Are Wolf-Mediated Trophic Cascades Boosting Biodiversity in the Great Lakes Region?
In recent years, conservation biologists broadened their efforts beyond genes, species, and ecosystems to include the conservation of species interactions such as mutualisms and predation (Kearns et al. 1998; Soulé et al. 2003, 2005). Ecologists generally agree that predators generate top-down effects in food webs, but the consensus ends there. Considerable disagreement remains over the strength of top-down effects, the relative importance of top-down versus bottom-up effects, and how the relative importance of these effects differs among systems, seasons and across scales (Polis 1999; Polis et al. 2000; Shurin et al. 2002; Schmitz et al. 2004). The question is further complicated because many top predators were significantly reduced in abundance or eliminated from temperate zone ecosystems decades or centuries before ecologists formally conceptualized trophic cascades (cf. Jackson 1997; Jackson et al. 2001). Still, many conservation biologists view the recovery of...
KeywordsGreat Lake Snow Depth Trophic Interaction Trophic Cascade Great Lake Region
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