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Advances in population ecology and species interactions in mammals
- Kelt, Douglas A., Heske, Edward J., Lambin, Xavier, Oli, Madan K., Orrock, John L., Ozgul, Arpat, Pauli, Jonathan N., Prugh, Laura R., Sollmann, Rahel, Sommer, Stefan
- Journal of mammalogy 2019 v.100 no.3 pp. 965-1007
- climate change, ecological function, ecological invasion, ecosystems, foraging, habitat preferences, long term effects, mammals, models, mutualism, population ecology, predation
- The study of mammals has promoted the development and testing of many ideas in contemporary ecology. Here we address recent developments in foraging and habitat selection, source–sink dynamics, competition (both within and between species), population cycles, predation (including apparent competition), mutualism, and biological invasions. Because mammals are appealing to the public, ecological insight gleaned from the study of mammals has disproportionate potential in educating the public about ecological principles and their application to wise management. Mammals have been central to many computational and statistical developments in recent years, including refinements to traditional approaches and metrics (e.g., capture-recapture) as well as advancements of novel and developing fields (e.g., spatial capture-recapture, occupancy modeling, integrated population models). The study of mammals also poses challenges in terms of fully characterizing dynamics in natural conditions. Ongoing climate change threatens to affect global ecosystems, and mammals provide visible and charismatic subjects for research on local and regional effects of such change as well as predictive modeling of the long-term effects on ecosystem function and stability. Although much remains to be done, the population ecology of mammals continues to be a vibrant and rapidly developing field. We anticipate that the next quarter century will prove as exciting and productive for the study of mammals as has the recent one.