The effect of season, sex and feeding style on home range area versus body mass scaling in temperate ruminants
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- Mysterud, A., Pérez-Barbería, F. & Gordon, I. Oecologia (2001) 127: 30. doi:10.1007/s004420000562
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Sex-specific estimates of the summer and winter home range area of 19 species of temperate ruminants were collated from the literature. It was predicted that there should be a shallower slope for the home range area against body mass relationship during winter than during summer, as large ruminants can meet more of their energy requirements from the fat reserves deposited during summer than small ruminants. Consequently, relatively large species do not need to range as widely during winter. There was a significant positive relationship between body mass and summer and winter home range area in both females and males. This relationship remained significant when analysed within feeding styles (browser, mixed feeder, grazer), except in mixed feeders in winter. As predicted, slope estimates were significantly lower during winter (b=0.59) than during summer (b=1.28), both before and after controlling for phylogeny. After controlling for phylogeny, browsers had a steeper slope (summer: b=1.48; winter: b=1.07) of the home range area against body mass relationship than did mixed feeders (summer: b=0.75; winter: b=–0.11) or grazers (summer: b=1.10; winter: b=0.34). There was no effect of sex after body mass was controlled for. The effect of season, sex and feeding style on the home range area versus body mass relationship in temperate ruminants is discussed.