Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (90 KB)

Title: Missing lynx and trophic cascades in food webs: A reply to Ripple et al.

Author: Squires, John R.; DeCesare, Nicholas J.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Berger, Joel;

Date: 2012

Source: Wildlife Society Bulletin. 36(3): 567-571.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Ripple et al. (2011) proposed a hypothesis that the recovery of gray wolves (Canis lupus) may positively affect the viability of threatened Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) populations in the contiguous United States through indirect species interactions. Ripple et al. (2011) proposed 2 key trophic linkages connecting wolf restoration with lynx recovery. First, recovering wolf populations may benefit lynx through reduced interference and exploitative competition with coyotes (C. latrans). Second, recovering wolf populations may benefit lynx through reduced exploitative competition among ungulates and snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), the primary prey of lynx. Both proposed linkages have weak or contradictory empirical support in the available literature on lynx-hare ecology, casting doubt on the utility of Ripple et al.'s (2011) hypothesis. Debate over Ripple et al.'s (2011) hypothesis demonstrates the importance of experimental or comparative documentation when proposing trophic cascades in complex food webs. In this case, publishing unsupported opinions as hypotheses that concern complex trophic interactions is a potential disservice to lynx conservation through misallocated research, conservation funding, and misplaced public perception.

Keywords: Canada lynx, coyote, elk, gray wolf, scientific evidence, snowshoe hare, trophic cascade, Yellowstone National Park

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Squires, John R.; DeCesare, Nicholas J.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Berger, Joel. 2012. Missing lynx and trophic cascades in food webs: A reply to Ripple et al. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 36(3): 567-571.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.