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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.


Spatially-predicted probability of resource use, integrated predation risk, and non-ideal resource use for white-tailed deer fawns (≤ 14 weeks old; Odocoileus virginianus; n = 129) captured as neonates during the maternal dependency period (25 May–31 August), Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, 2009–2011.Integrated predation risk was estimated from the summed probability of resource selection of bobcats (Lynx rufus), American black bears (Ursus americanus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and gray wolves (C. lupus).
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pone.0140433.g003: Spatially-predicted probability of resource use, integrated predation risk, and non-ideal resource use for white-tailed deer fawns (≤ 14 weeks old; Odocoileus virginianus; n = 129) captured as neonates during the maternal dependency period (25 May–31 August), Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, 2009–2011.Integrated predation risk was estimated from the summed probability of resource selection of bobcats (Lynx rufus), American black bears (Ursus americanus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and gray wolves (C. lupus).

Mentions: We evaluated 17 models of daily or seasonal survival of fawns related to resource use, predation risk, maternal nutritional effects, winter weather, and hiding cover (Table 4). Daily survival of fawns was most influenced by non-ideal resource use and maternal nutritional effects that explained about 69% of the variation in daily survival, similar to the home range scale. However, maternal nutritional effects explained most (65%) of the variation in fawn daily survival. Parameter coefficients of the non-ideal resource use and maternal nutritional effects model at the landscape scale were of the same direction and similar magnitude as the home range scale (Table 5). A comparison of daily resource use and predation risk accounting for maternal nutritional effects showed likelihood of mortality increased linearly with resource use less than 59% or predation risk greater than 59% (Fig 2). Probability of fawn resource use extrapolated across the study area suggested resource use had a strong positive relationship with roads, but was negatively related to interior lowland forests (Fig 3). The predation risk model showed broad variation in risk across the study area, but increased risk appeared more spatially homogenous with greater lowland forest but less road density (i.e., interior forests). Non-ideal resource use of fawns extrapolated across the study area suggested that areas of decreased resource use suitability and increased predation risk had greater probability of mortality. The home range scale [13] similarly showed interior forests have increased probability of mortality, but to a lesser extent than at the landscape scale. Seasonal survival of fawns was most influenced by a weather-mediated ecological trap and maternal effects, but only explained 5.21% of the variation in seasonal survival and no model parameters were significant.


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)

Spatially-predicted probability of resource use, integrated predation risk, and non-ideal resource use for white-tailed deer fawns (≤ 14 weeks old; Odocoileus virginianus; n = 129) captured as neonates during the maternal dependency period (25 May–31 August), Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, 2009–2011.Integrated predation risk was estimated from the summed probability of resource selection of bobcats (Lynx rufus), American black bears (Ursus americanus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and gray wolves (C. lupus).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0140433.g003: Spatially-predicted probability of resource use, integrated predation risk, and non-ideal resource use for white-tailed deer fawns (≤ 14 weeks old; Odocoileus virginianus; n = 129) captured as neonates during the maternal dependency period (25 May–31 August), Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, 2009–2011.Integrated predation risk was estimated from the summed probability of resource selection of bobcats (Lynx rufus), American black bears (Ursus americanus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and gray wolves (C. lupus).
Mentions: We evaluated 17 models of daily or seasonal survival of fawns related to resource use, predation risk, maternal nutritional effects, winter weather, and hiding cover (Table 4). Daily survival of fawns was most influenced by non-ideal resource use and maternal nutritional effects that explained about 69% of the variation in daily survival, similar to the home range scale. However, maternal nutritional effects explained most (65%) of the variation in fawn daily survival. Parameter coefficients of the non-ideal resource use and maternal nutritional effects model at the landscape scale were of the same direction and similar magnitude as the home range scale (Table 5). A comparison of daily resource use and predation risk accounting for maternal nutritional effects showed likelihood of mortality increased linearly with resource use less than 59% or predation risk greater than 59% (Fig 2). Probability of fawn resource use extrapolated across the study area suggested resource use had a strong positive relationship with roads, but was negatively related to interior lowland forests (Fig 3). The predation risk model showed broad variation in risk across the study area, but increased risk appeared more spatially homogenous with greater lowland forest but less road density (i.e., interior forests). Non-ideal resource use of fawns extrapolated across the study area suggested that areas of decreased resource use suitability and increased predation risk had greater probability of mortality. The home range scale [13] similarly showed interior forests have increased probability of mortality, but to a lesser extent than at the landscape scale. Seasonal survival of fawns was most influenced by a weather-mediated ecological trap and maternal effects, but only explained 5.21% of the variation in seasonal survival and no model parameters were significant.

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.