Top-predators as biodiversity regulators: contemporary issues affecting knowledge and management of dingoes in Australia

Allen, Benjamin L. and Fleming, Peter J. S. and Hayward, Matt and Allen, Lee R. and Engeman, Richard M. and Ballard, Guy and Leung, Luke K.-P. (2012) Top-predators as biodiversity regulators: contemporary issues affecting knowledge and management of dingoes in Australia. In: Biodiversity enrichment in a diverse world. InTech, Rijeka, Croatia, pp. 85-132. ISBN 978-953-51-0718-7

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Abstract

Large predators have an indispensable role in structuring food webs and maintaining ecological processes for the benefit of biodiversity at lower trophic levels. Such roles are widely evident in marine and terrestrial systems [1, 2]. Large predators can indirectly alleviate predation on smaller (and often threatened) fauna and promote vegetation growth by interacting strongly with sympatric carnivore and herbivore species (e.g. [3-5]). The local extinction of large predators can therefore have detrimental effects on biodiversity [6], and their subsequent restoration has been observed to produce positive biodiversity outcomes in many cases [7]. Perhaps the most well-known example of this is the restoration of gray wolves Canis lupus to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of North America. Since the reintroduction of 66 wolves in 1995 [8], wolf numbers in the area have climbed to ~2000, some large herbivores and mesopredators have substantially declined, and some fauna and flora at lower trophic levels have increased (see [4], and references therein). Similar experiences with some other large predators mean that they are now considered to be of high conservation value in many parts of the world [1, 2, 7], and exploring their roles and functions has arguably been one of the most prominent fields of biodiversity conservation research in the last 10–15 years.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Open Access with Creative commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 02:00
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2017 02:54
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960599 Ecosystem Assessment and Management not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: doi:dx.doi.org/10.5772/50246
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29501

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