On California's Channel Islands, native predators became prey when feral pigs rearranged the food web

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Feral pigs have created ecological havoc in many parts of California, uprooting native plants and turning meadows into mudholes. But nowhere have their effects been as dramatic as on the Channel Islands, where they have caused a complete restructuring of the food web, threatening the native island fox with extinction. A team of biologists has now documented the remarkable extent to which the introduced pigs have disrupted the island ecosystem. They are reporting their findings in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (the article will be published online on December 18 and will appear in print in the January 8 issue of the journal).

The story involves not only exotic pigs and native foxes, but also golden eagles that have recently colonized the islands and a native spotted skunk. Golden eagles were initially drawn to the islands by the abundance of tasty piglets on Santa Cruz, the largest of the Channel Islands. But they began preying on the island fox as well, causing the fox population to plummet not only on Santa Cruz but also on the nearby islands of Santa Rosa and San Miguel. The cat-sized island fox, once the dominant predator in the ecosystem, is rapidly disappearing. Meanwhile, skunk populations are booming due to reduced competition from foxes.

"The presence of exotic pigs has totally restructured the food web on Santa Cruz Island," said Josh Donlan, science director for the nonprofit Island Conservation and Ecology Group based at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a coauthor of the paper.

At first glance, it might appear that feral pigs are outcompeting the foxes, but the two species are not direct competitors, said lead author Gary Roemer, now at New Mexico State University.

"This phenomenon is called apparent competition--the two prey species share a predator that has an asymmetric impact, causing one species to decline," Roemer said. "This is the first case tha

Contact: Tim Stephens
University of California - Santa Cruz

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. The role of science in restoring Californias water resources
2. Discovery Channel special watches OSU chimps learn to read
3. Calcium Channel Blocker Slows Hardening Of Arteries In Some Key Arteries, But Not Others
4. Penn Researchers Prove "Short-Cut" Function Of Myelin Sheath Channel: BetterUnderstanding Of Myelin Should Lead To Therapies For Neuropathies
5. Stargazer Gene Provides New Clues To Calcium Channel Defects In Absence Epilepsy
6. Tiny Molecular Channels Key To Protecting Heart During Attack
7. Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors Share Tetrameric Structure With The Voltage GatedPotassium Channel
8. R-Type Channels - A New Type Of Calcium Channels Controlling Signal Transduction Between Neurons In The Brain
9. Discovery Channel Returns From Underwater Scientific Expedition Off The Coast Of Cuba
10. New Software Provides Quick Analysis of ion-Channel Activity
11. K-State researcher working to improve alternatives to equine antibiotics

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/27/2019)... ... November 26, 2019 , ... Personalized Stem Cells, Inc (“PSC”), a ... Foundation and hosted by Dr. Steven Sampson and Dr. Danielle Aufiero of the ... 23, 2019, highlighted the ongoing efforts to promote research, educate the public, and provide ...
(Date:11/22/2019)... ... November 21, 2019 , ... The inventors of ... have announced a major step forward with that therapy, known as SurVaxM. MimiVax ... company, spun off from Roswell Park in 2012, has entered into a China-exclusive ...
(Date:11/19/2019)... ... ... Project Lifeline – a community partnership and research program initiated ... use disorder (SUD) – will take center stage at the upcoming NACDS ... in preventing and treating opioid abuse in Blair County, Pennsylvania, will receive the NACDS ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/30/2019)... ... October 30, 2019 , ... ... the many roles innovation and technology play in educating the next generation of ... hands-on learning opportunities and presentations by WesternU administrators and representatives of companies working ...
(Date:10/29/2019)... ... October 29, 2019 , ... Researchers ... Using Silios CMS-C multispectral imagers , researchers identified people by the image ... based on retinal imaging, face recognition, fingerprints and vasculature. , The new ...
(Date:10/22/2019)... ... October 22, 2019 , ... Catalent, a global leader in clinical supply services, ... Integration, will participate in a panel session titled “Cell and Gene Therapy Logistics” at ... Gwen Hotel, Chicago, on Oct. 28-30, 2019. , The panel session, on Wednesday, Oct. ...
(Date:10/17/2019)... PARK, Kan. (PRWEB) , ... October 15, 2019 ... ... to 23andMe, a leader among services that offer DNA Testing for health and/or ... so popular. Everywhere you look, it seems that people want to know more ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: