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Positive effect of spring advance on the diet quality of an alpine herbivore
Espunyes, Johan (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals)
Serrano Ferron, Emmanuel (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals)
Chaves, Sara (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge)
Bartolomé, Jordi (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Ciència Animal i dels Aliments)
Menaut, P. (French Agency for Biodiversity. Service d'Appui aux Acteurs et Mobilisation du Territoire)
Albanell Trullas, Elena (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Ciència Animal i dels Aliments)
Marchand, P. (French Agency for Biodiversity. Unité Ongulés Sauvages)
Foulché, Kévin (French Agency for Biodiversity. Service d'Appui aux Acteurs et Mobilisation du Territoire)
Garel, Mathieu (French Agency for Biodiversity. Unité Ongulés Sauvages)

Data: 2021
Resum: Changes in vegetation phenology related to global warming are having alarming effects on the life history traits of many herbivore species. Such changes are particularly critical in alpine ecosystems, where strong climate limitations on plant growth make seasonal synchronization imperative for the growth, reproduction and survival of herbivores. However, despite the pivotal role of resource-use strategies on the performances of such species, few studies have explicitly assessed the mechanistic impact of climate change on their diets. We aimed to fill this gap by studying the effect of spring onset on the dietary composition and quality of a medium-size alpine herbivore while considering density-dependent processes and age- and sex-specific differences in foraging behavior. Using an exceptional, long-term (24 years) direct individual-based dietary monitoring of a Pyrenean chamois population (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica), we showed that ongoing earlier onsets of spring are leading to an earlier access to high-quality forage and therefore a higher diet quality at a fixed date, without apparent changes in diet composition. We also showed that at high densities, intraspecific competition reduced diet quality by driving animals to feed more on woody plants and less on nutritious forbs and graminoids. By assessing the mechanistic effects of global warming on the dietary patterns of species at the center of trophic networks, this study is an essential step for predictive models aiming at understanding the ongoing ecosystem consequences of the global climatic crisis.
Ajuts: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad RYC-2016-21120
Nota: Funding: Govern d'Andorra (ATC015 AND 2015/2016, 2016/2017, and 2017/2018).
Nota: Altres ajuts: Acord transformatiu CRUE-CSIC
Drets: Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús Creative Commons. Es permet la reproducció total o parcial, la distribució, i la comunicació pública de l'obra, sempre que no sigui amb finalitats comercials, i sempre que es reconegui l'autoria de l'obra original. No es permet la creació d'obres derivades. Creative Commons
Llengua: Anglès
Document: Article ; recerca ; Versió publicada
Publicat a: Integrative Zoology, 2021 , ISSN 1749-4877

DOI: 10.1111/1749-4877.12572
PMID: 34223702


15 p, 786.4 KB

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 Registre creat el 2021-09-08, darrera modificació el 2022-04-26



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