Boreal predator co-occurrences reveal shared use of seismic lines in a working landscape
Tattersall, Erin R.; Burgar, Joanna M.; Fisher, Jason T.; Burton, A. Cole (2020), Boreal predator co-occurrences reveal shared use of seismic lines in a working landscape, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hx3ffbg9x
Interspecific interactions are an integral aspect of ecosystem functioning that may be disrupted in an increasingly anthropocentric world. Industrial landscape change creates a novel playing field on which these interactions take place, and a key question for wildlife managers is whether and how species are able to coexist in such working landscapes. Using camera traps deployed in northern Alberta, we surveyed boreal predators to determine whether interspecific interactions affected occurrences of black bears (Ursus americanus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and lynx (Lynx canadensis) within a landscape disturbed by networks of seismic lines (corridors cut for seismic exploration of oil and gas reserves). We tested hypotheses of species interactions across one spatial-only and two spatiotemporal (daily and weekly) scales. Specifically, we hypothesized that 1) predators avoid competition with the apex predator, grey wolf (Canis lupus), 2) they avoid competition with each other as intraguild competitors, and 3) they overlap with their prey. All three predators overlapped with wolves on at least one scale, although models at the daily and weekly scale had substantial unexplained variance. None of the predators showed avoidance of intraguild competitors or overlap with prey. These results show patterns in predator space use that are consistent with both facilitative interactions or shared responses to unmeasured ecological cues. Our study provides insight into how industrial linear features affect the use of boreal landscapes by multiple predator species, and highlights that predator management may indirectly influence multiple species through interactions.
Methods can be found in Tattersall, E. R., Burgar, J. M., Fisher, J. T., Burton, A. C. (2020), Boreal predator co-occurrences reveal shared use of seismic lines in a working landscape. Ecology and Evolution
The data consists of mammal detection data collected from 60 camera trap stations on the east side of the Athabasca River, southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Between November 2015 - April 2018, we recorded detections for wolves (Canis lupus), black bears (Ursus americanus), coyotes (Canis latrans), Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), moose (Alces alces), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus). We formatted these data as species detections at each station, as well as species occurrences at the weekly and daily temporal scale. We also used snow presence data from the camera traps, habitat data from the Alberta Vegetation (Alberta Vegetation Interpretation Standards, 2005), and anthropogenic feature data from Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (abmi.ca). Tattersall et al. (2020) used these data to test hypotheses of species interactions while accounting for effects of snow, habitat, and anthropogenic disturbance.
Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund, Award: 19-ERPC-04
Innotech Alberta, Award: NXC-107980
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF, administered by
Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada), oil sands operators,
University of British Columbia, the Northern Scientific Training Program