Integrating Competition and Predation: Conservation Implications of Multispecies Interactions at the Landscape ScaleEPA Grant Number: U915344
Title: Integrating Competition and Predation: Conservation Implications of Multispecies Interactions at the Landscape Scale
Investigators: Katzner, Todd E.
Institution: Arizona State University - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Jones, Brandon
Project Period: August 24, 1998 through January 1, 2001
Project Amount: $94,326
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology and Ecosystems
The overall objectives of this research project are to: (1) determine and develop an understanding of the driving forces behind community structure in a unique mixed-species assemblage of top predator; and (2) apply this ecological theory towards conservation. This research project will investigate these processes in a unique community of four generalist eagle species at the Naurzum Zapovednik, a protected nature reserve in north-central Kazakstan. The specific objectives of this research project are to: (1) determine the interactions that drive predator community structure; and (2) determine how these interactions are influenced by human-induced landscape changes.
The system is well suited to this investigation because the eagle community and their interactions across multiple trophic levels can be easily monitored in this landscape. Landsat satellite images and digital elevation models of the vegetative and landform components of the Zapovednik will be incorporated into geographic information system maps. Data collection will include monitoring of eagle and prey demographic trends, relating eagle habitat and diet to prey population densities, and identification of the role that each eagle plays in impacting higher order trends. All data collected will be spatially referenced with a global positioning satellite receiver for the creation of organism-driven map overlays to identify correlations between landscape features, human interference, and animal behavior. Lastly, I will integrate these data and use models to further explore the relative strength of the relevant ecological processes and their interaction with individual behavior, population dynamics, and community structure in this heavily altered environment.
In addition to the investigation of a topical question in community ecology, this research project has direct conservation implications because it will allow the formulation of specific management recommendations based on ecological theory.