EFFECTS OF SEASONALLY VARYING DIET QUALITY ON COLLARED PECCARY POPULATION-DYNAMICS - A SIMULATION STUDY
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A model representing the effects of varying dietary crude protein (CP) levels on growth, survival, and reproductive success of collared peccaries is described, validated, and used to simulate population responses to selected environmental conditions. Behavior of the model on both individual and population levels is compared to available field data. At the individual level, predictions of body weight dynamics for juveniles and adults on varying CP diets compare favorably with similar data collected from captive animals. However, simulated individuals lose weight too rapidly when dietary CP remains at extremely low levels for extended periods of time. At the population level, predictions of herd size, herd structure (age-class distribution, sex ratio), seasonality of reproduction, and probability of survival exhibit trends generally similar to those observed among wild peccaries. Simulation of selected environmental conditions typical of south Texas, including a 12-month drought, and an 18-month wet period, suggests that changes in dietary CP can have a significant effect on population dynamics. Changes in juvenile survival rates are the most important factor influencing population responses to fluctuating nutritional conditions. The model relates variability in population recruitment to fluctuations in environmental conditions through the effect of diet quality on survival and reproductive performance of individuals. This approach to population modelling does not place the arbitrary density-dependent constraints on population dynamics that characterize many traditional population models. Rather, density-dependent population responses emerge as the result of ecological constraints on individuals. 1991.
author list (cited authors)
WILBER, J. P., HANNON, P. G., & GRANT, W. E.
complete list of authors
WILBER, JP||HANNON, PG||GRANT, WE