Justin P. Suraci's research while affiliated with University of California, Santa Cruz and other places

Publications (38)

Article
Predation risk, the probability that a prey animal will be killed by a predator, is fundamental to theoretical and applied ecology. Predation risk varies with animal behavior and environmental conditions, yet attempts to understand predation risk in natural systems often ignore important ecological and environmental complexities, relying instead on...
Article
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When navigating heterogeneous landscapes, large carnivores must balance trade‐offs between multiple goals, including minimizing energetic expenditure, maintaining access to hunting opportunities, and avoiding potential risk from humans. The relative importance of these goals in driving carnivore movement likely changes across temporal scales, but o...
Article
Human activity and land use change impact every landscape on Earth, driving declines in many animal species while benefiting others. Species ecological and life history traits may predict success in human-dominated landscapes such that only species with "winning" combinations of traits will persist in disturbed environments. However, this link betw...
Article
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Human activity has rapidly transformed the planet, leading to declines of animal populations around the world through a range of direct and indirect pathways. Humans have strong numerical effects on wild animal populations, as highly efficient hunters and through unintentional impacts of human activity and development. Human disturbance also induce...
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Wetland restoration provides remarkable opportunities to understand vegetation dynamics and to inform success of future projects through rigorous restoration experiments. Salt marsh restoration typically focuses on physical factors such as sediment dynamics and elevation. Despite many demonstrations of strong top-down effects on salt marshes, the p...
Article
Energetic demands and fear of predators are considered primary factors shaping animal behavior, and both are likely drivers of movement decisions that ultimately determine the spatial ecology of wildlife. Yet energetic constraints on movement imposed by the physical landscape have only been considered separately from those imposed by risk avoidance...
Article
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Managing vertebrate pests is a global conservation challenge given their undesirable socio-ecological impacts. Pest management often focuses on the 'average' individual, neglecting individual-level behavioural variation ('personalities') and differences in life histories. These differences affect pest impacts and modify attraction to, or avoidance...
Article
Research on the ecology of fear has highlighted the importance of perceived risk from predators and humans in shaping animal behavior and physiology, with potential demographic and ecosystem-wide consequences. Despite recent conceptual advances and potential management implications of the ecology of fear, theory and conservation practices have rare...
Article
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ContextDeveloped landscapes are increasingly important movement habitat for many large carnivore populations, despite fragmentation and heightened anthropogenic risks. The availability of vegetation cover is a key factor mediating carnivore use of human-dominated landscapes. Restoring or modifying networks of vegetation patches may therefore provid...
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Understanding the behavioral responses of large carnivores to human activity in protected areas is important for conserving top predators. Roads and associated vehicle traffic have a range of impacts on wildlife, including mortality from vehicle collisions and behavioral changes from increasing traffic levels. Roads concentrate human activities and...
Article
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Camera trap technology has galvanized the study of predator‐prey ecology in wild animal communities by expanding the scale and diversity of predator‐prey interactions that can be analyzed. While observational data from systematic camera arrays have informed inferences on the spatiotemporal outcomes of predator‐prey interactions, the capacity for ob...
Article
Human impacts on wildlife stem from both our footprint on the landscape and the presence of people in wildlife habitat. Each may influence wildlife at very different spatial and temporal scales, yet efforts to disentangle these two classes of anthropogenic disturbance in their effects on wildlife have remained limited, as have efforts to predict th...
Article
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Apex predators such as large carnivores can have cascading, landscape‐scale impacts across wildlife communities, which could result largely from the fear they inspire, although this has yet to be experimentally demonstrated. Humans have supplanted large carnivores as apex predators in many systems, and similarly pervasive impacts may now result fro...
Article
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Domestic dogs are the most abundant large carnivore on the planet, and their ubiquity has led to concern regarding the impacts of dogs as predators of and competitors with native wildlife. If native large carnivores perceive dogs as threatening, impacts could extend to the community level by altering interactions between large carnivores and their...
