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Scale Dependence of Female Ungulate Reproductive Success in Relation to Nutritional Condition, Resource Selection and Multi-Predator Avoidance.

Duquette JF, Belant JL, Svoboda NJ, Beyer DE, Lederle PE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes.Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple litters of fawns.Our study emphasizes understanding the scale-dependent hierarchy of factors limiting reproductive success is essential to providing reliable knowledge for ungulate management.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Carnivore Ecology Laboratory, Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Female ungulate reproductive success is dependent on the survival of their young, and affected by maternal resource selection, predator avoidance, and nutritional condition. However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes. We expanded on previous research of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) daily survival within home ranges to assess if resource use, integrated risk of 4 mammalian predators, maternal nutrition, winter severity, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained landscape scale variation in daily or seasonal survival during the post-partum period. We hypothesized that reproductive success would be limited greater by predation risk at coarser spatiotemporal scales, but habitat use at finer scales. An additive model of daily non-ideal resource use and maternal nutrition explained the most (69%) variation in survival; though 65% of this variation was related to maternal nutrition. Strong support of maternal nutrition across spatiotemporal scales did not fully support our hypothesis, but suggested reproductive success was related to dam behaviors directed at increasing nutritional condition. These behaviors were especially important following severe winters, when dams produced smaller fawns with less probability of survival. To increase nutritional condition and decrease wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk, dams appeared to place fawns in isolated deciduous forest patches near roads. However, this resource selection represented non-ideal resources for fawns, which had greater predation risk that led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resources alone. Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple litters of fawns. Our study emphasizes understanding the scale-dependent hierarchy of factors limiting reproductive success is essential to providing reliable knowledge for ungulate management.

No MeSH data available.


Kaplan–Meier estimates of neonate white-tailed deer fawn (≤ 14 weeks of age; Odocoileus virginianus; n = 129) survival from 14 May–31 August 2009–2011 in the southcentral Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA.
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pone.0140433.g001: Kaplan–Meier estimates of neonate white-tailed deer fawn (≤ 14 weeks of age; Odocoileus virginianus; n = 129) survival from 14 May–31 August 2009–2011 in the southcentral Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA.

Mentions: Fawn survival was similar (X22 = 3.60, P = 0.168; Fig 1) among years. However, survival was less (X21 = 4.30, P = 0.038) in 2009 (0.52, SE = 0.08) than in 2010 (0.72, SE = 0.06), but similar (X21 = 0.20, P = 0.659) to 2011 (0.59, SE = 0.07). Survival was less (X21 = 4.10, P = 0.042) in 2011 than in 2010.


Scale Dependence of Female Ungulate Reproductive Success in Relation to Nutritional Condition, Resource Selection and Multi-Predator Avoidance.

Duquette JF, Belant JL, Svoboda NJ, Beyer DE, Lederle PE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Kaplan–Meier estimates of neonate white-tailed deer fawn (≤ 14 weeks of age; Odocoileus virginianus; n = 129) survival from 14 May–31 August 2009–2011 in the southcentral Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4608707&req=5

pone.0140433.g001: Kaplan–Meier estimates of neonate white-tailed deer fawn (≤ 14 weeks of age; Odocoileus virginianus; n = 129) survival from 14 May–31 August 2009–2011 in the southcentral Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA.
Mentions: Fawn survival was similar (X22 = 3.60, P = 0.168; Fig 1) among years. However, survival was less (X21 = 4.30, P = 0.038) in 2009 (0.52, SE = 0.08) than in 2010 (0.72, SE = 0.06), but similar (X21 = 0.20, P = 0.659) to 2011 (0.59, SE = 0.07). Survival was less (X21 = 4.10, P = 0.042) in 2011 than in 2010.

Bottom Line: However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes.Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple litters of fawns.Our study emphasizes understanding the scale-dependent hierarchy of factors limiting reproductive success is essential to providing reliable knowledge for ungulate management.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Carnivore Ecology Laboratory, Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Female ungulate reproductive success is dependent on the survival of their young, and affected by maternal resource selection, predator avoidance, and nutritional condition. However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes. We expanded on previous research of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) daily survival within home ranges to assess if resource use, integrated risk of 4 mammalian predators, maternal nutrition, winter severity, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained landscape scale variation in daily or seasonal survival during the post-partum period. We hypothesized that reproductive success would be limited greater by predation risk at coarser spatiotemporal scales, but habitat use at finer scales. An additive model of daily non-ideal resource use and maternal nutrition explained the most (69%) variation in survival; though 65% of this variation was related to maternal nutrition. Strong support of maternal nutrition across spatiotemporal scales did not fully support our hypothesis, but suggested reproductive success was related to dam behaviors directed at increasing nutritional condition. These behaviors were especially important following severe winters, when dams produced smaller fawns with less probability of survival. To increase nutritional condition and decrease wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk, dams appeared to place fawns in isolated deciduous forest patches near roads. However, this resource selection represented non-ideal resources for fawns, which had greater predation risk that led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resources alone. Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple litters of fawns. Our study emphasizes understanding the scale-dependent hierarchy of factors limiting reproductive success is essential to providing reliable knowledge for ungulate management.

No MeSH data available.