169 Works

Genotype data from: Restoration of transborder connectivity for Fennoscandian brown bears (Ursus arctos)

Alexander Kopatz, Kleven Oddmund, Kojola Ilpo, Aspi Jouni, Anita J. Norman, Göran Spong, Niclas Gyllenstrand, Love Dalén, Ida Fløystad, Snorre B. Hagen, Jonas Kindberg & Øystein Flagstad
Knowledge about the connectivity among natural populations is essential to identify management units for effective conservation actions. Conservation-minded management has led to the recovery of large carnivore populations in northern Europe, possibly restoring connectivity between the two separated, but expanding brown bear (Ursus arctos) populations on the Scandinavian peninsula to the west and Karelia, a part of the large Eurasian population, to the east. The degree of connectivity between these populations has been poorly understood,...

Smolt outmigration timing in Norway

Robert Lennox, Knut Vollset, Ola Ugedal, Anders Lamberg, Øystein Skaala, Anne Sandvik, Harald Saegrov, Torstein Kristiensen, Arne Jensen, Tormond Haraldstad & Bjørn Barlaup
Aim - Accurate predictions about transition timing of salmon smolts between freshwater and marine environments are key to effective management. We aimed to use available data on Atlantic salmon smolt migration to predict the emigration timing in rivers throughout Norway. Location - In this study, we used data outmigration timing data of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts from 41 rivers collected from 1984-2018 to make a predictive model for the timing of out-migrating salmon smolts...

European shag provisioning foraging dives

Astrid Carlsen, Jonathan Wright & Svein-Håkon Lorentsen
Foraging dives in birds and mammals involve complex physiological and behavioural adaptations to cope with the breaks in normal respiration. Optimal dive strategies should maximise the proportion of time spent under water actively foraging versus the time spent on the surface. Oxygen loading and carbon-dioxide dumping carried out on the surface could involve recovery from the consequences of the last dive and/or preparation in anticipation of the next dive depth and duration. However, few studies...

Context dependent fitness costs of reproduction despite stable body mass costs in an Arctic herbivore

Gabriel Pigeon, Steve Albon, Leif Egil Loe, Richard Bischof, Christophe Bonenfant, Mads Farchhammer, Justine Irvine, Erik Ropstad, Vebjorn Veiberg & Audun Stein
1. The cost of reproduction on demographic rates is often assumed to operate through changing body condition. Several studies have found that reproduction depresses body mass more if the current conditions are severe, such as high population densities or adverse weather, than under benign environmental conditions. However, few studies have investigated the association between the fitness and body mass costs of reproduction. 2. Using 25 years of individual-based capture-recapture data from Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus...

Using genomics to guide seed-sourcing at the right taxonomical level for ecological restoration projects: the complex case of Carex bigelowii s.lat. in Norway

Kristine Bakke Westergaard, Magni Olsen Kyrkjeeide & Marie Kristine Brandrud
There is a growing demand for ecological restoration using suitable seeds following international standards or national legal demands for local seed-sourcing. However, before selecting the appropriate geographic origin of seeds, it is vital to explore taxonomic complexity related to the focal taxa. We used ddRAD-seq to screen genomic diversity within Carex bigelowii s.lat. focussing on Norway. This species complex is considered a candidate for seeding, but presents considerable morphological, ecological, and genetic variation. The genetic...

Data from: A method that accounts for differential detectability in mixed samples of long-term infections with applications to the case of Chronic Wasting Disease in cervids

Hildegunn Viljugrein, Petter Hopp, Sylvie L. Benestad, Erlend B. Nilsen, Jørn Våge, Saraya Tavornpanich, Christer M. Rolandsen, Olav Strand & Atle Mysterud
1. Surveillance of wildlife diseases is logistically difficult, and imperfect detection is a recurrent challenge for disease estimation. Using citizen science can increase sample sizes, but it is associated with a cost in terms of the anatomical type and quality of the sample. Additionally, biological tissue samples from remote areas lose quality due to autolysis. These challenges are faced in the case of emerging Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in cervids. 2. Here, we develop a...

