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Data from: Disentangling demographic co-effects of predation and pollution on population dynamics


Reyes, Claudio A.; Ramos-Jiliberto, Rodrigo; Arim, Matias; Lima, Mauricio (2018), Data from: Disentangling demographic co-effects of predation and pollution on population dynamics, Dryad, Dataset,


In nature species react to a variety of endogenous and exogenous ecological factors. Understanding the mechanisms by which these factors interact and drive population dynamics is a need for understanding and managing ecosystems. In this study we assess, using laboratory experiments, the effects that the combinations of two exogenous factors exert on the endogenous structure of the population dynamics of a size-structured population of Daphnia. One exogenous factor was size-selective predation, which was applied on experimental populations through simulating: (a) selective predation on small prey, (b) selective predation on large prey and (c) non-selective predation. The second exogenous factor was pesticide exposure, applied experimentally in a quasi-continuous regime. Our analysis combined theoretical models and statistical testing of experimental data for analyzing how the density dependence structure of the population dynamics was shifted by the different exogenous factors. Our results showed that pesticide exposure interacted with the mode of predation in determining the endogenous dynamics. Populations exposed to the pesticide and to either selective predation on newborns or selective predation on adults exhibited marked nonlinear effects of pesticide exposure. However, the specific mechanisms behind such nonlinear effects were dependent on the mode of size-selectivity. In populations under non-selective predation the pesticide exposure exerted a weak lateral effect. The ways in which endogenous process and exogenous factors may interact determine population dynamics. Increases in equilibrium density results in higher variance of population fluctuations but do not modify the stability properties of the system, while changes in the maximum growth rate induce changes in the dynamic regimes and stability properties of the population. Future consideration for research includes the consequences of the seasonal variation in the composition and activity of the predator assembly in interaction with the seasonal variation in exposure to agrochemicals on freshwater population dynamics.

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