Section: Ecology
Topic: Ecology, Biology of interactions
Conference: Euring 2023

Assessing species interactions using integrated predator-prey models

10.24072/pcjournal.337 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article no. e105.

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Inferring the strength of species interactions from demographic data is a challenging task. The Integrated Population Modelling (IPM) approach, bringing together population counts, capture-recapture, and individual-level fecundity data into a unified model framework, has been extended from single species to the community level. This allows to specify IPMs for multiple species with interactions specified as links between vital rates and stage-specific densities. However, there is no evaluation of such models when interactions are actually absent---while any interaction inference method runs the risk of producing false positives. We investigate here whether multispecies IPMs could output interactions where there are in fact none, building on an existing predator-prey IPM. We show that interspecific density-dependence estimates are centered on zero when simulated to be zero, and therefore their estimation is unbiased. Their coverage probability, quantifying how many times credible intervals include zero, is also satisfactory. We further confirm that adding random temporal variation to multispecies density-dependent link functions does not alter these results. This study therefore reaffirms the potential of multispecies IPMs to infer correctly how biotic interactions influence demography, although future studies should investigate model misspecifications.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.337
Type: Research article
Keywords: Integrated Population Model; data assimilation; species interactions; predation; density-dependence

Paquet, Matthieu 1; Barraquand, Frédéric 1

1 Institute of Mathematics of Bordeaux, University of Bordeaux, CNRS, Bordeaux INP, Talence, France
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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Paquet, Matthieu; Barraquand, Frédéric. Assessing species interactions using integrated predator-prey models. Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article  no. e105. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.337.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.ecology.100522

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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