TYPES OF ECOLOGICAL CASCADES
Our lab investigates all types of cascades.
We want to understand how natural and disturbed food webs are structured and regulated.
We ask 'who are the keystone species for maintaining high diversity in this forest?'
and 'What is the underlying reason forests differ their keystone species guilds?'
Our approach is to collect wildlife data in a range of Southeast Asian forests and quantify food web interactions under different scenarios.
TOP-DOWN 'TROPHIC CASCADE'
Predator loss in small forests or in poached forests releases prey populations. This leads to higher herbivory on plants.
NATURAL ECOLOGICAL CONTROLS
Healthy ecosystems have a balance of top-down and bottom-up process to maintain species populations in a dynamic equilibrium.
TOP-DOWN DEFAUNATION CASCADE
Severe hunting (a human top-down predation effect) can eliminate all large mammals. This frees up resources for smaller animals like rodents to increase. Hunting can have less severe impacts on species reproduce fast like pigs, leading to a dominance switch from deer to pigs through apparent competition.
BOTTOM-UP SUBSIDY CASCADE
Extra food during mast fruiting years enables herbivores to successfully reproduce. In the next time-step, predators may benefit from this additional prey and also increase.
Below - resource subsidies can also be provided to mobile species if they temporarily forage in adjacent ecosystem