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The hidden side of the Allee effect: correlated demographic traits and extinction risk in experimental populations

Elodie Vercken 1, * Géraldine Groussier 1 Laurent Lamy 1 Ludovic Mailleret 2, 1
* Corresponding author
2 BIOCORE - Biological control of artificial ecosystems
CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée , LOV - Laboratoire d'océanographie de Villefranche, INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement
Abstract : Because Allee effects have major impacts on the dynamics of small populations, they are routinely included in demographic models for the evaluation of extinction risks. However, the structure of most common models implies that other demographic parameters (like the maximum growth rate) are modified by the inclusion of an Allee effect, which also affects in return the extinction risk of the population. Whether such correlations between demographic traits occur in natural populations or merely reflect a practical constraint related to model formalism is of primary importance to understand better the dynamics of small populations. We investigated this question using 20 populations of Trichogramma wasps raised under similar conditions, of which 3 were subject to an Allee effect. We showed that these 3 populations were also characterized by lower maximum growth rate and lower carrying capacity, and that their extinction probability was higher than for non-Allee populations. These results provide the first empirical demonstration of a correlation between the presence of positive density-dependence and impaired demographic performance, which increases the extinction risk of population, especially during the establishment phase.
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Preprints, Working Papers, ...
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 3:54:20 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 3:00:41 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-02570868, version 4


Elodie Vercken, Géraldine Groussier, Laurent Lamy, Ludovic Mailleret. The hidden side of the Allee effect: correlated demographic traits and extinction risk in experimental populations. 2021. ⟨hal-02570868v4⟩



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