169 Works

Herbivores reduce seedling recruitment in alpine plant communities

Øystein H. Opedal, Kristin Nystuen, Dagmar Hagen, Håkon Holien, Mia Sørensen, Simone Lang, Sigrid Lindmo, G. RIchard Strimbeck & Bente Graae
Through changes in climate and other environmental factors, alpine tundra ecosystems are subject to increased cover of erect shrubs, reduced predictability of rodent dynamics, and changes in wild and domesticated herbivore densities. To predict the dynamics of these ecosystems, we need to understand how these simultaneous changes affect alpine vegetation. In the long term, vegetation dynamics may depend critically on seedling recruitment. To study drivers of alpine plant seedling recruitment, we set up a field...

Exceptionally high apparent adult survival in three tropical species of plovers in Madagascar

William Jones, Luke Eberhart-Hertel, Robert Freckleton, Joseph Hoffmann, Oliver Krüger, Brett Sandercock, Orsolya Vincze, Sama Zefania & Tamás Székely
Adult survival is a key component of population dynamics and understanding variation in and the drivers of adult survival rates and longevity is critical for ecological and evolutionary studies, as well as for conservation biology and practice. Tropical species of landbirds are often selected to have higher adult survival due to high nest predation rates, but it is unclear if the same patterns occur in other avian lineages with different life history strategies. Here, we...

Data from: Sampling beetle communities: trap design interacts with weather and species traits to bias capture rates

Ryan Burner, Tone Birkemoe, Siri Lie Olsen & Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson
Globally, many insect populations are declining, prompting calls for action. Yet these findings have also prompted discussion about sampling methods and interpretation of long-term datasets. As insect monitoring and research efforts increase, it is critical to quantify the effectiveness of sampling methods. This is especially true if sampling biases of different methods covary with climate, which is also changing over time. We assess the effectiveness of two types of flight intercept traps commonly used for...

Migration of tagged silver eels in the Atlantic 2006 - 2014

Known and estimated locations of silver European eels in the Atlantic from 2006 to 2014 derived from popup satellite tags and archival tags. Other data associated with the tagging experiments such as the length, weight, fat percentage, Pankhurst index and Fin index are also included. Locations were either known (from transmitted positions) or were estimated based on the temperature at depth data recorded by electronic tags (latitude) and the timing of steep dives at dawn...

Hidden treasure of the Gobi: understanding how water limits range use of khulan in the Mongolian Gobi

John C. Payne, Bayarbaatar Buuveibaatar, Diana E. Bowler, Kirk A. Olson, Chris Walzer & Petra Kaczensky
Most large herbivores in arid landscapes need to drink which constrains their movements and makes them vulnerable to disturbance. Asiatic wild ass or khulan (Equus hemionus) were widespread and abundant throughout the arid landscapes of Central Asia and Mongolia, but have undergone dramatic population declines and range constrictions; denying khulan access to water is believed to have played a major role. Mongolia’s South Gobi Region now houses the world largest remaining khulan population, but is...

Opposing fitness consequences of habitat use in a harvested moose population

Endre Grüner Ofstad, Endre Ofstad, Stine Markussen, Bernt-Erik Sæther, Erling Johan Solberg, Morten Heim, Hallvard Haanes, Knut Røed & Ivar Herfindal
1. Landscape changes are happening at an unprecedented pace, and together with high levels of wildlife harvesting humans have a large effect on wildlife populations. A thorough knowledge of their combined influence on individual fitness is important in order to understand factors affecting population dynamics. 2. The goal of the study was to assess the individual consistency in the use of risky habitat types, and how habitat use was related to fitness components and life-history...

End-user involvement to improve predictions and management of populations with complex dynamics and multiple drivers

John-André Henden, Einar Asbjørnsen, Rolf Ims, Nigel Yoccoz, Audun Stien, Jarad Mellard, Torkild Tveraa, Filippo Marolla & Jane Jepsen
Sustainable management of wildlife populations can be aided by building models that both identify current drivers of natural dynamics and provide near-term predictions of future states. We employed a Strategic Foresight Protocol (SFP) involving stakeholders to decide the purpose and structure of a dynamic state-space model for the population dynamics of the willow ptarmigan - a popular game species in Norway. Based on local knowledge of stakeholders, it was decided that the model should include...

Data from: Mortality and lamb body mass growth in free-ranging domestic sheep – environmental impacts including lethal and non-lethal impacts of predators

Geraldine Mabille, Audun Stien, Torkild Tveraa, Atle Mysterud, Henrik Brøseth & John D. C. Linnell
The management and recovery of large predator populations in areas where human persecution has driven them to ecological extinction requires a solid understanding of the effects of both predation and food limitation on prey populations. We used 11 yr of data on reported losses among 17.3 million free-ranging sheep Ovis aries in the Norwegian farming industry to elucidate the relative roles of climate, vegetation characteristics, sheep densities, lamb body mass and densities of predators and...

Data from: Long-term environmental monitoring for assessment of change: measurement inconsistencies over time and potential solutions

Kari E. Ellingsen, Nigel G. Yoccoz, Torkild Tveraa, Judi E. Hewitt & Simon F. Thrush
The importance of long-term environmental monitoring and research for detecting and understanding changes in ecosystems and human impacts on natural systems is widely acknowledged. Over the last decades a number of critical components for successful long-term monitoring have been identified. One basic component is quality assurance/quality control protocols to ensure consistency and comparability of data. In Norway, the authorities require environmental monitoring of the impacts of the offshore petroleum industry on the Norwegian continental shelf,...

Data from: Comparisons of reproductive function and fatty acid fillet quality between triploid and diploid farm Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

David S. Murray, Martin J. Kainz, Laura Hebberecht, Kris R. Sales, Kjetil Hindar & Matthew J.G. Gage
Triploidy could prevent escaped farm salmon breeding in the wild, while also improving nutrient quality within farmed fillets. Despite these potential advantages, triploid Atlantic salmon have not been widely used in aquaculture, and their reproductive function has yet to be fully evaluated. Here, we compare reproductive function and fillet composition between triploid and diploid farm salmon under standard aquaculture rearing conditions. We show that female triploids are sterile and do not develop gonads. In contrast,...

Data from: Moving in the Anthropocene: global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

Marlee A. Tucker, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, William F. Fagan, John M. Fryxell, Bram Van Moorter, Susan C. Alberts, Abdullahi H. Ali, Andrew M. Allen, Nina Attias, Tal Avgar, Hattie Bartlam-Brooks, Buuveibaatar Bayarbaatar, Jerrold L. Belant, Alessandra Bertassoni, Dean Beyer, Laura Bidner, Floris M. Van Beest, Stephen Blake, Niels Blaum, Chloe Bracis, Danielle Brown, P. J. Nico De Bruyn, Francesca Cagnacci, Justin M. Calabrese, Constança Camilo-Alves … & Thomas Mueller
Animal movement is fundamental for ecosystem functioning and species survival, yet the effects of the anthropogenic footprint on animal movements have not been estimated across species. Using a unique GPS-tracking database of 803 individuals across 57 species, we found that movements of mammals in areas with a comparatively high human footprint were on average one-half to one-third the extent of their movements in areas with a low human footprint. We attribute this reduction to behavioral...

Data from: Sociodemographic factors modulate the spatial response of brown bears to vacancies created by hunting

Shane C. Frank, Martin Leclerc, Fanie Pelletier, Frank Rosell, Jon E. Swenson, Richard Bischof, Jonas Kindberg, Hans Geir Eiken, Snorre B. Hagen, Andreas Zedrosser & Jon. E. Swenson
1.There is a growing recognition of the importance of indirect effects from hunting on wildlife populations, e.g., social and behavioral changes due to harvest, which occur after the initial offtake. Nonetheless, little is known about how the removal of members of a population influences the spatial configuration of the survivors. 2.We studied how surviving brown bears (Ursus arctos) used former home ranges that had belonged to casualties of the annual bear hunting season in southcentral...

