Dynamics of Large Herbivore Populations in Changing Environments

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-02-22
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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This book aims to reconcile theoretical models of population dynamics with what is currently known about the population dynamics of large mammalian herbivores. It arose from a working group established at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to address the need for models that better accommodate environmental variability, especially for herbivores dependent on changing vegetation resources. The initial chapter reviews findings from definitive long-term studies of certain other ungulate populations, many based on individually identifiable animals. Other chapters cover climatic influences, emphasising temperate versus tropical contrasts, and demographic processes underlying population dynamics, more generally. There are new assessments of irruptive population dynamics, and of the consequences of landscape heterogeneity for herbivore populations. An initial review of candidate population models is followed up by a final chapter outlining how these models might be modified to better accommodate environmental variability. The contents provide a foundation for resolving problems of diminishing large mammal populations in Africa, over-abundant ungulate populations elsewhere, and general consequences of global change for biodiversity conservation. This book will serve as a definitive outline of what is currently known about the population dynamics of large herbivores.

Author Biography

Norman Owen-Smith has a special interest in the behavioural and population ecology of large mammalian herbivores. After obtaining his PhD for a study of white rhinos through the University of Wisconsin, he held appointments at the universities of Pretoria and Zimbabwe before settling into a position at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he headed the Centre for African Ecology.

Table of Contents

Definitive case studies
Red deer on Rum
Soay sheep on Hirta
Roe deer in France
Bighorn sheep in Alberta
Kudu in Kruger
Wildebeest in Serengeti
Moose on Isle Royale
Elk in North Yellowstone
The suite of population models
Models of density dependence
Autoregressive time-series models
Age- or stage-structured models
Trophic interaction models
Physiological or metaphysiological models
Models accommodating spatial structure
Individual-based models
Climatic influences: temperate tropical contrasts
Temperate environments
Tropical and subtropical environments
Effects of predation and hunting
Overall assessment
Demographic processes: lessons from long-term, individual-based studies
Life history of large herbivores: a brief review
Differential contributions of demographic parameters to population growth
Climatic variation, density-dependence,andindividual variability
Conclusions:howcanfutureanalysesof largeherbivoredemography deal with complex demographic processes?
Irruptive dynamics and vegetation interactions
Models of herbivore vegetation interactions
Examples of irruptive dynamics
Effects of irruptions on vegetation
Changing perspectives
Implications for conservation and management
How does landscape heterogeneity shape dynamics of large herbivore populations?
What is spatial heterogeneity?
How does spatial heterogeneity influence ungulate population dynamics?
Mechanisms explaining the influence of spatial heterogeneity on population dynamics
Influences from high-quality resources
Influences from buffer resources
Global change and access to heterogeneity by large herbivores
Conclusions: the importance of spatial context for population dynamics
Towards an ecology of population dynamics
Phenomenological descriptors
Time series elaborations
Environmental structure
Population structure
Adaptive responses and environmental contexts
Summary and conclusions
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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