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Journal of Applied Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 51 Issue 3

June 2014

Volume 51, Issue 3

Pages 555–834

  1. Practitioner's Perspective

    1. Top of page
    2. Practitioner's Perspective
    3. Freshwater management and resources
    4. Fisheries
    5. Forest sustainablility and management
    6. Landscape connectivity and protected areas
    7. Risks to wildlife
    8. Conservation planning and biodiversity
    9. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      Letting giants be – rethinking active fire management of old-growth eucalypt forest in the Australian tropics (pages 555–559)

      David Y. P. Tng, Steve Goosem, Greg J. Jordan and David M. J. S. Bowman

      Version of Record online: 24 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12233

  2. Freshwater management and resources

    1. Top of page
    2. Practitioner's Perspective
    3. Freshwater management and resources
    4. Fisheries
    5. Forest sustainablility and management
    6. Landscape connectivity and protected areas
    7. Risks to wildlife
    8. Conservation planning and biodiversity
    9. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      The relevance of ecological status to ecosystem functions and services in a large boreal lake (pages 560–571)

      Kimmo T. Tolonen, Heikki Hämäläinen, Anssi Lensu, Jarmo J. Meriläinen, Arja Palomäki and Juha Karjalainen

      Version of Record online: 14 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12245

      We observed that some ecosystem service supplies and taxon diversity increased with increasing ecological status of the lake. Therefore, our results suggest that ecological status estimates based on simple structural characters are relevant to the ultimate management goals of maintaining biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services and hence might suffice for extensive assessment and monitoring of lake ecosystems.

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      Understanding and predicting the combined effects of climate change and land-use change on freshwater macroinvertebrates and fish (pages 572–581)

      Chrystal S. Mantyka-Pringle, Tara G. Martin, David B. Moffatt, Simon Linke and Jonathan R. Rhodes

      Version of Record online: 24 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12236

      This is the first study to separate out the constituent drivers of impacts on biodiversity that result from climate change and land-use change. Mitigation requires management actions that reduce in-stream nutrients, slows terrestrial runoff and provides shade, to improve the resilience of biodiversity in streams. Encouragingly, the restoration of riparian habitats is identified as an important buffering tool that can mitigate the negative effects of climate change and land-use change.

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      An environmental oestrogen disrupts fish population dynamics through direct and transgenerational effects on survival and fecundity (pages 582–591)

      Adam R. Schwindt, Dana L. Winkelman, Kristen Keteles, Mark Murphy and Alan M. Vajda

      Version of Record online: 24 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12237

      Our results suggest that fish populations exposed to environmentally relevant 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) concentrations may not recover from exposure. Management of short-lived highly fecund fishes should be prioritized to protect fish from the embryo through gonadal differentiation. Reducing effluent will not be possible in many situations; hence, conservation of breeding and rearing habitat in unpolluted tributaries or reaches is needed. Additionally, resource managers could enhance habitat connectivity in rivers to facilitate immigration. Finally, investment in advanced wastewater processing technology should improve removal of bioactive chemicals such as EE2. Our results provide a baseline for regulatory agencies to consider when assessing the ecological effects of environmental oestrogens, and our approach to evaluating population-level effects could be widely applied to other contaminants.

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      Defining ecologically relevant water quality targets for lakes in Europe (pages 592–602)

      Sandra Poikane, Rob Portielje, Marcel van den Berg, Geoff Phillips, Sandra Brucet, Laurence Carvalho, Ute Mischke, Ingmar Ott, Hanna Soszka and Jeroen Van Wichelen

      Version of Record online: 11 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12228

      Our study provides class boundaries for determining the ecological status of lakes, which have robust ecological consequences for lake functioning and which, therefore, provide strong and objective targets for sustainable water management in Europe. The results have been endorsed by all participant member states and adopted in the European Commission legislation, marking the first attempt in international water policy to move from physico-chemical quality standards to harmonized ecologically based quality targets.

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      Trait diversity enhances yield in algal biofuel assemblages (pages 603–611)

      Jonathan B. Shurin, Shovon Mandal and Rachel L. Abbott

      Version of Record online: 25 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12242

      Our results identify trade-offs among functional traits that determine the suitability of different algal species as biofuel feedstocks and narrow the search for productive and robust species combinations to maximize bioenergy productivity. An approach based on the ecology of species traits will be more effective in optimizing yield in bioenergy communities than promoting high species diversity per se.

