HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Cougar predation key to ecosystem health

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- The general disappearance of cougars from a portion of Zion National Park in the past 70 years has allowed deer populations to dramatically increase, leading to severe ecological damage, loss of cottonwood trees, eroding streambanks, and declining biodiversity.

This "trophic cascade" of environmental degradation, all linked to the decline of a major predator, has been shown in a new study to affect a broad range of terrestrial and aquatic species, according to scientists from Oregon State University.

The research was just published in the journal Biological Conservation and, like recent studies outlining similar ecological ripple effects following the disappearance of wolves in the American West may cause land managers to reconsider the importance of predatory species in how ecosystems function.

The findings are consistent, researchers say, with predictions made more than half a century ago by the famed naturalist Aldo Leopold, often considered the father of wildlife ecology.

"When park development caused cougar to begin leaving Zion Canyon in the 1930s, it allowed much higher levels of deer browsing," said Robert Beschta, an OSU professor emeritus of forest hydrology. "That set in motion a long cascade of changes that resulted in the loss of most cottonwoods along the streambanks and heavy bank erosion."

"But the end result isn't just loss of trees," he said. "It's the decline or disappearance of shrubs, wetland plants, amphibians, lizards, wildflowers, and even butterflies."

Until recently, ecologists had a poor understanding of how the loss of an important predator, such as wolves or cougar, could affect such a broad range of other plant and animal species. But the evidence is now accumulating that primary predators not only have direct effects in influencing the population sizes of native grazing animals such as deer and elk
'"/>

Contact: Robert Beschta
robert.beschta@oregonstate.edu
541-737-4292
Oregon State University
24-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Insect predation sheds light on food web recovery after the dinosaur extinction
2. New predation management methods reduce conflict between humans and carnivores
3. Selective predation and productivity jointly drive complex behavior in host-parasite systems
4. Viewing ecosystems from above
5. Gut check: Tracking the ecosystem within us
6. Study warns deep-sea mining may pose serious threat to fragile marine ecosystems
7. Parasites impact goes beyond host to affect ecosystem
8. Global survey of lizards reveals greater abundance of animals on islands than on mainland ecosystems
9. Overfishing large sharks impacts entire marine ecosystem, shrinks shellfish supply
10. Climate changes, Cod collapse have altered North Atlantic ecosystems
11. Altered ocean currents disturb ecosystem off Northern California and Oregon coast

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/12/2019)... , ... November 12, 2019 , ... ... of orthopedic medical devices, today announced the creation of a Global Regulatory Affairs ... the Medical Device industry is that the regulatory element to any Medtech organization ...
(Date:11/12/2019)... BEND, Ore. (PRWEB) , ... November 12, 2019 ... ... is launching Cross-Channel Spend Optimizer that improves digital advertising performance up to 25% ... Smart Digital Advertising, Cross-Channel Spend Optimizer uses advanced multi-touch attribution (MTA) to predict ...
(Date:11/12/2019)... ... 12, 2019 , ... Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation (AUV), the premier ... voted their patented automatic and manual wipers the #1 best feature of the ... maintenance task required of an ultraviolet water purifier is quartz sleeve cleaning. A ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/12/2019)... ... 12, 2019 , ... Peggy Lillis Foundation (PLF) has launched ... infection C. diff. The campaign, “See C. diff,” combines basic facts ... 30,000 people in the U.S. each year. The campaign also features a portrait ...
(Date:11/5/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... November 05, 2019 , ... ... technology, announced it has received CE Mark for its Fusion Bx 2.0 prostate ... arm and user-friendly interface, the Fusion Bx 2.0 will give urologists across Europe ...
(Date:10/30/2019)... S.D. (PRWEB) , ... October 30, 2019 , ... While ... of researchers and students at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ... cells while leaving healthy cells alive. , If successful, the technique would prove ...
(Date:10/26/2019)... ... October 24, 2019 , ... Sparks Marketing Group, ... (BMMG), a boutique healthcare-specific marketing firm, to strengthen the agency’s growing focus ... Division. , Healthcare clients in pharma, bio-therapeutics, medical device and healthcare technologies currently ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: