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Modelling the effects of sanitary policies on European vulture conservation.

Margalida A, Colomer MÀ - Sci Rep (2012)

Bottom Line: Biodiversity losses are increasing as a consequence of negative anthropogenic effects on ecosystem dynamics.A novel computational model (P-systems) was used to model these effects, forecasting a rapid decline in the Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus).By contrast, vulture species with greater plasticity in their dietary range appeared less sensitive to declining food availability.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Conservation Biology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. antoni.margalida@iee.unibe.ch

ABSTRACT
Biodiversity losses are increasing as a consequence of negative anthropogenic effects on ecosystem dynamics. However, the magnitude and complexity of these effects may still be greatly underestimated. Most Old World vultures have experienced rapid population declines in recent years. In Europe, their immediate conservation depends on changes in health regulations affecting the availability of food provided by domestic carcasses. Information is lacking on the effects of a hypothetical food shortage on the population dynamics of vultures, and is necessary to assess the potential impacts of policy decisions on future changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services. A novel computational model (P-systems) was used to model these effects, forecasting a rapid decline in the Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus). By contrast, vulture species with greater plasticity in their dietary range appeared less sensitive to declining food availability. This study extends our understanding of vulture ecosystem services, which have social and economic implications.

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Predicted population trends for the four avian scavengers in the study area, for each of the four scenarios tested, expressed as the percentage of domestic ungulate carcasses available in the ecosystem.Note the different y-axis scales.
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f2: Predicted population trends for the four avian scavengers in the study area, for each of the four scenarios tested, expressed as the percentage of domestic ungulate carcasses available in the ecosystem.Note the different y-axis scales.

Mentions: The population trends of bearded, Egyptian and cinereous vultures were predicted to increase in relation to the current situation and were similar across the four scenarios considered (bearded vulture: F3,83 = 2.61, P = 0.057; Egyptian vulture: F3,83 = 0.12, P = 0.95; cinereous vulture: F3,83 = 0.71, P = 0.55, Figure 2) except for the griffon vulture, for which significant differences were found (F3,83 = 117.54, P = 0.0001). The model predicted differences in the groups formed with 50% and 100% of domestic carcasses available compared to the 25% and 0% scenarios (Duncan's test, P < 0.05). With a quarter of domestic carcasses available, a 14% reduction in the griffon vulture population was forecast during the first year, after which their numbers were expected to become stable. In contrast, without domestic carcasses (0% scenario) a sudden decrease is expected with a reduction of 80% in griffon vulture populations, stabilizing at around 200–250 pairs. However, no global differences were found between 100% and 50% domestic carcass availability (P = 0.44), although the model indicated that statistically significant differences would be detected after the 12th year (F1,268 = 603.60, P < 0.0001) when there would be a reduction in the population growth of griffon vultures.


Modelling the effects of sanitary policies on European vulture conservation.

Margalida A, Colomer MÀ - Sci Rep (2012)

Predicted population trends for the four avian scavengers in the study area, for each of the four scenarios tested, expressed as the percentage of domestic ungulate carcasses available in the ecosystem.Note the different y-axis scales.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3475340&req=5

f2: Predicted population trends for the four avian scavengers in the study area, for each of the four scenarios tested, expressed as the percentage of domestic ungulate carcasses available in the ecosystem.Note the different y-axis scales.
Mentions: The population trends of bearded, Egyptian and cinereous vultures were predicted to increase in relation to the current situation and were similar across the four scenarios considered (bearded vulture: F3,83 = 2.61, P = 0.057; Egyptian vulture: F3,83 = 0.12, P = 0.95; cinereous vulture: F3,83 = 0.71, P = 0.55, Figure 2) except for the griffon vulture, for which significant differences were found (F3,83 = 117.54, P = 0.0001). The model predicted differences in the groups formed with 50% and 100% of domestic carcasses available compared to the 25% and 0% scenarios (Duncan's test, P < 0.05). With a quarter of domestic carcasses available, a 14% reduction in the griffon vulture population was forecast during the first year, after which their numbers were expected to become stable. In contrast, without domestic carcasses (0% scenario) a sudden decrease is expected with a reduction of 80% in griffon vulture populations, stabilizing at around 200–250 pairs. However, no global differences were found between 100% and 50% domestic carcass availability (P = 0.44), although the model indicated that statistically significant differences would be detected after the 12th year (F1,268 = 603.60, P < 0.0001) when there would be a reduction in the population growth of griffon vultures.

Bottom Line: Biodiversity losses are increasing as a consequence of negative anthropogenic effects on ecosystem dynamics.A novel computational model (P-systems) was used to model these effects, forecasting a rapid decline in the Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus).By contrast, vulture species with greater plasticity in their dietary range appeared less sensitive to declining food availability.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Conservation Biology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. antoni.margalida@iee.unibe.ch

ABSTRACT
Biodiversity losses are increasing as a consequence of negative anthropogenic effects on ecosystem dynamics. However, the magnitude and complexity of these effects may still be greatly underestimated. Most Old World vultures have experienced rapid population declines in recent years. In Europe, their immediate conservation depends on changes in health regulations affecting the availability of food provided by domestic carcasses. Information is lacking on the effects of a hypothetical food shortage on the population dynamics of vultures, and is necessary to assess the potential impacts of policy decisions on future changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services. A novel computational model (P-systems) was used to model these effects, forecasting a rapid decline in the Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus). By contrast, vulture species with greater plasticity in their dietary range appeared less sensitive to declining food availability. This study extends our understanding of vulture ecosystem services, which have social and economic implications.

Show MeSH