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Caching Behavior of Large Prey by Eurasian Lynx: Quantifying the Anti-Scavenging Benefits
Article

Lack of Cascading Effects of Eurasian Lynx Predation on Roe Deer to Soil and Plant Nutrients

1
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, PO Box 5685 Torgarden, NO-7485 Trondheim, Norway
2
Department of Nature, Environment and Health, Queen Maud University College for Early Childhood Education, Thrond Nergaards veg 7, 7044 Trondheim, Norway
3
Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Postboks 400, 2418 Elverum, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Saghaugen gård, Skjomdalveien-Bogholm 21, 8523 Skjomen, Norway.
Diversity 2020, 12(9), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12090352
Received: 13 August 2020 / Revised: 8 September 2020 / Accepted: 11 September 2020 / Published: 14 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology of Predation and Scavenging and the Interface)
This study examines the extent to which above-ground trophic processes such as large carnivore predation on wild ungulates can cause cascading effects through the provision of carrion resources to below-ground ecosystem processes in the boreal forest of southeastern Norway. We measured the levels of 10 parameters in soil samples and 7 parameters in vegetation (wavy hair-grass, Avenella flexuosa, and bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus) at 0, 0.5 and 2 m distance from 18 roe deer (Capreolus caprelous) carcasses killed by Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). We then compared these values to two control sites 20 m away from each carcass. Sampling was conducted 20–29 months after death. Neither soil nor vegetation samples showed a clear gradient in parameters (CN, NH4+, NO3, P, PO4, Ca, K, Mg and Na) from the center of a carcass towards the periphery. Similarly, there was no difference in the effect on soil and vegetation between winter- and summer-killed carcasses. Our results contrast with that of other studies that simulate the effect of predation with whole carcasses and which often exclude scavengers through fencing. The lack of detectable effects after about two years is likely due to the small size of roe deer carcasses and the fact that most tissues are consumed by the predator and scavengers before decomposition. View Full-Text
Keywords: Capreolus capreolus; carrion; decomposition; Lynx lynx; nitrogen; nutrient recycling; trophic cascade Capreolus capreolus; carrion; decomposition; Lynx lynx; nitrogen; nutrient recycling; trophic cascade
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MDPI and ACS Style

Teurlings, I.J.M.; Melis, C.; Skarpe, C.; Linnell, J.D.C. Lack of Cascading Effects of Eurasian Lynx Predation on Roe Deer to Soil and Plant Nutrients. Diversity 2020, 12, 352. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12090352

AMA Style

Teurlings IJM, Melis C, Skarpe C, Linnell JDC. Lack of Cascading Effects of Eurasian Lynx Predation on Roe Deer to Soil and Plant Nutrients. Diversity. 2020; 12(9):352. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12090352

Chicago/Turabian Style

Teurlings, Ivonne J.M., Claudia Melis, Christina Skarpe, and John D.C. Linnell. 2020. "Lack of Cascading Effects of Eurasian Lynx Predation on Roe Deer to Soil and Plant Nutrients" Diversity 12, no. 9: 352. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12090352

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