Data from: Cryptic choice of conspecific sperm controlled by the impact of ovarian fluid on sperm swimming behaviour

Sarah Elizabeth Yeates, Sian Elizabeth Diamond, Sigurd Einum, Brent C. Emerson, William V. Holt & Matthew J. G. Gage
Despite evidence that variation in male-female reproductive compatibility exists in many fertilization systems, identifying mechanisms of cryptic female choice at the gamete level has been a challenge. Here, under risks of genetic incompatibility through hybridization, we show how salmon and trout eggs promote fertilization by conspecific sperm. Using in vitro fertilization experiments that replicate the gametic micro-environment, we find complete inter-fertility between both species. However, if either species’ ova were presented with equivalent numbers of...

Data from: Persistent organic pollution in a high-Arctic top predator: sex-dependent thresholds in adult survival

Kjell Einar Erikstad, Hanno Sandvik, Tone Kristin Reiertsen, Jan Ove Bustnes, Hallvard Strøm & H. Strom
In long-lived species, any negative effect of pollution on adult survival may pose serious hazards to breeding populations. In the present study we measured concentrations of various organochlorines (OCs: PCB and organochlorine pesticides) in the blood of a large number of adult glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) breeding on Bjørnøya (Bear Island) in the Norwegian Arctic, and modelled their local survival using capture–recapture analysis. Survival was negatively associated with concentrations of OCs in the blood. The...

Data from: The narrow gap between norms and cooperative behaviour in a reindeer herding community

Matthew Gwynfryn Thomas, Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen & Marius Warg Næss
Cooperation evolves on social networks and is shaped, in part, by norms: beliefs and expectations about the behaviour of others or of oneself. Networks of cooperative social partners and associated norms are vital for pastoralists, such as Saami reindeer herders in northern Norway. However, little is known quantitatively about how norms structure pastoralists' social networks or shape cooperation. Saami herders reported their social networks and participated in field experiments, allowing us to gauge the overlap...

Data from: Let’s stay together? Intrinsic and extrinsic factors involved in pair bond dissolution in a recolonizing wolf population

Cyril Milleret, Petter Wabakken, Olof Liberg, Mikael Åkesson, Øystein Flagstad, Harry Peter Andreassen & Håkan Sand
For socially monogamous species, breeder bond dissolution has important consequences for population dynamics, but the extent to which extrinsic or intrinsic population factors causes pair dissolution remain poorly understood, especially among carnivores. Using an extensive life-history data set, a survival analysis and competing risks framework, we examined the fate of 153 different wolf (Canis lupus) pairs in the recolonizing Scandinavian wolf population, during 14 winters of snow tracking and DNA monitoring. Wolf pair dissolution was...

Data from: Operational sex ratio but not density affects sexual selection in a fish

Sebastian Wacker, Kenyon Mobley, Elisabet Forsgren, Lise Cats Myhre, Karen De Jong & Trond Amundsen
The operational sex ratio (OSR) and density are considered important factors affecting the strength of sexual selection. While there is increasing evidence that OSR and density affect the potential for sexual selection, few studies have addressed whether this is realized in phenotypic selection and how the two factors interact. We manipulated OSR (three levels) and male density (two levels) in 36 experimental breeding populations of Gobiusculus flavescens – a fish with paternal care. We measured...

Data from: Quantifying risk of overharvest when implementation is uncertain

Lasse F. Eriksen, Pål F. Moa & Erlend B. Nilsen
1. Sustainable harvest management implies an ability to control harvest rates. This is challenging in systems that have limited control of resources and resource users, which is often the case in small game harvest management. The difference between management strategies and actual harvest bag size (i.e. implementation uncertainty) may be substantial, but few studies have explored this. 2. We investigated how different management strategies and ecosystem variables affected realised harvest of willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus...

Data from: Migration and stress during reproduction govern telomere dynamics in a seabird

Jannik Schultner, Børge Moe, Olivier Chastel, Claus Bech & Alexander S. Kitaysky
Changes in telomere length are believed to reflect changes in physiological state and life expectancy in animals. However, much remains unknown about the determinants of telomere dynamics in wild populations, and specifically the influence of conditions during highly mobile life-history stages, for example migration. We tested whether telomere dynamics were associated with migratory behaviour and/or with stress during reproduction in free-living seabirds. We induced short-term stress during reproduction in chick-rearing, black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), tracked...

Data from: The role of predation and food limitation on claims for compensation, reindeer demography and population dynamics

Torkild Tveraa, Audun Stien, Henrik Brøseth & Nigel Gilles Yoccoz
1. A major challenge in biodiversity conservation is to facilitate viable populations of large apex predators in ecosystems where they were recently driven to ecological extinction due to resource conflict with humans. 2. Monetary compensation for losses of livestock due to predation is currently a key instrument to encourage human–carnivore coexistence. However, a lack of quantitative estimates of livestock losses due to predation leads to disagreement over the practise of compensation payments. This disagreement sustains...

Data from: To breed or not to breed: endocrine response to mercury contamination by an Arctic seabird

Sabrina Tartu, Aurélie Goutte, Paco Bustamante, Frédéric Angelier, Børge Moe, Céline Clément-Chastel, Claus Bech, Geir Wing Gabrielsen, Jan Ove Bustnes & Olivier Chastel
Mercury, a ubiquitous toxic element, is known to alter expression of sex steroids and to impair reproduction across vertebrates but the mechanisms underlying these effects are not clearly identified. We examined whether contamination by mercury predicts the probability to skip reproduction in black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) from Svalbard. We also manipulated the endocrine system to investigate the mechanism underlying this relationship. During the pre-laying period, we injected exogenous GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) to test the ability...

Data from: Supplementary stocking selects for domesticated genotypes

Ingerid J. Hagen, Arne J. Jensen, Geir H. Bolstad, Ola H. Diserud, Kjetil Hindar, Håvard Lo & Sten Karlsson
Stocking of hatchery produced fish is common practise to mitigate declines in natural populations and may have unwanted genetic consequences. Here we describe a novel phenomenon arising where broodstock used for stocking may be introgressed with farmed individuals. We test how stocking affects introgression in a wild population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) by quantifying how the number of adult offspring recaptured in a stocked river depend on parental introgression. We found that hatchery conditions...

Data from: Sámi knowledge and ecosystem-based adaptation strategies for managing pastures under threat from multiple land uses

Sigrid Engen & Vera Hausner
1. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) relies upon the capacity of ecosystems to buffer communities against the adverse impacts of climate change. Maintaining ecosystems that deliver critical services to communities can also provide co-benefits beyond adaptation, such as climate mitigation and protection of biological diversity and livelihoods. EbA has to a limited extent drawn upon indigenous-and local knowledge (ILK) for defining critical services and for implementing EbA in decision-making. This is a paradox given that the primary...

The unique spatial ecology of human hunters

Atle Mysterud, Inger Maren Rivrud, Hildegunn Viljugrein, Vegard Gundersen & Christer Rolandsen
Human hunters are described as ‘superpredators’ with a unique ecology. Chronic Wasting Disease among cervids and African swine fever among wild boar are emerging wildlife diseases in Europe with huge economic and cultural repercussions. Understanding hunter movements at broad scales has implications for how to control their spread. Here we show, based on the analysis of the settlement patterns and movements of reindeer (n = 9,685), red deer (n = 47,845), moose (n = 60,365),...

When does weather synchronise life history traits? Spatiotemporal patterns in juvenile body mass of two ungulates

Ivar Herfindal, Torkild Tveraa, Audun Stien, Erling Johan Solberg & Vidar Grøtan
1. Theory predicts that animal populations will be synchronised over large distances by weather and climatic conditions with high spatial synchrony. However, local variation in population responses to weather, and low synchrony in key weather variables or in other ecological processes may reduce the population synchrony. 2. We investigated to what extent temperature and precipitation during different periods of the year synchronised juvenile body mass of moose and reindeer in Norway. We expected high synchronising...