Article
Co‐occurrence with humans presents substantial risks for large carnivores, yet human‐dominated landscapes are increasingly crucial to carnivore conservation as human land use continues to encroach on wildlife habitat. Flexibility in large carnivore behavior may be a primary factor mediating coexistence with people, allowing carnivores to calibrate...
Article
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Large carnivores’ fear of the human ‘super predator’ has the potential to alter their feeding behaviour and result in human-induced trophic cascades. However, it has yet to be experimentally tested if large carnivores perceive humans as predators and react strongly enough to have cascading effects on their prey. We conducted a predator playback exp...
Article
Large carnivore behavioral responses to the cues of their competitors are rarely observed, but may mediate competition between these top predators. Playback experiments, currently limited to interactions involving group-living large carnivores, demonstrate that attending to cues indicative of the immediate presence of heterospecific competitors pla...
Article
Full-text available
The drive to kill prey is central to understanding the population viability and ecological effects of large carnivores. This drive is modulated by behaviorally determined energetic expenditures, yet current methods of estimating the energetics of terrestrial carnivores are too coarse to inform the fine time scale behavioral decisions that incur the...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of large carnivores can affect lower trophic levels by suppressing mesocarnivores and reducing their impacts on prey. The mesopredator release hypothesis therefore predicts prey abundance will be higher where large carnivores are present, but this prediction assumes limited dietary overlap between large and mesocarnivores. Where dietar...
Data
Supplementary Data. This file includes all data required to perform the statistical analyses presented in this paper. (XLSX)
Data
Scat data model results. Full results from Poisson Generalized Linear Mixed Effects Models testing the effects of bear scat presence or absence, observer, and sampling occasion on the number of mesocarnivore scats detected at a site. P-values shown in bold are significant at α = 0.05. (PDF)
Data
Biplot of the first two Principal Components from a PCA of the relative abundances (individuals per camera-day) of bears, raccoons, and mink at each study site. Factor loadings for the three carnivore species are shown in red. Names of the 10 study sites, shown in black, correspond to those presented in Table 1. PC1 describes the relative abundance...
Data
Effect of bear presence or absence (as determined by scats) on the number of mesocarnivore scats detected. Number of (a) total mesocarnivore, (b) raccoon, and (c) mink scats detected at sites in Clayoquot Sound at which bear scat was either present or absent. Values are the mean (± SE) number of scats detected per 500-m transect section walked at e...
Data
Temporal activity of large carnivores and mesocarnivores across all sites in Clayoquot Sound. Bars are the total number of independent mesocarnivore (white bars) and large carnivore (black bars) recordings on camera traps made during each one-hour period across the 24-hour day. Dashed lines represent the approximate beginning and end of the diurnal...
Article
By suppressing mesocarnivore foraging, the fear large carnivores inspire can be critical to mitigating mesocarnivore impacts. Where large carnivores have declined, mesocarnivores may quantitatively increase foraging, commensurate with reductions in fear. The extirpation of large carnivores may further exacerbate mesocarnivore impacts by causing qua...
Article
1.How animals respond to anthropogenic disturbances is a core component of conservation biology and how they respond to predators and competitors is equally of central importance to wildlife ecology. Camera traps have rapidly become a critical tool in wildlife research by providing a fully-automated means of observing animals without needing an obs...
Article
The fear (perceived predation risk) large carnivores inspire in mesocarnivores can affect ecosystem structure and function, and loss of the “landscape of fear” large carnivores create adds to concerns regarding the worldwide loss of large carnivores. Fear of humans has been proposed to act as a substitute, but new research identifies humans as a “s...
Data
Supplementary Figures 1-2, Supplementary Tables 1-6, Supplementary Discussion and Supplementary References
Article
Full-text available
The fear large carnivores inspire, independent of their direct killing of prey, may itself cause cascading effects down food webs potentially critical for conserving ecosystem function, particularly by affecting large herbivores and mesocarnivores. However, the evidence of this has been repeatedly challenged because it remains experimentally untest...
