Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 633–641 | Cite as

Long-term data on invaders: when the fox is away, the mink will play

  • Nils O. L. Carlsson
  • Jonathan M. Jeschke
  • Niklas Holmqvist
  • Jonas Kindberg
Original Paper


Studies of the effects and population dynamics of invasive species typically cover only short time periods. However, populations of invasive species interact with native species, and these interactions may have strong effects on invaders’ populations and effects over time. We present and analyze long-term data on invasive American mink (Neovison vison), native red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and mountain hare (Lepus timidus) in Sweden. The mink’s population dynamics followed a pattern of logistic growth from the late 1930s to the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, however, the population tripled, then declined sharply. We suggest that the mink’s population tripling was caused by a drastic decline in red fox populations, which caused terrestrial prey to increase. Later recovery of the fox population reversed the trend and caused the mink population’s recent decline. Our study shows that species interactions between native and invasive species, and therefore biotic resistance, can change dramatically over time.


Harvest data Long-term effects of invaders Non-native species Partial biotic resistance Population dynamics 



We appreciate helpful discussions with Michael Pace and David Strayer, and valuable comments from Owen Jones and Elke Schüttler. We also received valuable comments from two anonymous reviewers. Financial supported was provided by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS (217-2006-497) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (JE 288/2-1).

Supplementary material

10530_2009_9470_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1175 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nils O. L. Carlsson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jonathan M. Jeschke
    • 2
    • 3
  • Niklas Holmqvist
    • 4
  • Jonas Kindberg
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.The County Administrative Board, Environmental DepartmentMalmöSweden
  2. 2.Cary Institute of Ecosystem StudiesMillbrookUSA
  3. 3.Sections of Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology IILudwig-Maximilians-University MunichPlanegg-MartinsriedGermany
  4. 4.Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife ManagementNyköpingSweden
  5. 5.Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental StudiesSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden

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