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
Public Library of Science

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:

(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, ... with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that ... With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University ... Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal ... and MD EMR Systems , an electronic ... for GE, have established a partnership to build ... and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice ... These new integrations will allow healthcare ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)...  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, ... Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS ... care professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering ... health care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed ... ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... DIEGO, CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... as part of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look ... its reach, as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the ... NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be ... small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS ... the need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ARCS® Foundation ... Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of ... Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: