Determinants of heart rate in Svalbard reindeer reveal mechanisms of seasonal energy management

L. Monica Trondrud, Gabriel Pigeon, Steve Albon, Walter Arnold, Alina L. Evans, R. Justin Irvine, Elżbieta Król, Erik Ropstad, Audun Stien, Vebjørn Veiberg, John R. Speakman & Leif Egil Loe
Seasonal energetic challenges may constrain an animal’s ability to respond to changing individual and environmental conditions. Here we investigated variation in heart rate, a well-established proxy for metabolic rate, in Svalbard reindeer, a species with strong seasonal changes in foraging and metabolic activity. In 19 adult females we recorded heart rate, subcutaneous temperature and activity using biologgers. Mean heart rate more than doubled from winter to summer. Typical drivers of energy expenditure, such as reproduction...
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