The link between spatio-temporal resource patterns and animal movement behaviour is a key ecological process, however, limited experimental support for this connection has been produced at the home range scale. In this study, we analysed the spatial responses of a resident large herbivore (roe deer Capreolus capreolus) using an in situ manipulation of a concentrated food resource. Specifically, we experimentally altered feeding site accessibility to roe deer and recorded (for 25 animal-years) individual responses by GPS tracking. We found that, following the loss of their preferred resource, roe deer actively tracked resource dynamics leading to more exploratory movements, and larger, spatially-shifted home ranges. Then, we showed, for the first time experimentally, the importance of site fidelity in the maintenance of large mammal home ranges by demonstrating the return of individuals to their familiar, preferred resource despite the presence of alternate, equally-valuable food resources. This behaviour was modulated at the individual level, where roe deer characterised by a high preference for feeding sites exhibited more pronounced behavioural adjustments during the manipulation. Together, our results establish the connections between herbivore movements, space-use, individual preference, and the spatio-temporal pattern of resources in home ranging behaviour

Ranc, N.; Moorcroft, P.R.; Hansen, K.W.; Ossi, F.; Sforna, T.; Ferraro, E.; Brugnoli, A.; Cagnacci, F. (2020). Preference and familiarity mediate spatial responses of a large herbivore to experimental manipulation of resource availability. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 10: 11946. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-68046-7 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/64131

Preference and familiarity mediate spatial responses of a large herbivore to experimental manipulation of resource availability

Ranc, N.
Primo
;
Hansen, K. W.;Ossi, F.;Sforna, T.;Cagnacci, F.
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

The link between spatio-temporal resource patterns and animal movement behaviour is a key ecological process, however, limited experimental support for this connection has been produced at the home range scale. In this study, we analysed the spatial responses of a resident large herbivore (roe deer Capreolus capreolus) using an in situ manipulation of a concentrated food resource. Specifically, we experimentally altered feeding site accessibility to roe deer and recorded (for 25 animal-years) individual responses by GPS tracking. We found that, following the loss of their preferred resource, roe deer actively tracked resource dynamics leading to more exploratory movements, and larger, spatially-shifted home ranges. Then, we showed, for the first time experimentally, the importance of site fidelity in the maintenance of large mammal home ranges by demonstrating the return of individuals to their familiar, preferred resource despite the presence of alternate, equally-valuable food resources. This behaviour was modulated at the individual level, where roe deer characterised by a high preference for feeding sites exhibited more pronounced behavioural adjustments during the manipulation. Together, our results establish the connections between herbivore movements, space-use, individual preference, and the spatio-temporal pattern of resources in home ranging behaviour
Movement models
Resource selection
Artificial feeding
Settore BIO/07 - ECOLOGIA
2020
Ranc, N.; Moorcroft, P.R.; Hansen, K.W.; Ossi, F.; Sforna, T.; Ferraro, E.; Brugnoli, A.; Cagnacci, F. (2020). Preference and familiarity mediate spatial responses of a large herbivore to experimental manipulation of resource availability. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 10: 11946. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-68046-7 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/64131
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