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Data from: Estimating effects of species interactions on populations of endangered species

Cite this dataset

Roth, Tobias; Bühler, Christoph; Amhein, Valentin (2015). Data from: Estimating effects of species interactions on populations of endangered species [Dataset]. Dryad.


Global change causes community composition to change considerably through time, with ever-new combinations of interacting species. To study the consequences of newly established species interactions, one available source of data could be observational surveys from biodiversity monitoring. However, approaches using observational data would need to account for niche differences between species and for imperfect detection of individuals. To estimate population sizes of interacting species, we extended N-mixture models that were developed to estimate true population sizes in single species. Simulations revealed that our model is able to disentangle direct effects of dominant on subordinate species from indirect effects of dominant species on detection probability of subordinate species. For illustration, we applied our model to data from a Swiss amphibian monitoring program and showed that sizes of expanding water frog populations were negatively related to population sizes of endangered yellow-bellied toads and common midwife toads and partly of natterjack toads. Unlike other studies that analyzed presence and absence of species, our model suggests that the spread of water frogs in Central Europe is one of the reasons for the decline of endangered toad species. Thus, studying population impacts of dominant species on population sizes of endangered species using data from biodiversity monitoring programs should help to inform conservation policy and to decide whether competing species should be subject to population management.

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