|Town/Region||Cachal Huapi Island|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||23 Mar 2016|
Invasive species are a pervasive driver of global change, thus understanding how they influence the assembly of communities and the functioning of ecosystems is a priority. The European wild boar (Sus scrofa) have been introduced on all continents except Antarctica, and is considered one of the most harmful invasive species. In order to feed on belowground roots, arthropods, and fungi, wild boar overturns extensive areas of vegetation. This rooting activity alters plant community structure and composition, facilitates the establishment of invasive plants, and alters ecosystems processes.
In Argentina, wild boar were introduced more than 100 years ago, causing countless negative impacts on plant and animal communities. While there are numerous studies showing the impacts of wild boar around the world, only few studies evaluate the recovery of native ecosystems subsequent to eradication. In fact, the available studies tend to focus on the success of the eradication campaigns or specific ecological responses such as changes in the abundance of a susceptible species. The scarcity of information on ecosystem recovery after a control program demonstrates the need to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs. Without this information it is impossible to determine whether eradication campaigns achieve the goal of restoring native ecosystems.
Wild boar populations are currently spreading southwards into Patagonia - Argentina, and preventing the spread is a priority for the National Park Administrators. This project takes advantage of a joint effort from the Nahuel Huapi National Park Administration and researchers of the Argentinean National Research Council to control a population of wild boar in a continental island of Patagonia, and to evaluate the recovery of native biodiversity and ecosystem processes after the eradication of wild boar. Specifically, this project will evaluate the short- and long-term consequences of European wild boar eradication on 4 major ecological properties (1) plant community, (2) animal communities, (3) species interactions, and (4) ecosystem properties in Patagonia.
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