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'O neighbour, where art thou?'

spatial and social dynamics in wolverine and lynx, from individual space use to population distribution

Aronsson, Malin (2017). 'O neighbour, where art thou?'. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2017:24
ISBN 978-91-576-8821-7
eISBN 978-91-576-8822-4
[Doctoral thesis]

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The organisation of individuals in space and time influences population structure and dynamics, and is important for our understanding of animal ecology. The aim of this thesis is to gain an increased understanding of the mechanisms driving the abundance and distribution of solitary carnivores, from individual space use to population-level distribution. I used individual-level spatial and demographic data from Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and wolverines (Gulo gulo), collected over more than 20 years in multiple areas within Scandinavia, to assess space use determinants and link territorial dynamics to dispersal patterns. For lynx, female total home range size declined as roe deer and lynx density increased. Male total home range size also declined with higher lynx density, while prey only became important for determining the size of more intensively used areas within the home range. There is also a positive effect of roe deer abundance on lynx survival in south-central Sweden. Roe deer is a predictable prey source compared to migrating reindeer, the main prey for lynx in northern Sweden. I found that home range overlap between neighbouring lynx increased with their relatedness (mother-daughter) for females in northern Sweden, but not for males nor females in the south. This finding suggests inclusive fitness benefits of sharing an unpredictable and highly seasonal food source with known relatives. The wolverine study population was characterized by a stable distribution of resident individuals with high territorial fidelity. When a territory became vacant in the study area, it was almost exclusively reoccupied by a female from the surrounding area. The availability of a young female’s natal territory substantially increased the probability of her establishing in the study area. Furthermore, the probability of a young female leaving the study area increased as the number of available territories decreased. This finding suggests that the study population is saturated, with limited room for dispersers to establish, which suggests that emigration to surrounding areas is related to survival of resident females. Wolverines in Sweden have expanded into boreal forests south and east of alpine areas. However, the recolonised areas with limited snow cover remain largely unmonitored. Most females gave birth in natal dens in mid-February, and rarely moved their cubs between den sites for the first two months, while lactating and while prey availability was low. After weaning, den shifting over longer distances increased, matching the seasonal increase in prey availability. Increased knowledge of spatial and social dynamics can give insights into how these populations are influenced by human activity, as well as the outcome of management actions.

Authors/Creators:Aronsson, Malin
Title:'O neighbour, where art thou?'
Subtitle:spatial and social dynamics in wolverine and lynx, from individual space use to population distribution
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :17 February 2017
Depositing date:15 February 2017
Number of Pages:63
IAronsson, M., Low, M., López-Bao, J.V., Persson, J., Odden, J., Linnell, J.D.C. & Andrén, H. (2016). Intensity of space use reveals conditional sex- specific effects of prey and conspecific density on home range size. Ecology and Evolution, 6(9), 2957–2967.
IIAndrén, H., Aronsson, M., López-Bao, J.V., Samelius, G., Chapron, G., Rauset, G.R. & Persson, J. Effects of prey density and human activity on Eurasian lynx survival in human-dominated landscapes. (Manuscript)
IIIAronsson, M., Åkesson, M., Low, M., Persson, J. & Andrén, H. It ́s relative: Resource dispersion and relatedness influence home range overlap in a solitary carnivore(Manuscript)
IVAronsson, M. & Persson, J. Female breeding dispersal in wolverines; a solitary carnivore with high territorial fidelity.(Manuscript)
VAronsson, M., Low, M., Andrén, H., Ordiz, A., Segerström, P. & Persson, J. The link between local territorial dynamics and dispersal patterns for female wolverines(Manuscript)
VIAronsson, M. Persson, J. 2016. Mismatch between goals and the scale of actions constrains adaptive carnivore management: the case of the wolverine in Sweden. Animal Conservation, 1–9. doi:10.1111/acv.12310.
VIIPersson, J., Aronsson, M., Andrén H. & Low, M. Reproductive timing and denning behaviour of female wolverines in relation to resource availability and population monitoring (Manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8821-7
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8822-4
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:lynxes, mustelidae, carnivora, population dynamics, geographical distribution, habitats, nature conservation, animal behaviour, analysis, scandinavia
Keywords:adaptive management, breeding dispersal, carnivore, conservation, dispersal, Gulo gulo, home range, Lynx lynx, Scandinavia, solitary, territoriality
Permanent URL:
ID Code:14047
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: Malin Aronsson
Deposited On:16 Feb 2017 10:06
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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