  3. Fisheries

    1. Top of page
    2. Practitioner's Perspective
    3. Freshwater management and resources
    4. Fisheries
    5. Forest sustainablility and management
    6. Landscape connectivity and protected areas
    7. Risks to wildlife
    8. Conservation planning and biodiversity
    9. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      Evaluating targets and trade-offs among fisheries and conservation objectives using a multispecies size spectrum model (pages 612–622)

      Julia L. Blanchard, Ken H. Andersen, Finlay Scott, Niels T. Hintzen, Gerjan Piet and Simon Jennings

      Version of Record online: 24 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12238

      Our model can be applied to evaluate indicator targets and trade-offs among fisheries and conservation objectives. There is a significant probability that reductions in fishing mortality below FMSY would be needed in Europe if managers make a binding commitment to a proposed large fish indicator target, with concomitant reductions in fisheries yield

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      Structural and functional trends indicate fishing pressure on marine fish assemblages (pages 623–631)

      Sofia Henriques, Miguel P. Pais, Rita P. Vasconcelos, Alberto Murta, Manuela Azevedo, Maria J. Costa and Henrique N. Cabral

      Version of Record online: 19 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12235

      A key goal of the applied approach was to provide short-term indicators that are sensitive to gradients of trawling intensity and can be extrapolated to a broader geographical region. The identification of thresholds of fishing pressure that fish assemblages can withstand before ecosystem functioning is altered is key for the development of indicators as warning mechanisms, as well as to assess performance measures for management. Understanding responses to other pressure sources (e.g. pollution, dredging) requires further research, and combining an integrative functional traits approach with a wider range of pressures may help make this achievable.

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      Why model assumptions matter for natural resource management: interactions between model structure and life histories in fishery models (pages 632–641)

      Eriko Hoshino, E.J. Milner-Gulland and Richard M. Hillary

      Version of Record online: 3 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12225

      We use models similar to those used in the actual management of three case study species to explore the effects of interacting uncertainties on the management advice. We show that the interactions between structural elements of the models lead to very different management advice, depending on the life history of the species concerned. For the long-lived toothfish, life-history and gear selectivity parameters interacted strongly. For the short-lived squid which is managed as two stocks, spatial fishing effort allocation, correlation of environmental drivers between stocks and differential stock productivity interacted, producing very poor economic performance if assumptions about stock structure are incorrect. The key message for model-based natural resource management is that it is vital to investigate the major uncertainties related to model structure, process and estimation errors simultaneously, because they interact to produce non-intuitive results.

  4. Forest sustainablility and management

    1. Top of page
    2. Practitioner's Perspective
    3. Freshwater management and resources
    4. Fisheries
    5. Forest sustainablility and management
    6. Landscape connectivity and protected areas
    7. Risks to wildlife
    8. Conservation planning and biodiversity
    9. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      FORUM: The tangled causes of population decline in two harvested plant species: a comment on Ticktin et al. (2012) (pages 642–647)

      Soumya Prasad, Meghna Krishnadas, Kim R. McConkey and Aparajita Datta

      Version of Record online: 15 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12170

      Developing an objective understanding of harvest consequences by incorporating earlier findings and considering uncertainties in results is critical for maintaining livelihoods and ecological processes linked to amla populations.

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      FORUM: Disentangling, again, the drivers of population decline for two harvested species: a response to Prasad et al. (2014) (pages 648–654)

      Tamara Ticktin, Rengaian Ganesan, Mallegowda Paramesha and Siddappa Setty

      Version of Record online: 15 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12249

      Prasad et al. (2014) confound the effects of time and treatment and therefore reach erroneous conclusions. This highlights the importance of careful analyses to disentangle the effects of multiple drivers of decline for species at risk.

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      Testing a silvicultural recommendation: Brazil nut responses 10 years after liana cutting (pages 655–663)

      Karen A. Kainer, Lúcia H.O. Wadt and Christina L. Staudhammer

      Version of Record online: 21 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12231

      We quantified effects of liana cutting on Brazil nut host tree fecundity and provided estimates of increased commercial yields. Our long-term (10-year) study permits understanding of biological variation and informs related management decisions. Findings suggest that liana cutting reduces above- and below-ground competition with individual trees, ultimately allowing mature host crowns to recover such that 9–10 years after liana cutting, treated trees produced on average three times more fruits than untreated trees. Application of liana cutting to other tropical species would likely boost fruit and seed production, increase host tree fecundity and potentially enhance future recruitment.

