NCEAS Project 4100

Dynamics of large mammalian herbivores in changing environments: Alternative modeling approaches

  • Norman Owen-Smith
  • N. Thompson Hobbs
  • Andrew W. Illius
  • Per Lundberg

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group11th—24th November 2001Participant List  
Sabbatical Fellow1st September 2002—31st August 2003Participant List  
Working Group12th—21st November 2002Participant List  
Working Group12th—19th November 2003Participant List  

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The world's populations of large herbivores have shown dramatically different dynamics during the last two decades. The abundance and distribution of some ungulate species has declined abruptly, while other species have become excessively abundant, and still others have shown complex, oscillatory dynamics. These patterns seem to result from a composite of influences, including those operating at global and local scales. Conventional population models are rooted in assumptions about steady state and do not adequately incorporate environmental variability. We propose a working group that will exploit data sets and expertise from different regions to develop new models of ungulate population dynamics, capable of accommodating the complexity of environmental interactions at different spatial and temporal scales.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Coulson, Tim; Kruuk, L.; Tavecchia, G.; Pemberton, J.; Clutton-Brock, Tim. 2003. Estimating selection on neonatal traits in red deer using elasticity path analysis. Evolution. Vol: 57(12). Pages 2879-2892.
Journal Article Coulson, Tim; Guinness, F.; Pemberton, J.; Clutton-Brock, Tim. 2004. The demographic consequences of releasing a population of red deer from culling. Ecology. Vol: 85(2). Pages 411-422.
Journal Article Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Cote, S. D. 2003. Variable age structure and apparent density dependence in survival of adult ungulates. Journal of Animal Ecology. Vol: 72(4). Pages 640-649.
Journal Article GĂ„rdmark, Anna; Dieckmann, Ulf; Lundberg, Per. 2003. Life-history evolution in harvested populations: The role of natural predation. Evolutionary Ecology Research. Vol: 5. Pages 239-257.
Journal Article Gross, John E.; McAllister, R. R.J.; Abel, Nick; Stafford Smith, Mark; Maru, Y. 2006. Australian rangelands as complex adaptive systems: A conceptual model and preliminary results. Environmental Modelling & Software . Vol: 21. Pages 1264-1272.
Presentations Hobbs, N. Thompson. 2004. Scale and complexity in arid land ecosystems. International Rangelands Congress, Session on Rangelands at Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium, August 2004. Durban, South Africa.
Journal Article Jacobson, Andrew R.; Provenzale, A.; Von Hardenberg, A.; Bassano, B.; Festa-Bianchet, Marco. 2004. Climate forcing and density dependence in a mountain ungulate population. Ecology. Vol: 85(6). Pages 1598-1610.
Data Set Kruger, Judith. 2006. Large herbivore censuses from Kruger Park. (Abstract) (Online version)
Presentations Lundberg, Per. 2001. Temporally and spatially invariant herbivore population dynamics. Symposium on Modelling Herbivore Population in Variable Environments, 12-17 August 2001. International Theriological Congress. Sun City, South Africa.
Report or White Paper McAllister, R. R.J.; Gross, John E.; Maru, Y.; Abel, Nick; Stafford Smith, Mark. 2003. Modelling Australia's rangelands as social-economic systems. International Rangeland Conference, South Africa.
Presentations Ogutu, Joseph O. 2001. Analysis of herbivore population dynamics in relation to environmental variability using linear mixed models. Symposium on Modelling Herbivore Population in Variable Environments, 12-17 August 2001. International Theriological Congress. Sun City, South Africa.
Journal Article Ogutu, Joseph O.; Owen-Smith, Norman. 2003. ENSO, rainfall and temperature influences on extreme population declines among African savanna ungulates. Ecology Letters. Vol: 6(5). Pages 412-419.
Presentations Owen-Smith, Norman. 2001. Incorporating environment into demography. Symposium on Modelling Herbivore Population in Variable Environments, 12-17 August 2001. International Theriological Congress. Sun City, South Africa.
Report or White Paper Owen-Smith, Norman. 2001. Report on first Working Group. (Online version)
Presentations Owen-Smith, Norman; Ogutu, Joseph O. 2003. Climate influence on large herbivore populations in the Krueger National Park. National Symposium on Global Change and Regional Sustainability in South Africa, 27-29 October 2003. Cape Town, South Africa.
Presentations Owen-Smith, Norman. 2003. Interactive influence of climate and predation on population dynamics of Kruger Park ungulates. Zoological Society of Southern Africa Conference, 30 June-4 July 2003. Cape Town, South Africa.
Journal Article Owen-Smith, Norman; Mason, Darryl R.; Ogutu, Joseph O. 2005. Correlates of survival rates for 10 African ungulate populations: Density, rainfall and predation. Journal of Animal Ecology. Vol: 74. Pages 774-788.
Book Ranta, Esa; Lundberg, Per. 2006. Ecology of Populations. Cambridge University Press. New York. Pages 373.
Presentations Sinclair, Anthony R. E. 2001. Biotic and abiotic effects on Serengeti wildebeest dynamics. Symposium on Modelling Herbivore Population in Variable Environments, 12-17 August 2001. International Theological Congress. Sun City, South Africa.
Presentations Vucetich, John A. 2003. The influence of top-down, bottom-up, and abiotic factors on the moose population of Isle Royale. International Conference on Wolf Ecology, September 2003. Banff, Canada.
Journal Article Vucetich, John A.; Peterson, Rolf. 2004. The influence of top-down, bottom-up and abiotic factors on the moose (Alces alces) population of Isle Royale. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. Vol: 271(1535). Pages 183-189.
Journal Article Wang, Guiming; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Twombly, Saran; Boone, Randall B.; Illius, Andrew W.; Gordon, Iain J.; Gross, John E. 2009. Density dependence in northern ungulates: interactions with predation and resources. Population Ecology. Vol: 51. Pages 123-132. (Online version)
Journal Article Wilson, Will G.; Lundberg, Per; Vazquez, Diego P.; Shurin, Jonathan B.; Smith, Melinda D.; Langford, William T.; Gross, Katherine L.; Mittelbach, Gary G. 2003. Biodiversity and species interactions: Extending Lotka-Volterra community theory. Ecology Letters. Vol: 6. Pages 944-952.