Potential niche expansion of the American mink invading a remote island free of nativepredatory mammals

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This article evaluates whether the lack of potential predators and competitors, together with a more diurnal and terrestrial prey, have resulted in the mink expanding its spatial and temporal niche on Navarino Island as compared to that in its native habitats,

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18 p.

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Crego, Ramiro D.; Jiménez, Jaime E. & Rozzi, Ricardo April 4, 2018.

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This article evaluates whether the lack of potential predators and competitors, together with a more diurnal
and terrestrial prey, have resulted in the mink expanding its spatial and temporal niche on Navarino Island as compared to that in its native habitats,

Physical Description

18 p.

Notes

Abstract: The success of an invasive species depends in part on its niche and the new niche opportunities
that such species may find in the invaded habitat. Niche opportunities can be understood
as the potential provided by a community to an invasive species to expand its niche by
changes in habitat use, behavior, or diet, that favors population growth, reflected in the species
occupying more habitat. This may occur under a favorable combination of access to
resources that can be further favored by a lack of competitors and a release from natural
enemies. The American mink (Neovison vison) is a crepuscular/nocturnal and semi-aquatic
mustelid native to North America that generally concentrates activities at <100 m from the
water. It has recently established an invasive population on Navarino Island in southern
Chile. Here, the mink is now the top terrestrial predator free of predators or competitors. We
hypothesized that this lack of potential predators and competitors, together with a more diurnal
and terrestrial prey, have resulted in the mink expanding its spatial and temporal niche
on Navarino Island as compared to that in its native habitats, expressed in occupancy of
sites away from water and diurnal activity. We evaluated this by using 93 randomly-chosen
camera-trap stations, occupancy models and mink daily activity patterns. Models showed a
dynamic occupancy with the area occupied by mink being highest during summers and lowest
in spring with seasonal changes in occupancy related to distance to water sources. Mink
occupied and were active at sites up to 880 m from water sources during summers. Occupancy
decreased at shorter distances from water during spring, but mink were still active at
up to 300 m from water. Mink were active daylong during summers, and nocturnal and crepuscular
during winter and spring. These results show that compared to the native and other
invaded habitats, on Navarino Island mink use more terrestrial habitats and are more diurnal
during summers, suggesting a niche expansion under new niche opportunities that may
enhance the negative impacts of this predator on a myriad of small native vertebrates.

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  • PLoS ONE, 2018. San Francisco, CA: Public Library of Science

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  • Publication Title: PLOS ONE
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 4
  • Pages: 1-18
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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Submitted Date

  • December 16, 2017

Accepted Date

  • March 8, 2018

Creation Date

  • April 4, 2018

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 1, 2018, 12:41 a.m.

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Crego, Ramiro D.; Jiménez, Jaime E. & Rozzi, Ricardo. Potential niche expansion of the American mink invading a remote island free of nativepredatory mammals, article, April 4, 2018; San Francisco, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1132743/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.