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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.

Show MeSH
Scheme of the model.The model takes into account two periods (summer and winter) and the basic processes of reproduction, mortality, and feeding. The scavenger birds forage in others areas when insufficient resources are available (i.e., they move). If food is scarce, the animals take the food and return to their initial area. They change territory if space is scarce. The carrying capacity of each area is limited and it is necessary to control the number of animals present. Before repeating the loop, it is necessary to restore the initial configuration. Two executions of a loop are equivalent to the passage of one year in the ecosystem.
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f5: Scheme of the model.The model takes into account two periods (summer and winter) and the basic processes of reproduction, mortality, and feeding. The scavenger birds forage in others areas when insufficient resources are available (i.e., they move). If food is scarce, the animals take the food and return to their initial area. They change territory if space is scarce. The carrying capacity of each area is limited and it is necessary to control the number of animals present. Before repeating the loop, it is necessary to restore the initial configuration. Two executions of a loop are equivalent to the passage of one year in the ecosystem.

Mentions: The model consists of a loop with six modules (Figure 5). One year in the ecosystem involves running the loop twice, i.e., once for the summer period (four months) and once for the winter season (eight months). The model starts with the run of the reproduction module. The species are modelled with only one reproductive period each year. While the population of wild animals is a dynamic system conditioned by environmental and ecological factors, domestic animals are controlled by humans such that there are significant fluctuations in the population between the summer and winter as a consequence of transhumant movements.


Modelling the effects of sanitary policies on European vulture conservation.

Margalida A, Colomer MÀ - Sci Rep (2012)

Scheme of the model.The model takes into account two periods (summer and winter) and the basic processes of reproduction, mortality, and feeding. The scavenger birds forage in others areas when insufficient resources are available (i.e., they move). If food is scarce, the animals take the food and return to their initial area. They change territory if space is scarce. The carrying capacity of each area is limited and it is necessary to control the number of animals present. Before repeating the loop, it is necessary to restore the initial configuration. Two executions of a loop are equivalent to the passage of one year in the ecosystem.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f5: Scheme of the model.The model takes into account two periods (summer and winter) and the basic processes of reproduction, mortality, and feeding. The scavenger birds forage in others areas when insufficient resources are available (i.e., they move). If food is scarce, the animals take the food and return to their initial area. They change territory if space is scarce. The carrying capacity of each area is limited and it is necessary to control the number of animals present. Before repeating the loop, it is necessary to restore the initial configuration. Two executions of a loop are equivalent to the passage of one year in the ecosystem.
Mentions: The model consists of a loop with six modules (Figure 5). One year in the ecosystem involves running the loop twice, i.e., once for the summer period (four months) and once for the winter season (eight months). The model starts with the run of the reproduction module. The species are modelled with only one reproductive period each year. While the population of wild animals is a dynamic system conditioned by environmental and ecological factors, domestic animals are controlled by humans such that there are significant fluctuations in the population between the summer and winter as a consequence of transhumant movements.

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