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Interactions between animals
Explore more in Wildlife:

Predation and competition are perhaps the two most important processes in structuring wildlife communities.  Early studies of these processes focused on estimating how these interactions between animals affected their population dynamics.

Predation and competition are perhaps the two most important processes in structuring wildlife communities.  Early studies of these processes focused on estimating how these interactions between animals affected their population dynamics.

Explore more in Wildlife:

With regard to predation, there is ample evidence from past research to suggest predators can suppress populations of the species they prey upon.  For the competition, it is generally accepted that competition within a species is a far more important factor than competition between species in terms of population dynamics.

Our current research studying the effects of predation and competition can be broken into two general areas, direct versus indirect influences.

Our work with direct influences includes topics such as:

  • The conditions under which prey species are likely to be suppressed by predators
  • Impacts of novel, or non-native, species on population dynamics of native wildlife
  • Competition between predators and obligate scavengers, including insects, with regard to carrion detection and consumption

We also study the indirect effects of interactions between animals. While the indirect effects of competition have been studied for decades, the indirect effects of predation have been less explored until recently. Much of that work, including that conducted at the Jones Center, suggests that the indirect effects of predation may have greater impacts on prey population dynamics than the direct killing of prey by predators.

Much of our current research involves the study of indirect effect of predators on their prey and includes topics such as:

  • How different types of predators influence prey foraging behavior 
  • How predator species composition and abundance affects prey habitat selection and activity patterns
Ichauway Plantation,  Jones Research Center, Newton, Georgia, (229) 734.4706
radio tracking at Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway Plantation
Ichauway Plantation,  Jones Research Center, Newton, Georgia, (229) 734.4706

With regard to predation, there is ample evidence from past research to suggest predators can suppress populations of the species they prey upon.  For the competition, it is generally accepted that competition within a species is a far more important factor than competition between species in terms of population dynamics.

Our current research studying the effects of predation and competition can be broken into two general areas, direct versus indirect influences.

radio tracking at Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway Plantation

Our work with direct influences includes topics such as:

  • The conditions under which prey species are likely to be suppressed by predators
  • Impacts of novel, or non-native, species on population dynamics of native wildlife
  • Competition between predators and obligate scavengers, including insects, with regard to carrion detection and consumption

We also study the indirect effects of interactions between animals. While the indirect effects of competition have been studied for decades, the indirect effects of predation have been less explored until recently. Much of that work, including that conducted at the Jones Center, suggests that the indirect effects of predation may have greater impacts on prey population dynamics than the direct killing of prey by predators.

Much of our current research involves the study of indirect effect of predators on their prey and includes topics such as:

  • How different types of predators influence prey foraging behavior 
  • How predator species composition and abundance affects prey habitat selection and activity patterns
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Emerging out of this complexity are functions and process,such as carbon sequestration and water regulation whict benefit people.

These tangible benefits, often termed ecosystem services,

give forests measurable value to people aside from the economic value of the timber.

This research theme centers on understanding and quantifying these values as they relate to longleaf pine woodlands, and identifying vulnerabilities of these ecosystems to climate variations, disturbances, and changes in management.

Ichauway Plantation, May 2014, Jones Research Center, Baker County, Georgia, 229.734.4706

This theme builds on several interconnected long-term data sets at the Center, including measurements of

forest productivity and biodiversity
forest water use
research on carbon cycling

Numerous other studies have examined diverse topics ranging from tree defenses against bark beetle attack to the effects of nitrogen fertilization on plant diversity. Studies in this theme currently focus on the effects of fire suppression on forest resilience and ecosystem services, and the effects of Hurricane Michael on ecosystem function.

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Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Key Publications

CherryMJ., R. J. Warren, and LMConner. 2016. Fear, fire, and behaviorally mediated trophic cascades in a frequently burned savanna. Forest Ecology and Management 368:133-139.

ConnerLM., JCRutledge, and LLSmith. 2010. Effects of mesopredators on nest survival of shrub-nesting songbirds. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:73-80.

ConnerLM., and GMorris. 2015. Impacts of mesopredator control on conservation of mesopredators and their prey. PLoS ONE 10(9):e0137169. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137169. pdf

DziadzioM. C., R. D. Chandler, LLSmith, and S. B. Castleberry. 2016. Impacts of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on nestling and hatchling gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in southwest Georgia USA. Herpetological Conservation & Biology 11:527-538.

HowzeBM., LMConner, R. J. Warren, and K. V. Miller. 2009. Predator removal and white-tailed deer recruitment in southwestern Georgia. Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 63:17-20.

MorrisG., J. A. Hostetler, LMConner, and M. K. Oli. 2011. Effects of prescribed fire, supplemental feeding, and mammalian predator exclusion on hispid cotton rat populations. Oecologia 167:1005-1016.

MorrisG., LMConner, and M. K. Oli. 2011. Effects of mammalian predator exclusion and supplemental feeding on space use by hispid cotton rats. Journal of Mammalogy 92:583-589.

SmithLL., DASteenLMConner, and JC. Rutledge.  2013. Effects of predator exclusion on nest and hatchling survival in the gopher tortoise. Journal of Wildlife Management 77:352-358.

CherryMJ., R. J. Warren, and LMConner. 2016. Fear, fire, and behaviorally mediated trophic cascades in a frequently burned savanna. Forest Ecology and Management 368:133-139.

ConnerLM., JCRutledge, and LLSmith. 2010. Effects of mesopredators on nest survival of shrub-nesting songbirds. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:73-80.

ConnerLM., and GMorris. 2015. Impacts of mesopredator control on conservation of mesopredators and their prey. PLoS ONE 10(9):e0137169. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137169. pdf

DziadzioM. C., R. D. Chandler, LLSmith, and S. B. Castleberry. 2016. Impacts of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on nestling and hatchling gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in southwest Georgia USA. Herpetological Conservation & Biology 11:527-538.

HowzeBM., LMConner, R. J. Warren, and K. V. Miller. 2009. Predator removal and white-tailed deer recruitment in southwestern Georgia. Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 63:17-20.

MorrisG., J. A. Hostetler, LMConner, and M. K. Oli. 2011. Effects of prescribed fire, supplemental feeding, and mammalian predator exclusion on hispid cotton rat populations. Oecologia 167:1005-1016.

MorrisG., LMConner, and M. K. Oli. 2011. Effects of mammalian predator exclusion and supplemental feeding on space use by hispid cotton rats. Journal of Mammalogy 92:583-589.

SmithLL., DASteenLMConner, and JC. Rutledge.  2013. Effects of predator exclusion on nest and hatchling survival in the gopher tortoise. Journal of Wildlife Management 77:352-358.

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