Coyote, Wildlife Research Unit, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, 101-121.
[12] Bartel, R.A. and Knowlton, F.F. (2005) Functional Feeding Responses of Coyotes, Canis latrans, to Fluctuating Prey Abundance in the Curlew Valley, Utah, 1977-1993. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 83, 569-578.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/z05-039
[13] Pitt, W.C., Box, P.W. and Knowlton, F.F. (2003) An Individual-Based Model of Canid Populations: Modelling Territoriality and Social Structure. Ecological Modelling, 166, 109-121.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3800(03)00130-3
[14] Bartel, R.A., Knowlton, F.F. and Stoddart, L.C. (2008) Long-Term Patterns in Mammalian Abundance in Northern Portions of the Great Basin. Journal of Mammalogy, 89, 1170-1183.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1644/07-MAMM-A-378.1
[15] Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (2012) Predator Management in Utah. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Predator Fact Sheet.
https://wildlife.utah.gov/pdf/fact_sheets/predators.pdf
[16] Mitchell, D.L. and Kilmack, P. (2013) Biology and Ecology of Utah Rabbits and Hares. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
http://wildlife.utah.gov/uplandgame/rabbits_hares/biology_ecology.php
[17] Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (2007) Utah Furbearer Annual Report 2005-2006. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Annual Performance Report for Federal Aid Project W-65-M-54.
http://https://wildlife.utah.gov/furbearer/pdf/harvest_06-08.pdf
[18] Evans, J., Hegdal, P.L. and Griffith Jr., R.E. (1970) Methods of Controlling Jackrabbits. Proceedings of the 4th Vertebrate Pest Conference, West Sacramento, 3-5 March 1970.
[19] Tesky, J. (1995) Canis latrans. In: Fire Effects Information System, (Online), US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/animals/mammal/cala/introductory.html
[20] Hilborn, R. and Mangel, M. (1997) The Ecological Detective: Confronting Models with Data. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
[21] Anderson, D.R. and Burnham, K.P. (2004) Model Selection and Multi-Model Inference. Springer-Verlag, New York.
[22] Lindeman, R.L. (1942) The Trophic-Dynamic Aspect of Ecology. Ecology, 23, 399-417.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1930126

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.