Refuge availability and within-species differences in cannibalism determine population variability and dynamics
2013 (English)In: Ecosphere, ISSN 2150-8925, Vol. 4, no 8, 100- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Theoretical studies show that both cannibalism and intraspecific resource competition can have major effects on population dynamics. Cannibalistic intensity, offspring size, harvesting and refuge availability are important factors affecting the interplay between cannibalism and competition. We studied two populations of the common guppy (Poecilia reticulata) that differed in their cannibalistic voracity as well as offspring size. We manipulated the availability of refuges for juveniles and harvesting intensity of large adults to investigate how these factors influenced the dynamics of the two populations. Overall population dynamics was mainly affected by the origin of the founder populations and the presence of refuges. The population with a higher cannibalistic propensity and smaller offspring exhibited higher population variability, and the presence of refuges reduced cannibalism and stabilised the dynamics in both populations. Harvest of large cannibalistic females destabilised the dynamics and caused extinctions of several populations without refuges. Both populations displayed cannibal-driven cycles with repression of recruitment when no refuges were present. Cycle periods were shorter with refuges present and the dynamics were more cohort like with synchronised peaks in density of vulnerable juveniles and cannibals. We suggest that increased number of refuging juveniles led to intensified resource competition in the population. The harvest yield was low in the refuge treatments as few females grew large due to resource competition, leading to a small impact of harvesting in these treatments.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington: Ecological Society of America , 2013. Vol. 4, no 8, 100- p.
cannibalism, coefficient of variation, competition, extinction, guppy, harvest, Poecilia reticulata, population dynamics, refuges, structural complexity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84804DOI: 10.1890/ES13-00105.1ISI: 000327379400009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-84804DiVA: diva2:691295