Testing the additive versus the compensatory hypothesis of mortality from ring recovery data using a random effects model
Animal Biodiversity and Conservation
The interaction of an additional source of mortality with the underlying "natural" one strongly affects population dynamics. We propose an alternative way to test between two forms of interaction, total additivity and compensation. In contrast to existing approaches, only ring-recovery data where the cause of death of each recovered individual is known are needed. Cause-specific mortality proportions are estimated based on a multistate capture-recapture model. The hypotheses are tested by
... are tested by inspecting the correlation between the cause-specific mortality proportions. A variance decomposition is performed to obtain a proper estimate of the true process correlation. The estimation of the cause-specific mortality proportions is the most critical part of the approach. It works well if at least one of the two mortality rates varies across time and the two recovery rates are constant across time. We illustrate this methodology by a case study of White Storks Ciconia ciconia where we tested whether mortality induced by power line collision is additive to other forms of mortality.