Article
Predators kill prey thereby affecting prey survival and, in the traditional top-down view of predator limitation, that is their sole effect. Bottom-up food limitation alters the physiological condition of individuals affecting both fecundity and survival. Predators of course also scare prey inducing anti-predator defences that may carry physiologic...
Article
Medium-sized mammalian predators (i.e. mesopredators) on islands are known to have devastating effects on the abundance and diversity of terrestrial vertebrates. Mesopredators are often highly omnivorous, and on islands, may have access not only to terrestrial prey, but to marine prey as well, though impacts of mammalian mesopredators on marine com...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biodiversity hotspots have been used extensively in setting conservation priorities for reef ecosystems. A recent Nature publication claims to have uncovered new hotspots based on global comparisons of functional diversity. Simulation models show that the purported novel evenness pattern is a mathematical inevitability of differences in species ric...
Preprint
Biodiversity hotspots have been used extensively in setting conservation priorities for reef ecosystems. A recent Nature publication claims to have uncovered new hotspots based on global comparisons of functional diversity. Simulation models show that the purported novel evenness pattern is a mathematical inevitability of differences in species ric...
Article
Full-text available
The timescale over which a predator estimates changes in prey encounter rates will play an important role in maximization of energetic returns from foraging in habitats where prey availability is highly variable through time. However, studies that explicitly test the temporal scale over which foragers track changes in prey availability are surprisi...
Article
Full-text available
The pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has been implicated as the main driver of many enigmatic amphibian declines in neotropical sites at high elevation. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is thought to be a waterborne pathogen limited by temperature, and the extent to which it persists and causes disease in amphibians at lower...
Article
Energy gain is thought to play a central role in prey selection by most foragers, but it may conflict with food theft avoidance and be constrained by undeveloped foraging skills. We investigated predation by the Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) on the ecologically important Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus). We tested the hypothesis that...

Citations

... Large mammals are particularly intractable for experimentation in the wild, leaving open questions about the extent to which research on smaller organisms 'scales-up' to large animals and landscapes. With technical advances, ecologists are able to collect data on ever-more granular scales, allowing researchers to better match the resolution of sampling with the biological rhythms and patterns of risk-resource trade-offs [100]. Continually improving tools (e.g., GPS telemetry, accelerometers, biologgers, camera traps, drones, acoustic recorders) also expand the breadth of data, for example, by capturing the behavior of multiple interacting species simultaneously [101][102][103]. ...
... In many cases, human activity has reduced movement rates of animals through barrier effects or by providing resource rich environments for concentrated foraging [49]. For example, puma in California exhibited slower movement rates near anthropogenic developments, perhaps because they were forced to travel in rugged terrain that slowed movements [52]. Similarly, wild dogs in Africa decreased movement rates near human settlements but increased rates of travel outside of protected areas, perhaps because of lower prey availability [19]. ...
... We used uninformative, uniform priors for all parameters and assessed convergence using the Gelman-Rubin statistic, where values <1.1 indicate convergence (Gelman et al., 2004) and by visual inspection of parameter traceplots. "Significant" differences were assessed using posterior probability, where "strong significant" effects were expressed as parameters with >95% posterior probability that did not overlap with 0 (i.e., our model estimates that the probability the parameter effect is more extreme than 0 is >95%), and "moderate significant" effects were expressed as parameters with >85% posterior probability that did not overlap with 0. We included the 85% threshold to capture species and community effects that exhibited a strong trend toward positive or negative association but were limited by sample size and high variation in the community hyperparameters, which can lead to "shrinkage" of species-specific effects toward the community mean (Kery & Royle, 2015;Mata et al., 2017;Suraci et al., 2021). ...
