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Spatio-temporal patterns in arctic fox (Vulpes alopex) diets revealed by molecular analysis of scats from Northeast Greenland

Schmidt, Niels Martin and Roslin, Tomas and Hansen, Lars Holst and Gilg, Olivier and Lang, Johannes and Sittler, Benoit and Hansen, Jannik and Bollache, Loic and Vesterinen, Eero (2022). Spatio-temporal patterns in arctic fox (Vulpes alopex) diets revealed by molecular analysis of scats from Northeast Greenland. Polar Science. 32 , 100838
[Research article]

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Abstract

The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is endemic to the Arctic where it holds a central position in the trophic interactions. The diet of the species has previously been described as being highly flexible, but whether this flexibility is a constant trait through time, or merely reflects fast temporal changes in abundance among prey taxa, has so far been poorly resolved. Using molecular analyses of arctic fox scats from Northeast Greenland, we first examined the temporal dynamics of arctic fox diets during the short snow-free season, and then examined whether local food availability at different sites affected arctic fox dependence on lemmings. Arctic fox diets included most terrestrial vertebrate species found in the region, and exhibited substantial temporal changes, generally reflecting the dynamic changes in prey availability from late winter through autumn. This dietary flexibility was also reflected geographically, with arctic foxes consuming a variety of local prey (mainly waterfowl and lemmings) in summer. Moreover, the dietary response of arctic foxes to changes in lemming abundance depended on access to non-lemming prey. Based on these findings, we discuss whether varying degrees of lemming-dependency, combined with geographical differences in winter food availability, may explain previously published differences in arctic fox breeding patterns in high arctic Greenland.

Authors/Creators:Schmidt, Niels Martin and Roslin, Tomas and Hansen, Lars Holst and Gilg, Olivier and Lang, Johannes and Sittler, Benoit and Hansen, Jannik and Bollache, Loic and Vesterinen, Eero
Title:Spatio-temporal patterns in arctic fox (Vulpes alopex) diets revealed by molecular analysis of scats from Northeast Greenland
Series Name/Journal:Polar Science
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:32
Article number:100838
Number of Pages:8
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:1873-9652
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Zoology
Keywords:Greenland, Metabarcoding, Predation, Trophic interactions, Tundra
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-118036
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-118036
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.polar.2022.100838
Web of Science (WoS)000809841900004
ID Code:28666
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:30 Aug 2022 14:09
Metadata Last Modified:30 Aug 2022 14:11

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