Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Abiotic conditions mediate intraguild interactions between mammalian carnivores

Citation

Jensen, Paul G.; Humphries, Murray M. (2019), Data from: Abiotic conditions mediate intraguild interactions between mammalian carnivores, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5mh2450

Abstract

1. Intraguild (IG) interactions are common among mammalian carnivores, can include intraguild predation (IGP) and interspecific killing (IK), and are often asymmetrical, where a larger more dominant species (IGpredator) kills a smaller one (IGprey). According to ecological theory, the potential for a IGpredator and IGprey to coexist depends on whether the direct consumptive benefits for the IGpredator are substantial (IGP) or insignificant (IK), the extent to which the IGprey is the superior exploitative competitor on shared prey resources, and overall ecosystem productivity. 2. We used resource selection models and spatially-explicit age and harvest data for two closely related mesopredators that engage in IG interactions, American martens (Martes americana; IGprey) and fishers (Pekania pennanti; IGpredator), to identify drivers of distributions, delineate areas of sympatry and allopatry, and explore the role of an apex predator (coyote; Canis latrans) on these interactions. 3. Model selection revealed that fisher use of this landscape was strongly influenced by late winter abiotic conditions, but other bottom-up (forest composition) and top-down (coyote abundance) factors also influenced their distribution. Overall, fisher probability of use was higher where late winter temperatures were warmer, snowpack was deeper, and measures of productivity were greater. Martens were constrained to areas of the landscape where the probability of fisher use, coyote abundance, and productivity were low and selected for forest conditions that presumably maximized prey availability. Marten age data indicated an increased proportion of juveniles outside of the predicted area of sympatry, suggesting that few animals survived >1.5 years in this area that supported higher densities of fishers. 4. Consistent with asymmetrical IG interaction theory, the IGpredator (fishers and, to a lesser degree, coyotes) competitively excluded the IGprey (martens) from highly productive, milder temperature habitats, whereas IGpredators and IGprey coexisted in low productivity environments, where a combination of abiotic and biotic conditions enabled the IGprey to be the superior exploitative competitor.

Usage Notes

Location

Vermont
New York
USA
Northern New York State
Adirondack Park
Maine
New Hampshire
Northern New York State (U.S.)
Tug Hill
Northeastern U.S.