... Further, disturbances can induce costly avoidance behaviors that may compromise individual fitness and consequently alter population dynamics (Frid and Dill, 2002). These avoidance behaviors can be exaggerated (and more energetically costly) compared to optimal behaviors that would be necessary for avoiding mortality, perhaps reflecting a mismatch in how wildlife perceive rapid landscape changes (Smith et al., 2021). Understanding how individuals and populations respond in post-disturbance landscapes may provide insights into the ability of species to persist in landscapes that continue to experience climate and land use changes. ...
... We initially caged seedlings because small mammal herbivory can be heavy in this system (Wasson et al. 2021), removing all cages at 32 weeks (October 2017). Between planting and cage removal, we pulled small seedlings and cut back aboveground growth originating from outside the plot boundaries at both planted and unplanted control plots. ...
... Habitat use analysis showed the importance of distance to forest cover and streams to Puma occurrence, followed by distance to protected areas, similar to the pattern for Pumas across their distribution in the wild (Guerisoli et al. 2019). Use of developed areas by Pumas substantially increased their risk of mortality (Moss et al. 2016), and thus fear of humans may be a major factor affecting Puma movements (Nickel et al. 2021, Smith et al. 2019. ...
... Odorous baits are used as lures in attracting problem animals to traps. But, these fine scale solutions produce localized and short-term effects, aiming to stop the behaviors of already motivated animals (Garvey et al. 2020). ...
... However, not all human impacts are direct. There is increasing evidence of the importance of indirect effects mediated through changes in animal behavior (Ciuti et al., 2012;Suraci et al., 2019), including spatial patterns of habitat use, movement, and foraging (Berger-Tal et al., 2011;Gaynor et al., 2021). For example, species may shift their diel activity pattern to avoid interaction with humans, with potential consequences for resource acquisition (Gaynor et al., 2018;Shamoon et al., 2018). ...
... • Ecosystem -impacts of emissions to ecosystem components such as soil and vegetation: Hammitt et al. (2015), Kenkel et al. (2013) • Visitor experience -importance and impacts of air quality on the visitor experience: Kulesza et al. (2013), Mace et al. (2004), Zajchowski et al. (2019), Zimmermann et al. (2003 • Park visitation -impacts of air quality on park visitation: Keiser et al. (2018), Poudyal et al. (2013) • Air pollution -contribution of vehicle exhaust emissions to greenhouse gas effect: Gössling (2002) • Health and quality of life -air quality affects health and quality of life of visitors, staff, and local residents: Darçın (2014) [effects on quality of life in Europe] logical conclusion • Economic value of clean airvaluation and willingness to pay for clean air: Mace et al. (2004) Noise • Wildlife and habitat -impacts of noise on wildlife populations and their fitness: Barber et al. (2011), Francis & Barber (2013, Shannon et al. (2016), Ware et al. (2015) • Soundscape -transportation scenarios impact soundscapes experienced by visitors: Park et al. • Wildlife -traffic volume and congestion may have impacts on wildlife habitat, populations, and individuals: Ament et al. (2008), Anton et al. (2020), Burson et al. (2000), Kidd & Monz (2016), , Phillips et al. (2010b) • Visitor experience -congestion and traffic affect the visitor experience: Sims et al. (2005), White (2006), Zimmerman et al. (2004 • Value -visitors assign an economic value to the reduction of traffic congestion: Sims et al (2005) • Emissions -high traffic volume and irregular speeds due to congestion affect emission levels: Roof et al. (2014) • Staff -managing congestion and traffic requires time and attention from park staff: National Park Service (2009) • Gateway communitiescongestion and traffic is perceived as a problem by local residents and business owners: Anderson & Manning (2012), Zimmerman et al. (2004) • Safety -congestion and traffic may cause unsafe conditions on park roads: logical conclusion Visitor Experience ...
... Connectivity analyses of animal movement are used to identify dispersal routes between populations [2,3], seasonal migrations routes [e.g. 4, and to highlight natural and anthropogenic pinch points to movement (i.e. wildlife corridors) as priority areas for conservation [5,6]. There are, however, many ways to measure or evaluate connectivity [7]. ...