34 Works

Personality predicts foraging site fidelity and trip repeatability in a marine predator

Stephanie M. Harris, Sébastien Descamps, Lynne U. Sneddon, Philip Bertrand, Olivier Chastel & Samantha C. Patrick
1. Animal populations are often comprised of both foraging specialists and generalists. For instance, some individuals show higher foraging site fidelity (spatial specialisation) than others. Such individual differences in degree of specialisation can persist over timescales of months or even years in long-lived animals, but the mechanisms leading to these different individual strategies are not fully understood. 2. There is accumulating evidence that individual variation in foraging behaviour is shaped by animal personality traits, such...

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...

Influence of past climate change on phylogeography and demographic history of narwhals, Monodon monoceros

Marie Louis, Mikkel Skovrind, Jose Alfredo Samaniego Castruita, Cristina Garilao, Kristin Kaschner, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, James Haile, Christian Lydersen, Kit Kovacs, Eva Garde, Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, Lianne Postma, Steve Ferguson, Eske Willerslev & Eline Lorenzen
The Arctic is warming at an unprecedented rate, with unknown consequences for endemic fauna. However, Earth has experienced severe climatic oscillations in the past, and understanding how species responded to them might provide insight into their resilience to near-future climatic predictions. Little is known about the responses of Arctic marine mammals to past climatic shifts, but narwhals (Monodon monoceros) are considered one of the endemic Arctic species most vulnerable to environmental change. Here, we analyze...

Prey density affects predator foraging strategy in an Antarctic ecosystem

Karl Busdieker, Samantha Patrick, Alice Trevail & Sébastien Descamps
Studying the effects of prey distribution on predator behaviour is complex in systems where there are multiple prey species. The role of prey density in predator behaviour is rarely studied in closed ecosystems of one predator species and one prey species, despite these being an ideal opportunity to test these hypotheses. In this study, we investigate the effect of prey density on the foraging behaviour of a predatory species in an isolated Antarctic ecosystem of...

State-space model for Svalbard ptarmigan

Filippo Marolla, John-Andre Henden, Eva Fuglei, Ashild Ønvik Pedersen, Mikhail Itkin & Rolf Anker Ims
To improve understanding and management of the consequences of current rapid environmental change, ecologists advocate using long-term monitoring data series to generate iterative near-term predictions of ecosystem responses. This approach allows scientific evidence to increase rapidly and management strategies to be tailored simultaneously. Iterative near-term forecasting may therefore be particularly useful for adaptive monitoring of ecosystems subjected to rapid climate change. Here, we show how to implement near-term forecasting in the case of a harvested...

Capture-recapture dataset of Svalbard voles (1990-2007) with trap locations and rain-on-snow measurements

Dominique Fauteux, Audun Stien, Nigel G. Yoccoz, Eva Fuglei & Rolf A. Ims
Ecologists are still puzzled by the diverse population dynamics of herbivorous small mammals that range from high-amplitude, multi-annual cycles to stable dynamics. Theory predicts that this diversity results from combinations of climatic seasonality, weather stochasticity and density-dependent food web interactions. The almost ubiquitous 3-5-yr cycles in boreal and arctic climates may theoretically result from bottom-up (plant-herbivore) and top-down (predator-prey) interactions. Assessing empirically the roles of such interactions, and how they are influenced by environmental stochasticity,...

Processed airborne radio-echo sounding data from the ICEGRAV survey covering the Recovery Catchment and interior Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica (2012/2013)

Fausto Ferraccioli, Hugh Corr, Tom Jordan, Rene Forsberg, Kenichi Matsuoka, Anja Diez, Arne Olesen, Maria Ghidella, Andres Zakrajsek, Carl Robinson & Owen King
During the austral summer of 2012/13 a major international collaboration between Danish, US, UK, Norwegian and Argentinian scientists collected ~29,000 line km (equivalent to 464,317 km2) of aerogeophysical data over 132 hours of flight time and covering the previously poorly surveyed Recovery Glacier and Recovery Subglacial Lakes, as well as the area of Coats Land inboard from Halley VI using airborne survey systems mounted in Twin Otter aircraft. Our aircraft was equipped with dual-frequency carrier-phase...

Fine-scale spatial segregation in a pelagic seabird driven by differential use of tidewater glacier fronts

Philip Bertrand, Joël Bêty, Nigel Gilles Yoccoz, Marie-Josée Fortin, Hallvard Strøm, Harald Steen, Jack Kohler, Stephanie M. Harris, Samantha C. Patrick, Olivier Chastel, Pierre Blévin, Haakon Hop, Geir Moholdt, Joséphine Maton & Sébastien Descamps
In colonially breeding marine predators, individual movements and colonial segregation are influenced by seascape characteristics. Tidewater glacier fronts are important features of the Arctic seascape and are often described as foraging hotspots. Albeit their documented importance for wildlife, little is known about their structuring effect on arctic predator movements and space use. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that tidewater glacier fronts can influence marine bird foraging patterns and drive spatial segregation among adjacent...

Searching for genetic evidence of demographic decline in an arctic seabird: beware of overlapping generations

Emeline Charbonnel, Claire Daguin, Lucille Caradec, Eléonore Moittié, Olivier Gilg, Maria Gavrilo, Hallvard Strom, Mark L Mallory, Grant Gilchrist, R. I. Guy Morrisson, Raphael Leblois, Camille Roux, Jonathan M Yearsley, Glenn Yannic & Thomas Broquet
Genetic data are useful for detecting sudden population declines in species that are difficult to study in the field. Yet this indirect approach has its own drawbacks, including population structure, mutation patterns, and generation overlap. The ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea), a long-lived Arctic seabird, is currently suffering from rapid alteration of its primary habitat (i.e., sea ice), and dramatic climatic events affecting reproduction and recruitment. However, ivory gulls live in remote areas, and it is...

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