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      EDITOR'S CHOICE: Big-leaf mahogany Swietenia macrophylla population dynamics and implications for sustainable management (pages 664–674)

      James Grogan, R. Matthew Landis, Christopher M. Free, Mark D. Schulze, Marco Lentini and Mark S. Ashton

      Version of Record online: 4 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12210

      These results indicate that current harvest regulations in Brazil for mahogany and other high-value timber species with similar life histories will lead to commercial depletion after 2–3 cutting cycles. Increasing commercial-sized tree retention rates improved population recovery at the cost of reduced initial harvest volume yields. Sustainable harvests will require, in combination, a moderate increase in the retention rate, investment in artificial regeneration to boost population recovery, and implementation of silvicultural practices designed to increase growth rates by future crop trees.

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      Long-term fire history in northern Quebec: implications for the northern limit of commercial forests (pages 675–683)

      France Oris, Hugo Asselin, Walter Finsinger, Christelle Hély, Olivier Blarquez, Marie-Eve Ferland, Yves Bergeron and Adam A. Ali

      Version of Record online: 7 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12240

      We reconstructed the natural variability in fire activity over the last 7000 years near the current location of the northern limit of commercial forests in Quebec. Fire occurrences were more sensitive to climate change near to and north of the limit of commercial forestry. In the context of predicted increase in fire activity, the lower resilience of northern forests advocates against a northern repositioning of the limit of commercial forests.

  5. Landscape connectivity and protected areas

    1. Top of page
    2. Practitioner's Perspective
    3. Freshwater management and resources
    4. Fisheries
    5. Forest sustainablility and management
    6. Landscape connectivity and protected areas
    7. Risks to wildlife
    8. Conservation planning and biodiversity
    9. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      Large frugivorous birds facilitate functional connectivity of fragmented landscapes (pages 684–692)

      Thomas Mueller, Johanna Lenz, Tanja Caprano, Wolfgang Fiedler and Katrin Böhning-Gaese

      Version of Record online: 7 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12247

      We showed that large frugivorous birds can greatly improve functional connectivity for fleshy-fruited plants across broad scales, linking habitat patches in fragmented forest landscapes. Combining high-resolution movement and landscape data in graph networks allows identifying seed dispersal pathways and critical stepping stones in fragmented landscapes. This approach addresses the general challenge of spatially explicit mapping of ecosystem services and can be widely incorporated in reserve design and landscape-level conservation planning.

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      Simple individual-based models effectively represent Afrotropical forest bird movement in complex landscapes (pages 693–702)

      Job Aben, Diederik Strubbe, Frank Adriaensen, Stephen C. F. Palmer, Justin M. J. Travis, Luc Lens and Erik Matthysen

      Version of Record online: 10 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12224

      Modelling the dispersal process with greater biological realism is likely to be critical for improving our predictive capability regarding functional connectivity and population persistence. For more realistic models to be widely applied, it is vital that their application is not overly complicated or data demanding. Here, we show that given relatively basic understanding of a species' dispersal ecology, the stochastic movement simulator represents a promising tool for estimating connectivity, which can help improve the design of functional ecological networks aimed at successful species conservation.

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      Shifting protected areas: scheduling spatial priorities under climate change (pages 703–713)

      Diogo Alagador, Jorge Orestes Cerdeira and Miguel Bastos Araújo

      Version of Record online: 6 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12230

      Given that conservation budgets are typically small, conservation strategies involving the release of some underperforming areas might be required to achieve long-term persistence of species. This should be the case when climate change forces species to move out of current protected areas with other areas becoming important to meet conservation objectives. Implementing such dynamic prioritization approach would require a paradigm shift in conservation planning because conservation areas, once selected, are rarely released. Dynamic selection of areas also involves risks that should be considered in a case-by-case situation.

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      Efficiently targeting resources to deter illegal activities in protected areas (pages 714–725)

      Andrew J. Plumptre, Richard A. Fuller, Aggrey Rwetsiba, Fredrick Wanyama, Deo Kujirakwinja, Margaret Driciru, Grace Nangendo, James E. M. Watson and Hugh P. Possingham

      Version of Record online: 24 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12227

      Our results demonstrate a method that can be used to plan enforcement patrolling, resulting in more cost-efficient prevention of illegal activities in a way that is targeted at halting declines in species of conservation concern.

  6. Risks to wildlife

    1. Top of page
    2. Practitioner's Perspective
    3. Freshwater management and resources
    4. Fisheries
    5. Forest sustainablility and management
    6. Landscape connectivity and protected areas
    7. Risks to wildlife
    8. Conservation planning and biodiversity
    9. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      Optimal planning for mitigating the impacts of roads on wildlife (pages 726–734)

      Tal Polak, Jonathan R. Rhodes, Darryl Jones and Hugh P. Possingham

      Version of Record online: 1 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12243

      This is the first time that the problem of mitigating the effects of roads on wildlife was formulated mathematically and systematically using decision science. Our approach is adaptable to a diversity of species and systems affected by road mortality allowing flexibility for a range of mitigation actions and biological outcomes. Our method will allow managers and decision-makers to increase the efficiency of mitigation actions.

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      Effects of prey metapopulation structure on the viability of black-footed ferrets in plague-impacted landscapes: a metamodelling approach (pages 735–745)

      Kevin T. Shoemaker, Robert C. Lacy, Michelle L. Verant, Barry W. Brook, Travis M. Livieri, Philip S. Miller, Damien A. Fordham and H. Resit Akçakaya

      Version of Record online: 18 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12223

      On the basis of our models, we conclude that few North American prairie dog complexes cover sufficient land area to sustain black-footed ferret populations through plague-driven crashes in prey abundance. Consequently, our results underscore the importance of working with many constituents to conserve large prairie dog landscapes in addition to continued development of plague mitigation tools. In addition, the strong relationship between plague-induced oscillatory prey cycles and predator population persistence highlights the potential conservation benefits of imposing strategic barriers to connectivity in areas over which plague outbreak cycles are strongly synchronous.

  7. Conservation planning and biodiversity

    1. Top of page
    2. Practitioner's Perspective
    3. Freshwater management and resources
    4. Fisheries
    5. Forest sustainablility and management
    6. Landscape connectivity and protected areas
    7. Risks to wildlife
    8. Conservation planning and biodiversity
    9. Invasives
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      REVIEW: Land-use intensity and the effects of organic farming on biodiversity: a hierarchical meta-analysis (pages 746–755)

      Sean L. Tuck, Camilla Winqvist, Flávia Mota, Johan Ahnström, Lindsay A. Turnbull and Janne Bengtsson

      Version of Record online: 7 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12219

      Our analysis affirms that organic farming has large positive effects on biodiversity compared with conventional farming, but that the effect size varies with the organism group and crop studied, and is greater in landscapes with higher land-use intensity. Decisions about where to site organic farms to maximize biodiversity will, however, depend on the costs as well as the potential benefits. Current studies have been heavily biased towards agricultural systems in the developed world. We recommend that future studies pay greater attention to other regions, in particular, areas with tropical, subtropical and Mediterranean climates, in which very few studies have been conducted.

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      Long-term outcome of nitrogen immobilization to restore endemic sand grassland in Hungary (pages 756–765)

      Katalin Török, Katalin Szitár, Melinda Halassy, Rebeka Szabó, Tibor Szili-Kovács, Norbert Baráth and Mark W. Paschke

      Version of Record online: 25 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12220

      This study supports the efficacy of carbon amendment as a tool to immobilize available soil nitrogen in the upper soil layers. However, the desired impact on vegetation was not fully achieved despite application over several years. Nitrogen immobilization was most relevant to bryophytes, lacking deep root systems, which may explain the responsiveness of this group to N limitation. The different impact of N availability on the complex of early-seral, late-seral vascular species and that of the bryophyte layer provides opportunity for directing state transformations in arid grasslands. Bryophyte cover can be suppressed through carbon amendments in order to enhance the germination and establishment of grassland species. The advantage of the method is that it opens bryophyte cover gradually without disturbing the soil surface, possibly avoiding the establishment of invasive species. However, further studies are required for deeper insight.

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      Monitoring abundance and phenology in (multivoltine) butterfly species: a novel mixture model (pages 766–775)

      Eleni Matechou, Emily B. Dennis, Stephen N. Freeman and Tom Brereton

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12208

      Our proposed ‘stopover’ model is parameterized with biologically informative constituents: times of emergence, survival rate and relative brood sizes. Estimates of absolute or relative abundance that can be obtained alongside these underlying variables are robust to the presence of missing observations and can be compared in a statistically rigorous framework. These estimates are direct indices of abundance, rather than ‘sightings’, implicitly adjusted for the possible presence of repeat sightings during a season. At the same time, they provide indices of change in demographic and phenological parameters that may be of use in identifying the factors underlying population change. The model is widely applicable and this will increase the utility of already valuable and influential long-standing surveys in monitoring the effects of environmental change on phenology or abundance.

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      A test of the umbrella species approach in restored floodplain ponds (pages 776–785)

      Margaret A. Branton and John S. Richardson

      Version of Record online: 1 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12248

      We found that where our umbrella species coho is most productive, so are other listed species and fish in general, a relationship that would not have been evident had evaluated species richness alone. We also reported strong relationships between some environmental features manipulated in the habitat restoration and the presence and productivity of coho and co-occurring species. Our study demonstrates the umbrella species approach has potential to guide habitat restoration when there is congruence in the response of umbrella and co-occurring species to environmental attributes that can be manipulated in the restoration. Where this is possible, one can use restoration designed for one or several umbrella species and successfully restore habitats that are viable for other species, including listed species.

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      Raptors as surrogates of biodiversity along a landscape gradient (pages 786–794)

      Daniel Burgas, Patrik Byholm and Tiina Parkkima

      Version of Record online: 10 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12229

      These findings suggest that the surrogate species concept applied to raptors may be an efficient addition to methods for identifying areas of conservation priority, even across vegetation zones. We conclude that protecting areas around raptor nests is a method to consider in order to halt forest biodiversity loss. Finally, sampling biodiversity along diversity and landscape gradients can improve the necessary assessment of surrogate species.

  8. Invasives

    1. Top of page
    2. Practitioner's Perspective
    3. Freshwater management and resources
    4. Fisheries
    5. Forest sustainablility and management
    6. Landscape connectivity and protected areas
    7. Risks to wildlife
    8. Conservation planning and biodiversity
    9. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      Artificial water points facilitate the spread of an invasive vertebrate in arid Australia (pages 795–803)

      Mike Letnic, Jonathan K. Webb, Tim S. Jessop, Daniel Florance and Tim Dempster

      Version of Record online: 21 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12232

      Artificial water points can facilitate biological invasions in arid regions by providing a resource subsidy for water-dependent invasive species. Our study suggests that there is scope to control populations of water-dependent invasive vertebrates in arid regions by restricting their access to artificial water points.

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      Prevent, search or destroy? A partially observable model for invasive species management (pages 804–813)

      Tracy M. Rout, Joslin L. Moore and Michael A. McCarthy

      Version of Record online: 19 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12234

      Our analysis shows that the cost of reducing uncertainty through surveillance is not always accompanied by an improvement in management outcomes. By carefully analysing the benefits of surveillance prior to implementation of invasive species management strategies, managers can avoid wasting resources and improve management outcomes.

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      Bottom-up effects on top-down regulation of a floating aquatic plant by two weevil species: the context-specific nature of biological control (pages 814–824)

      Ted D. Center, F. Allen Dray Jr., Elizabeth D. Mattison, Philip W. Tipping and Min B. Rayamajhi

      Version of Record online: 3 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12213

      Bottom-up and top-down forces acting in concert affect invasibility of plant species. Plasticity to resource availability enables invaders to persist in conditions that are unfavourable to herbivores (enemy-free space). Consequently, biological control efficacy is nuanced and context specific, so predictability requires assessment of multiple parameters across a range of conditions. Overly simplistic evaluations risk rejection of effective agents capable of mediating non-native plant invasions. These results also argue that biological control practitioners should disregard the concept that a single best agent can be identified to control an invasive plant that exploits a broad range of habitats and environmental conditions.

      Aquaphyte invasions often coincide with watershed nutrification so unless weed control is carried out concurrently with measures that reduce nutrient inputs, removal of infestations will merely reduce competition thereby accelerating regrowth or facilitating replacement by other undesirable species (the ‘invasive treadmill’). The suppressive effects of biological control are valuable and complimentary, even when replacement by other, presumably less problematic, species may occur. These subtler effects should be considered with protocols developed for integrated control strategies.

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      Density dependence, precipitation and biological control agent herbivory influence landscape-scale dynamics of the invasive Eurasian plant Linaria dalmatica (pages 825–834)

      Aaron S. Weed and Mark Schwarzländer

      Version of Record online: 6 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12226

      Our results indicate that biological control is an important factor affecting weed population growth at the landscape scale, but they also suggest that biological control impact may vary considerably on local infestations due to site-specific variation in rainfall and density-dependent processes. We recommend that invasive plant management strategies integrate precipitation and biological control agent monitoring into their programmes to estimate expected biological control efficacy. Alternative control methods should be prioritized in areas where herbivore impact is expected to be low.

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