The impact of human disturbance on temporal partitioning within carnivore communities

Sévêque, A., Gentle, L.K. ORCID: 0000-0003-4864-5775, Vicente Lopez Bao, J., Yarnell, R.W. ORCID: 0000-0001-6584-7374 and Uzal, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-6478-1895, 2021. The impact of human disturbance on temporal partitioning within carnivore communities. Mammal Review. ISSN 0305-1838

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1. Interspecific competition is an important evolutionary force, influencing interactions between species and shaping the composition of communities. In mammalian carnivores, to reduce the risks of negative encounters between competitors, species can employ a strategy of temporal partitioning, adapting activity patterns to limit synchronous activity. This strategy of non-human competitor avoidance, however, may be influenced by the expansion of human activities, which has driven wildlife towards nocturnality.

2. Therefore, it could be hypothesised that the disruption of temporal niche partitioning by humans and their activities could increase temporal overlap between carnivores, enhancing interspecific competition.

3. We reviewed the published literature systematically, and employed generalized linear models to quantitatively evaluate the relative influence of a range of human, meteorological and ecological variables on the coefficients of temporal overlap within carnivore communities on a global scale.

4. None of the models investigated showed evidence of an impact of humans on temporal partitioning between carnivores on a global scale. This illustrates that temporal avoidance of humans and competitors does not always follow a consistent pattern, and that its strength may be context-dependent and relative to other dimensions of niche partitioning (spatial and trophic).

5. Similarly, the regulation of activity patterns may be under strong site-specificity, and be influenced by a combination of biotic and abiotic characteristics. Temporal avoidance of both humans and competitors may be regulated by short, reactive responses that do not impact activity patterns in the longer term.

6. Although we did not detect a global disruption of temporal partitioning due to human disturbance, carnivore communities may still experience an increase in interspecific competition in other niche dimensions. Further research would benefit from using controlled experimental designs and investigating multiple dimensions of niche partitioning simultaneously. Finally, we recommend complementing the coefficient of temporal overlap with other metrics of fine-scale spatiotemporal interactions.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Mammal Review
Creators: Sévêque, A., Gentle, L.K., Vicente Lopez Bao, J., Yarnell, R.W. and Uzal, A.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 13 July 2021
ISSN: 0305-1838
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Mammal Review published by Mammal Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Jun 2021 13:10
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 13:44

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