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Reintroduction of large predators in nature areas

Kavelaars, M.M. (2011) Reintroduction of large predators in nature areas. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

The extirpation of predators in an ecosystem can result in overabundant herbivore popula-tions with cascading consequences on plant communities. Reintroducing predators could be a way to restore the natural ecosystem. The introduction of predators leads to a trophic cascade interfering in all levels. Lethal (density-mediated) and non-lethal (behaviourally-mediated) effects cause a decline in herbivore numbers, which in its turn has different influ-ences on the vegetation depending on several conditions. The aim of this thesis is to explore under which conditions the introduction of predators into nature areas can have a positive effect on the heterogeneity in vegetation structures and a case study will be carried out to investigate what might happen if a predator was introduced in nature reserve the Oost-vaardersplassen (the Netherlands). To increase heterogeneity in vegetation, high grazing pressure should be reduced by the removal of herbivores, which can be caused either by the lethal or non-lethal effects by the introduction of predators. Area size, heterogeneity prior to the introduction, predator and herbivore characteristics and abiotic conditions all influence the outcome of the cascading effects and the transformation into a heterogeneous vegeta-tion.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:45
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:45
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/9640

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