New publication: Same habitat types but different use: evidence of context-dependent habitat selection in roe deer across populations

By William Gaudry, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Sonia Saïd, Christophe Bonenfant, Atle Mysterud*, Nicolas Morellet, Maryline Pellerin, and Clément Calenge in Scientific Reports

Abstract

With the surge of GPS-technology, many studies uncovered space use of mobile animals and shed light on the underlying behavioral mechanisms of habitat selection. Habitat selection and variation in either occurrence or strength of functional responses (i.e. how selection changes with availability) have given new insight into such mechanisms within populations in diferent ecosystems. However, linking variation in habitat selection to site-specifc conditions in diferent populations facing contrasting environmental conditions but the same habitat type has not yet been investigated. We aimed to fll this knowledge gap by comparing within-home range habitat selection across 61 female roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) during the most critical life history stage in three study areas showing the same habitat types but with diferent environmental conditions. Female roe deer markedly difered in habitat selection within their home range, both within and among populations. Females facing poor environmental conditions clearly displayed a functional response, whereas females facing rich environmental conditions did not show any functional response. These results demonstrate how the use of a given habitat relative to its availability strongly varies in response to environmental conditions. Our fndings highlight that the same habitat composition can lead to very diferent habitat selection processes across contrasted environments.


Scientific Reports, Volume 8, Article number: 5102 (2018)
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-23111-0
Published online: 23 March 2018
Publication webpage.

* Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
See the publication webpage for full author information

Tags: Scientific Reports;
Published Apr. 12, 2018 12:07 PM - Last modified Apr. 12, 2018 12:07 PM