Large Predators, Deer, And Trophic Cascades In Boreal And Temperate Ecosystems
July 6, 2019
Historically, humans have modified many boreal and temperate ecosystems by decimating native animal populations and often substituting domesticated stock, thereby influencing food webs and simplifying interactions among species. Large predators, especially, have been subject to worldwide persecution. The profound ecological implications of losing top predators are only now beginning to be understood. Across a variety of environments, predator extirpation can lead via trophic cascades to habitat degradation at multiple trophic levels, species loss, and even ecosystem collapse (Terborgh et al. 1999; Ray et al. 2005).
Author(s): William J. Ripple, Thomas P. Rooney, and Robert L. Beschta