CIE Spotlight: Multiple threats, or multiplying the threats? Interactions between invasive predators and other ecological disturbances

Euan R. and Dale N.
Euan R. and Dale N.

Title: Multiple threats, or multiplying the threats? Interactions between invasive predators and other ecological disturbances

Authors: Tim S. Doherty, Chris R. Dickman, Dale G. Nimmo, Euan G. Ritchie

Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 190, October 2015, Pages 60–68

Brief summary of the paper: Invasive species have reshaped the composition of biomes across the globe, and considerable cost is now associated with minimising their ecological, social and economic impacts. Mammalian predators are among the most damaging invaders, having caused numerous species extinctions.

Here, we review evidence of interactions between invasive predators and six key threats that together have strong potential to influence both the impacts of the predators, and their management. We show that impacts of invasive predators can be classified as either functional or numerical, and that they interact with other threats through both habitat- and community-mediated pathways.

Ecosystem context and invasive predator identity are central in shaping variability in these relationships and their outcomes. Greater recognition of the ecological complexities between major processes that threaten biodiversity, including changing spatial and temporal relationships among species, is required to both advance ecological theory and improve conservation actions and outcomes.

We discuss how novel approaches to conservation management can be used to address interactions between threatening processes and ameliorate invasive predator impacts.