HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Gray wolves maintain the food chain in winter

Climate change has already had dramatic effects on individual species, with disruptions in range, reproductive success, and seasonal phenomena like migration. But, in a new study from the open-access online journal PLoS Biology (www.plosbiology.org), Christopher Wilmers and Wayne Getz show that the impact of climate change on many different species in Yellowstone Park can be buffered by a top predator - the reintroduced gray wolf (Canis lupus).

Gray wolves inhabited most of North America until US extirpation campaigns nearly eradicated them by the 1930s. In 1995, the US Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced the persecuted predator into Yellowstone. Wilmers and Getz used data from the past 50 years to establish winter trends and model wolves' impact on the fate of resident scavengers faced with a changing climate. Their models show that wolf kills temper the potentially devastating effects of climate-related carrion shortages on scavengers. Unlike mountain lions and grizzly bears, wolves abandon their prey (usually elk or moose) once sated, leaving much-coveted leftovers for ravens, eagles, coyotes, bears, and other scavengers. Altogether, their modeling studies show that shorter winters without wolves will create intermittent food supplies that no longer track the needs of local scavengers. With or without wolves, late-winter carrion abundance will decline with shorter winters. But wolf kills buffer these shortages, providing meals that could determine whether scavengers will be able to survive and reproduce.

It seems clear that wolves have the potential to provide a safety net for scavengers, extending the time they need to adapt to a changing environment. Thanks to a rebounding wolf population, field researchers can measure the magnitude of this predicted buffer effect. The models described here can guide their efforts and help species adjust to major environmental shifts like climate chang
'"/>

Contact: Paul Ocampo
pocampo@plos.org
415-624-1224
Public Library of Science
14-Mar-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Presence of wolves allows aspen recovery in Yellowstone
2. Specialized, bone-crushing wolves of Alaska disappeared long ago
3. Ice Age extinction claimed highly carnivorous Alaskan wolves
4. Researchers determine why wolves not dispersing as fast as expected in Yellowstone
5. Contagious cancer in dogs confirmed; origins traced to wolves centuries ago
6. Killing wolves may not protect livestock efficiently
7. The lost genetic legacy of American gray wolves
8. Long-term ulcerative colitis study shows Remicade responders maintained improvement
9. Unpeaceful co-existence: How strengths and weaknesses maintain biodiversity in an ant community
10. Big vegetarian mammals can play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, study finds
11. Stealth technology maintains fitness after sex

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Gray wolves maintain the food chain winter

(Date:4/17/2014)... the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston ... treated with radiation for cervical cancer should begin ... , The UTMB researchers, finding a high incidence ... treated with radiation, offer new recommendations that the ... screening about eight years after their initial cervical ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... led by the Australian National University (ANU), have ... and deep-sea temperature variability over the past 5.3 ... understand the climate surrounding ice ages over the ... the relationship between carbon dioxide levels, global temperatures ... University of Southampton (UoS) and the National Oceanography ...
(Date:4/16/2014)... 20-year assessment of Nicaragua,s legal, artisanal green sea turtle ... catch rates of turtles in what may have become ... Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Florida. , During ... 170,000 green turtles were killed between 1991 and 2011, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Radiation therapy for cervical cancer increases risk for colorectal cancer 2Ancient sea-levels give new clues on ice ages 2Declining catch rates in Caribbean green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing 2Declining catch rates in Caribbean green turtle fishery may be result of overfishing 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014  Bill Jacobs Automotive, a group of car dealerships headquartered ... the Heartland Blood Center and offering free oil change coupons ... place Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Bill Jacobs Cadillac and ... (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140115/MN46637 )  The Bill Jacobs ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... JOSE, California , January 15, 2014 ... cancer, today announced the appointment of Thomas C Reynolds MD, ... 20 years, development experience gained in the biotechnology industry, most ... "I am delighted to welcome Tom at this transformative time ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Two champions of science, technology, engineering, and ... annual competition for middle and high school students designed ... study. The competition presents students with real-world problems experienced ... Mathematics, and Sciences is a program administered by ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 AudioNotch is the internet's leading ... the treatment of tinnitus. Patients listen to sound therapy ... a period of weeks to months, their tinnitus volume decreases. ... forms: Notched Music and Notched White Noise. Now, AudioNotch is ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Join the Bill Jacobs Auto blood drive and receive a free oil change 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 2Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 3Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 4Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 5
Cached News: