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Different effects of alpine woody plant expansion on domestic and wild ungulates
Espunyes, Johan (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge)
Lurgi Rivera, Miguel (Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse). Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling)
Büntgen, Ulf (Department of Geography, University of Cambridge)
Bartolomé, Jordi (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Ruminant Research Group)
Calleja, Juan Antonio (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Gálvez Cerón, Arturo Leonel (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals)
Peñuelas, Josep (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Claramunt López, Bernat (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Serrano Ferron, Emmanuel (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge)

Date: 2019
Abstract: Changes in land‐use and climate affect the distribution and diversity of plant and animal species at different spatiotemporal scales. The extent to which species‐specific phenotypic plasticity and biotic interactions mediate organismal adaptation to changing environments, however, remains poorly understood. Woody plant expansion is threatening the extent of alpine grasslands worldwide, and evaluating and predicting its effects on herbivores is of crucial importance. Here, we explore the impact of shrubification on the feeding efficiency of Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica), as well as on the three most abundant coexisting domestic ungulate species: cattle, sheep and horses. We use observational diet composition from May to October and model different scenarios of vegetation availability where shrubland and woodland proliferate at the expense of grassland. We then predicted if the four ungulate species could efficiently utilize their food landscapes with their current dietary specificities measuring their niche breath in each scenario. We observed that the wild counterpart, due to a higher trophic plasticity, is less disturbed by shrubification compared to livestock, which rely primarily on herbaceous plants and will be affected 3. 6 times more. Our results suggest that mixed feeders, such as chamois, could benefit from fallow landscapes, and that mountain farmers are at a growing economic risk worldwide due to changing land‐use practices and climate conditions.
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció EC/H2020/726176
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MINECO/RYC-2016-21120
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Language: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; acceptedVersion
Subject: Diet preference ; Free‐ranging livestock ; Habitat change ; Herbivory ; Mountain ecosystems ; Pyrenean chamois ; Shrubification
Published in: Global change biology, First published 08 February 2019, ISSN 1365-2486

DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14587
PMID: 30737872

Available from: 2020-02-30

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > CREAF (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i d'Aplicacions Forestals)
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2019-03-25, last modified 2019-05-27

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