Resource-driven colonization by cod in a high Arctic food web

Edda Johannesen, Nigel Yoccoz, Torkild Tveraa, Nancy Shackell, Kari Ellingsen, Andrey Dolgov & Kenneth Frank
Climate change is commonly associated with many species redistributions and the influence of other factors may be marginalized, especially in the rapidly warming Arctic. The Barents Sea, a high latitude large marine ecosystem in the Northeast Atlantic has experienced above average temperatures since the mid 2000’s with divergent bottom temperature trends at sub-regional scales. Concurrently, the Barents Sea stock of Atlantic cod Gadus morhua, one of the most important commercial fish stocks in the world,...

Environmental change reduces body condition, but not population growth, in a high-arctic herbivore

Kate Layton-Matthews, Vidar Grøtan, Brage Bremset Hansen, Maarten J. J.E. Loonen, Eva Fuglei & Dylan Childs
Environmental change influences fitness-related traits and demographic rates, which in herbivores are often linked to resource-driven variation in body condition. Coupled body condition-demographic responses may therefore be important for herbivore population dynamics in fluctuating environments, such as the Arctic. We applied a transient Life-Table Response Experiment (‘transient-LTRE’) to demographic data from Svalbard barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis), to quantify their population-dynamic responses to changes in body mass. We partitioned contributions from direct and delayed demographic and...

Data from: Multi-generational genetic consequences of reinforcement in a bird metapopulation

Peter S. Ranke, Sigrun Skjelseth, Ingerid Julie Hagen, Anna Maria Billing, Åsa Alexandra Borg Pedersen, Henrik Pärn, Thor Harald Ringsby, Bernt-Erik Sæther & Henrik Jensen
Translocation of conspecific individuals to reduce extinction risk of small, isolated populations and prevent genetic depletion is a powerful tool in conservation biology. An important question is how the translocated individuals influence the long-term genetic composition of the recipient population. Here, we experimentally reinforced a house sparrow (Passer domesticus) population, and examined the impact of this translocation on allele frequencies, levels of heterozygosity and genetic differentiation over six cohorts. We found no permanent increase in...

Data from: Effect of tower base painting on willow ptarmigan collision rates with wind turbines

Bård Stokke, Torgeir Nygard, Ulla Falkdalen, Hans Pedersen & Roel May
1. Birds colliding with turbine rotor blades is a well-known negative consequence of wind-power plants. However, there has been far less attention to the risk of birds colliding with the turbine towers, and how to mitigate this risk. 2. Based on data from the Smøla wind-power plant in Central Norway, it seems highly likely that willow ptarmigan (the only gallinaceous species found on the island) is prone to collide with turbine towers. By employing a...

Considering sampling bias in close-kin mark-recapture (CKMR) abundance estimates of Atlantic salmon

Sebastian Wacker, Hans Skaug, Torbjørn Forseth, Øyvind Solem, Eva Ulvan, Peder Fiske & Sten Karlsson
Genetic methods for the estimation of population size can be powerful alternatives to conventional methods. Close-kin mark-recapture (CKMR) is based on the principles of conventional mark-recapture, but instead of being physically marked, individuals are marked through their close kin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of CKMR for the estimation of spawner abundance in Atlantic salmon and how age, sex, spatial, and temporal sampling bias may affect CKMR estimates. Spawner abundance...

Fitness and fur colouration - testing the camouflage and thermoregulation hypotheses in an Arctic mammal

Cecilia Di Bernardi, Anne-Mathilde Thierry, Nina E. Eide, Diana E. Bowler, Lars Rød-Eriksen, Stefan Blumentrath, Lukas Tietgen, Brett Sandercock, Øystein Flagstad & Arild Landa
1. Selection for crypsis has been recognised as an important ecological driver of animal coloration, whereas the relative importance of thermoregulation is more contentious with mixed empirical support. A potential thermal advantage of darker individuals has been observed in a wide range of animal species. Arctic animals that exhibit colour polymorphisms and undergo seasonal colour moults are interesting study subjects for testing the two alternative hypotheses: demographic performance of different colour morphs might be differentially...

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