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Gewählte Publikation:

Reiner, R; Zedrosser, A; Zeiler, H; Hacklander, K; Corlatti, L.
(2022): Habitat and climate shape growth patterns in a mountain ungulate
ECOL EVOL. 2022; 12(3), e8650 FullText FullText_BOKU

Uptake and use of energy are of key importance for animals living in temperate environments that undergo strong seasonal changes in forage quality and quantity. In ungulates, energy intake strongly affects body mass gain, an important component of individual fitness. Energy allocation among life-history traits can be affected by internal and external factors. Here, we investigate large-scale variation in body growth patterns of Alpine chamois Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra, in relation to sex, age, temperature, and habitat variations across 31 (sub)populations in the Central European Alps. Taking advantage of an exceptionally large dataset (n = 178,175) of chamois hunted over 27 consecutive years between 1993 and 2019 in mountain ranges with different proportions of forest cover, we found that (i) patterns of body mass growth differ between mountain ranges, with lower body mass but faster mass growth with increasing proportion of forest cover and that (ii) the effect of spring and summer temperatures on changes in body growth patterns are larger in mountain ranges with lower forest cover compared to mountain ranges with higher forest cover. Our results show that patterns of body mass growth within a species are more plastic than expected and depend on environmental and climatic conditions. The recent decline in body mass observed in Alpine chamois populations may have greater impacts on populations living above the treeline than in forests, which may buffer against the effects of increasing temperatures on life-history traits.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Corlatti Luca
Hackländer Klaus
Reiner Rudolf Christian
Zedrosser Andreas
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
body mass
climate change
growth pattern
Rupicapra rupicapra

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