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Title: Roles for the Canidae in food webs reviewed: Where do they fit?
Contributor(s): Fleming, Peter  (author); Nolan, Huw (author); Jackson, Stephen M. (author); Ballard, Guy  (author); Bengsen, Andrew (author); Brown, Wendy  (author)orcid ; Meek, Paul  (author); Mifsud, Gregory (author); Pal, Sunil K. (author); Sparkes, Jessica (author)
Publication Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.fooweb.2017.03.001Open Access Link
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Abstract: The roles of the 37 species in the family Canidae (the dog family), are of great current interest. The Gray Wolf is the largest canid and their roles in food webs are much researched, as are those of Domestic Dogs, Coyotes and Red Foxes. Much less is known about the other canid species and their ecological roles. Here we describe general food web theory and the potential application of network theory to it; summarise the possible roles of predators in food webs; document the occurrence, diet and presumed functions that canids play in food webs throughout the world; give case studies of four threatened canid species of top, middle and basal trophic positions and six anthropogenically affected species; and identify knowledge limitations and propose research frameworks necessary to establish the roles of canids in food webs. Canids can be top-down drivers of systems or responsive to the availability of resources including suitable prey. They can be affected anthropogenically by habitat change, lethal control and changes to basic resource availability. They can be sustainable yield harvesters of their indigenous prey or passengers in complex ecosystems, and some are prey of larger canids and of other predators. Nevertheless, the roles of most canids are generally poorly studied and described, and some, e.g. Gray Wolves, Coyotes and Australian dingoes, are controversial. We advocate mensurative and experimental research into communities and ecosystems containing canids for a quantitative understanding of their roles in food webs and consequent development of better management strategies for ecosystems.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Food Webs, v.12, p. 14-34
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 2352-2496
Field of Research (FOR): 070203 Animal Management
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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