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01.01.2015 | Original article | Ausgabe 1/2015

Population Ecology 1/2015

Using multistate capture–mark–recapture models to quantify effects of predation on age-specific survival and population growth in black-tailed deer

Zeitschrift:
Population Ecology > Ausgabe 1/2015
Autoren:
Lucile Marescot, Tavis D. Forrester, David S. Casady, Heiko U. Wittmer
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10144-014-0456-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
An erratum to this article can be found at http://​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10144-014-0464-z.

Abstract

Effective species management and conservation relies on accurate estimates of vital rates and an understanding of their link to environmental variables. We used multistate capture–mark–recapture models to directly quantify effects of predation on age-specific survival of black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus columbianus in California, USA. Survival probabilities were derived from individual encounter histories of 136 fawns and 57 adults monitored over 4 years. Based on results from our survival analysis we parameterized a Lefkovitch matrix and used elasticity analyses to investigate contributions of mortality due to predation to changes in population growth. We found strong evidence for age-specific survival including senescence. Survival of females >1 year old was consistently low (0.56 ± 0.18 for yearlings, 0.77 ± 0.13 for prime-aged females, and 0.55 ± 0.08 for senescent individuals), primarily due to high puma Puma concolor predation during summer. Predation from black bears Ursus americanus and coyotes Canis latrans was the primary cause for low annual survival of fawns (0.24 ± 0.16). Resulting estimates of population growth rates were indicative of a strongly declining population (λ = 0.82 ± 0.13). Despite high sensitivity to changes in adult survival, results from a lower-level elasticity analysis suggested that predation on fawns was the most significant individual mortality component affecting population decline. Our results provide a rare, direct link between predation, age-specific survival and the predicted population decline of a common ungulate species. The magnitude of predation was unexpected and suggests that ungulates in multi-predator systems struggle to cope with simultaneous reductions in survival probabilities from predators targeting different age classes.

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Zusatzmaterial
Supplementary material 1 (XLS 79 kb)
10144_2014_456_MOESM1_ESM.xls
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 409 kb)
10144_2014_456_MOESM2_ESM.pdf
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