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When less is more: positive population-level effects of mortality

Schröder, Arne and van Leeuwen, Anieke and Cameron, Tom C (2014) 'When less is more: positive population-level effects of mortality.' Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29 (11). pp. 614-624. ISSN 0169-5347

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Experimental and theoretical studies show that mortality imposed on a population can counter-intuitively increase the density of a specific life-history stage or total population density. Understanding positive population-level effects of mortality is advancing, illuminating implications for population, community, and applied ecology. Reconciling theory and data, we found that the mathematical models used to study mortality effects vary in the effects predicted and mechanisms proposed. Experiments predominantly demonstrate stage-specific density increases in response to mortality. We argue that the empirical evidence supports theory based on stage-structured population models but not on unstructured models. We conclude that stage-specific positive mortality effects are likely to be common in nature and that accounting for within-population individual variation is essential for developing ecological theory.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: biomass overcompensation; consumer-resource model; density dependence; fisheries; hydra effect; mortality; numerical response; pest control; population dynamics; population management; predation; size-structure; stage-structure
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2014 11:32
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:05

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