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Linking seasonal home range size with habitat selection and movement in a mountain ungulate

AutorViana, Duarte S.; Granados, José E.; Fandos, Paulino; Pérez, Jesús M.; Cano-Manuel, Francisco J.; Burón, Daniel; Fandos, Guillermo; Aguado, María A. P.; Figuerola, Jordi ; Soriguer, Ramón C.
Fecha de publicación5-dic-2017
EditorBioMed Central
CitaciónMovement Ecology 6: 1 (2018)
Resumen[Background] Space use by animals is determined by the interplay between movement and the environment, and is thus mediated by habitat selection, biotic interactions and intrinsic factors of moving individuals. These processes ultimately determine home range size, but their relative contributions and dynamic nature remain less explored. We investigated the role of habitat selection, movement unrelated to habitat selection and intrinsic factors related to sex in driving space use and home range size in Iberian ibex, Capra pyrenaica. We used GPS collars to track ibex across the year in two different geographical areas of Sierra Nevada, Spain, and measured habitat variables related to forage and roost availability.
[Results] By using integrated step selection analysis (iSSA), we show that habitat selection was important to explain space use by ibex. As a consequence, movement was constrained by habitat selection, as observed displacement rate was shorter than expected under null selection. Selection-independent movement, selection strength and resource availability were important drivers of seasonal home range size. Both displacement rate and directional persistence had a positive relationship with home range size while accounting for habitat selection, suggesting that individual characteristics and state may also affect home range size. Ibex living at higher altitudes, where resource availability shows stronger altitudinal gradients across the year, had larger home ranges. Home range size was larger in spring and autumn, when ibex ascend and descend back, and smaller in summer and winter, when resources are more stable. Therefore, home range size decreased with resource availability. Finally, males had larger home ranges than females, which might be explained by differences in body size and reproductive behaviour.
[Conclusions] Movement, selection strength, resource availability and intrinsic factors related to sex determined home range size of Iberian ibex. Our results highlight the need to integrate and account for process dependencies, here the interdependence of movement and habitat selection, to understand how animals use space. This study contributes to understand how movement links environmental and geographical space use and determines home range behaviour in large herbivores.
DescripciónFecha de aceptación del trabajo: 2017-12-05.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40462-017-0119-8
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