Data from: Mercury exposure, stress and prolactin secretion in an Arctic seabird: an experimental study

Sabrina Tartu, Paco Bustamante, Frédéric Angelier, Ádám Z. Lendvai, Børge Moe, Pierre Blévin, Claus Bech, Geir W. Gabrielsen, Jan Ove Bustnes & Olivier Chastel
Life-history theory predicts that long-lived organisms should reduce parental effort under inclement environmental conditions in order to favour long-term survival. Seabirds are long-lived top predators often exposed to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals such as mercury (Hg). Hg-contaminated birds show disrupted parental behaviour. Avian parental behaviour is governed by two key hormones in birds: corticosterone (CORT, a glucocorticoid hormone) and prolactin (PRL, a pituitary hormone involved in parental care). Any disruption of these hormones may alter...

Data from: Hydropower impacts on reservoir fish populations are modified by environmental variation

Antti P. Eloranta, Anders G. Finstad, Ingeborg P. Helland, Ola Ugedal & Michael Power
Global transition towards renewable energy production has increased the demand for new and more flexible hydropower operations. Before management and stakeholders can make informed choices on potential mitigations, it is essential to understand how the hydropower reservoir ecosystems respond to water level regulation (WLR) impacts that are likely modified by the reservoirs' abiotic and biotic characteristics. Yet, most reservoir studies have been case-specific, which hampers large-scale planning, evaluation and mitigation actions across various reservoir ecosystems....

Data from: Harvest-induced phenotypic selection in an island population of moose, Alces alces

Thomas Kvalnes, Bernt-Erik Sæther, Hallvard Haanes, Knut H. Røed, Steinar Engen, Erling J. Solberg & Bernt-Erik Saether
Empirical evidence strongly indicates that human exploitation has frequently led to rapid evolutionary changes in wild populations, yet the mechanisms involved are often poorly understood. Here we applied a recently developed demographic framework for analysing selection to data from a 20-year study of a wild population of moose, Alces alces. In this population, a genetic pedigree has been established all the way back to founders. We demonstrate harvest-induced directional selection for delayed birth dates in...

Data from: Blood transcriptomes and de novo identification of candidate loci for mating success in lekking great snipe (Gallinago media)

Jacob Höglund, Biao Wang, Stein Are Saether, Mozes Pil Kyu Blom, Peder Fiske, Peter Halvarsson, Gavin J. Horsburgh, Terry Burke, John Atle Kålås & Robert Ekblom
We assembled the great snipe blood transcriptome using data from fourteen lekking males, in order to de novo identify candidate genes related to sexual selection, and determined the expression profiles in relation to mating success. The three most highly transcribed genes were encoding different haemoglobin subunits. All tended to be overexpressed in males with high mating success. We also called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) from the transcriptome data and found considerable genetic variation for many...

Data from: Large-scale oceanographic fluctuations drive Antarctic petrel survival and reproduction

Sebastien Descamps, Arnaud Tarroux, Svein Håkon Lorentsen, Oliver P. Love, Øystein Varpe & Nigel G. Yoccoz
Polar Regions are experiencing environmental changes at unprecedented rates. These changes can spread throughout entire food webs from lower trophic levels to apex predators. As many top predators forage over large areas, these indirect effects may be associated with large-scale patterns of climate variability. Using global climate indices that are known to impact the Southern Ocean ecosystem (the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Antarctic Oscillation Indices) we assessed their efficacy to predict variation in the...

Data from: Spatial variation in the relationship between performance and metabolic rate in wild juvenile Atlantic salmon

Grethe Robertsen, John D. Armstrong, Keith H. Nislow, Ivar Herfindal, Simon McKelvey & Sigurd Einum
1. Maintenance metabolic rate (MR, the energy cost of self-maintenance) is linked to behavioural traits and fitness and varies substantially within populations. Despite having received much attention, the causes and consequences of this variation remain obscure. 2. Theoretically, such within-population variation in fitness-related traits can be maintained by environmental heterogeneity in selection patterns, but for MR this has rarely been tested in nature. 3. Here, we experimentally test if the relationship between MR and performance...

Data from: The influence of weather conditions during gestation on life histories in a wild Arctic ungulate

Mathieu Douhard, Leif Egil Loe, Audun Stien, Christophe Bonenfant, R. Justin Irvine, Vebjørn Veiberg, Erik Ropstad & Steve Albon
The internal predictive adaptive response (internal PAR) hypothesis predicts that individuals born in poor conditions should start to reproduce earlier if they are likely to have reduced performance in later life. However, whether this is the case remains unexplored in wild populations. Here, we use longitudinal data from a long-term study of Svalbard reindeer to examine age-related changes in adult female life-history responses to environmental conditions experienced in utero as indexed by rain-on-snow (ROSutero). We...

Data from: The contemporary genetic pattern of European moose is shaped by postglacial recolonization, bottlenecks, and the geographical barrier of the Baltic Sea

Magdalena Niedziałkowska, Kris J. Hundertmark, Bogumiła Jędrzejewska, Vadim E. Sidorovich, Hanna Zalewska, Rauno Veeroja, Erling J. Solberg, Sauli Laaksonen, Håkan Sand, Vyacheslav A. Solovyev, Andrey Sagaydak, Juha Tiainen, Rimvydas Juškaitis, Gundega Done, Vadim A. Borodulin, Evgenii A. Tulandin & Krzysztof Niedziałkowski
To investigate genetic diversity and the population structure of the European moose (Alces alces), we analyzed 14 microsatellite loci for 694 samples collected across 16 localities. The highest genetic diversity was detected in Belarus and Russia and the lowest was found in Scandinavia. Two major genetic clusters existed, Scandinavian and continental, and some further spatial structure was detected. There was high concordance between the spatial distribution of microsatellite clusters analyzed in the present study and...

Data from: Multi-level patterns in population genetics: variogram series detects a hidden isolation-by- distance- dominated structure of Scandinavian brown bears Ursus arctos

Julia Schregel, Jaanus Remm, Hans Geir Eiken, Jon E. Swenson, Urmas Saarma & Snorre B. Hagen
1. Large-scale pattern-oriented approaches are useful to understand the multi-level processes that shape the genetic structure of a population. Matching the scales of patterns and putative processes is both a key to success and a challenge. 2. We have developed a simple statistical approach, based on variogram analysis, that identifies multiple spatial scales where the population pattern, in this case genetic structure, have highest expression (i.e. the spatial scales at which the strength of patterning...

Data from: Allometric scaling of intraspecific space use

Carolyn M. Rosten, Rodolphe E. Gozlan & Martyn C. Lucas
Allometric scaling relationships enable exploration of animal space-use patterns, yet interspecific studies cannot address many of the underlying mechanisms. We present the first intraspecific study of home range (HR) allometry relative to energetic requirements over several orders of magnitude of body mass, using as a model the predatory fish, pike Esox lucius. Analogous with interspecific studies, we show that space use increases more rapidly with mass (exponent = 1.08) than metabolic scaling theories predict. Our...

Data from: Within-season variation in sexual selection in a fish with dynamic sex roles

Sebastian Wacker, Trond Amundsen, Elisabet Forsgren & Kenyon B. Mobley
The strength of sexual selection may vary between species, among populations, and within populations over time. While there is growing evidence that sexual selection may vary between years, less is known about variation in sexual selection within a season. Here, we investigate within-season variation in sexual selection in male two-spotted gobies (Gobiusculus flavescens). This marine fish experiences a seasonal change in the operational sex ratio from male- to female-biased, resulting in a dramatic decrease in...

Data from: High levels of multiple paternity in a spermcast mating freshwater mussel

Sebastian Wacker, Bjørn M. Larsen, Per Jakobsen & Sten Karlsson
Multiple paternity is an important characteristic of the genetic mating system and common across a wide range of taxa. Multiple paternity can increase within-population genotypic diversity, allowing selection to act on a wider spectre of genotypes, and potentially increasing effective population size. While the genetic mating system has been studied in many species with active mating behaviour, little is known about multiple paternity in sessile species releasing gametes into the water. In freshwater mussels, males...

Data from: Community-wide mesocarnivore response to partial ungulate migration

John-André Henden, Audun Stien, Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen, Nigel G. Yoccoz & Rolf A. Ims
Mesocarnivores increase in number and geographic range in human-disturbed ecosystems with cascading negative impact on biodiversity. To mitigate such impacts it is essential to identify the proximate causes of such mesocarnivore releases. Here we assess to what extent increased partial migration in semi-domesticated tundra reindeer induce a response in boreal and arctic mesocarnivores. We used a large-scale and multi-year quasi-experimental study design with camera traps deployed on coastal tundra peninsulas in northern Norway to estimate...

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