Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Invasive species control with apex predators: increasing presence of wolves is associated with reduced occurrence of the alien raccoon dog




List of Authors: Selonen V, Brommer JE, Holopainen S, Kauhala K, Krüger H, Poutanen J, Väänänen VM, Laaksonen T

Publisher: SPRINGER

Publication year: 2022

Journal: Biological Invasions

Journal name in source: BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS

Journal acronym: BIOL INVASIONS

Number of pages: 14

ISSN: 1387-3547

eISSN: 1573-1464

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10530-022-02850-2

URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-022-02850-2

Self-archived copy’s web address: https://research.utu.fi/converis/portal/detail/Publication/175915683


Abstract
The role of an alien predator in the community depends on its interaction with native predators. The absence of apex predators may facilitate outbreaks of invasive mesopredators, but the effect of apex predators may vary between species and environments. We analysed the occurrence of a common invasive mesopredator in Europe, the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), and native mesopredators, the red fox and the Eurasian badger, in camera-trap data from Finland. The observations in cameras were analysed in relation to the presence of apex predators in the landscape (grey wolf and Eurasian lynx), human density, and habitat. We observed negative effect of increasing presence of wolves and lynxes on the occurrence of raccoon dogs. This effect appeared clear compared to the effects of habitat and human density. The effect of lynxes on raccoon dogs was clearer in areas with short growth season. For the occurrence of badgers, the presence of wolves had a weak negative effect and the presence of lynxes had a positive effect. For the occurrence of red foxes, wolves had a positive effect when agricultural fields were sparse in the landscape and lynxes had no effect. We also observed that the invasive raccoon dog currently appears to be the most common mesopredator within the study area. We conclude that the effect of apex predators on mesopredators depends on the environment and, in our case, was more suppressive on the alien mesopredator than on the native mesopredators. Thus, apex predators can play an important role in controlling invasive mesopredators.

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Last updated on 2022-12-08 at 11:58