Indirect population dynamic benefits of altered life‐history trade‐offs in response to egg harvesting

Butler, SJ ORCID:, Benton, TG, Nicoll, MAC, Jones, CG and Norris, K (2009) Indirect population dynamic benefits of altered life‐history trade‐offs in response to egg harvesting. The American Naturalist, 174 (1). pp. 111-121. ISSN 0003-0147

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Variations in demographic rates due to differential resource allocation between individuals are important considerations in the development of accurate population dynamic models. Systematic harvesting can alter age structure and/or reduce population density, conferring indirect positive benefits on the source population as a result of a consequent redistribution of resources between the remaining individuals. Independently of effects mediated through changes in density and competition, demographic rates can also be influenced by within-individual competition for resources. Harvesting dependent life stages can reduce an individual’s current reproductive costs, allowing increased investment in its future fecundity and survival. Although such changes in demographic rates are well known, there has been little exploration of the potential impact on population dynamics. We use empirical data collected from a successfully reintroduced population of the Mauritius kestrel Falco punctatus to explore the population consequences of manipulating reproductive effort through harvesting. Consequent increases in an individual’s future fecundity and survival allow source populations to withstand longer and more intensive harvesting regimes without being exposed to an increase in extinction risk, increasing maximum sustainable yields. These effects may also buffer populations against the impacts of stochastic events, but directional shifts in environmental conditions that increase reproductive costs may have detrimental population-level effects.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Depositing User: Simon Butler
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2012 11:43
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 00:12
DOI: 10.1086/599295

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