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Arbieu, Ugo, 2012. Predator community and prey dynamics : a case study of roe deer and re-colonizing fox, lynx and wolf. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala and Grimsö: SLU, Dept. of Ecology



The role of predation is a central question in ecology and population dynamics. In South-central Sweden,
the predator community has gone through drastic changes over the last fifty years with the progressive
recovery of three large predators: the fox (Vulpes vulpes), recovering after a sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes
scabiei) outbreak, the lynx (Lynx lynx) and the wolf (Canis lupus), the two latter re-colonizing the region
after a massive population persecution at the beginning of the 20th century. These three species potentially
prey upon roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Although it is one of the most common ungulate species in
Europe, the combined effect of several predators on its survival is poorly documented. The objective of
this study was therefore to infer how roe deer responds to the changes in a gradually increasing multipredator
system, and to estimate the consequences for population growth rate.

I used long-term (37 years) series based on telemetry data to analyze annual survival rates of 458 knownaged
roe deers captured in Grimsö Wildlife Research Area (GWRA) between 1975 an 2012. Two complementary methods, the Cumulative Incidence Function and Cox Proportional Hazards were used to generate accurate estimates under a competing-risk framework. Predation was found to be largely additive to natural and human-related mortality causes, making the total mortality to increase by 40%. The
compensatory or additive nature of each predation risk (fox, lynx or wolf) was unclear, but wolf is
suspected to play an increasingly important role in the future. Monte-Carlo simulations with projection
matrices corresponding to the four risk regimes experienced by roe deer confirmed the synergistic effect
of the three predators on roe deer population growth rate as it decreased by more than 17% in the presence
of the three predators, a pattern that could explain the recent drop in roe deer densities by 80% in GWRA
in the 10-15 recent years.

Main title:Predator community and prey dynamics
Subtitle:a case study of roe deer and re-colonizing fox, lynx and wolf
Authors:Arbieu, Ugo
Supervisor:Kjellander, Petter
Examiner:Andrén, Henrik
Series:Independent project/ Degree project / SLU, Department of Ecology
Volume/Sequential designation:2012:14
Year of Publication:2012
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
Keywords:Canis lupus, Capreolus capreolus, cumulative incidence function, competing risks, Cox proportional hazards, Lynx lynx, population dynamics, survival analysis, Vulpes vulpes
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Deposited On:21 Aug 2012 10:16
Metadata Last Modified:21 Aug 2012 10:16

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