Oecologia

, Volume 170, Issue 4, pp 965–977

Linking trade-offs in habitat selection with the occurrence of functional responses for moose living in two nearby study areas

  • Géraldine Mabille
  • Christian Dussault
  • Jean-Pierre Ouellet
  • Catherine Laurian
Behavioral ecology - Original research

Abstract

A species may modify its relative habitat use with changing availability, generating functional responses in habitat selection. Functional responses in habitat selection are expected to occur when animals experience trade-offs influencing their habitat selection, but only a few studies to date have explicitly linked functional responses to the underlying trade-offs faced by the animals. We used data from 39 female moose fitted with GPS telemetry collars in two nearby study areas in Canada to investigate if moose (1) were faced with a food/cover trade-off in habitat selection, as typically acknowledged in the literature, and (2) showed a functional response in their use of food/cover-rich habitats. We also examined how habitat selection patterns varied seasonally, and between study areas. The occurrence of functional responses varied strongly between study areas, and could not always be related to a measurable food/cover trade-off. Functional responses were observed more often in the study area where the environmental conditions were more severe (colder temperatures, higher precipitations, and lower food availability). Selection coefficients were also less variable among individuals in that study area, suggesting that severe environmental conditions may constrain individuals to a few selection tactics and promote the development of functional responses. Moose reacted to the availability of different habitat types in different seasons, reflecting the changing trade-offs faced by the animals. We found considerable behavioral differences between individuals from two adjacent study areas, and therefore recommend caution when extrapolating habitat selection results. We advocate for the wider use of functional responses to identify critical habitats for a species from a management or conservation perspective.

Keywords

Alces alces Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) Habitat selection Resource selection functions (RSF) Ungulates 

Supplementary material

442_2012_2382_MOESM1_ESM.doc (354 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 354 kb)

References

  1. Alonzo SH (2002) State-dependent habitat selection games between predators and prey: the importance of behavioural interactions and expected lifetime reproductive success. Evol Ecol Res 4:759–778Google Scholar
  2. Andersen R, Saether BE (1992) Functional response during winter of a herbivore, the moose, in relation to age and size. Ecology 73:542–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Belovsky GE, Jordan PA (1978) The time–energy budget of a moose. Theor Popul Biol 14:76–104Google Scholar
  4. Bowyer RT, Van Ballenberghe V, Kie JG, Maier JAK (1999) Birth-site selection by Alaskan moose: maternal strategies for coping with a risky environment. J Mammal 80:1070–1083CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyce MS, McDonald LL (1999) Relating populations to habitats using resource selection functions. Trends Ecol Evol 14:268–272PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Breslow NE, Clayton DG (1993) Approximate inference in generalized linear mixed models. J Am Stat Assoc 88:9–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chekchak T, Courtois R, Ouellet JP, Breton L, St-Onge S (1998) Characteristics of moose (Alces alces) calving sites. Can J Zool 76:1663–1670Google Scholar
  8. Dussault C, Courtois R, Ouellet JP, Huot J (1999) Evaluation of GPS telemetry collar performance for habitat studies in the boreal forest. Wildl Soc Bull 27:965–972Google Scholar
  9. Dussault C, Ouellet JP, Courtois R, Huot J, Breton L, Larochelle J (2004) Behavioural responses of moose to thermal conditions in the boreal forest. Ecoscience 11:321–328Google Scholar
  10. Dussault C, Ouellet JP, Courtois R, Huot J, Breton L, Jolicoeur H (2005) Linking moose habitat selection to limiting factors. Ecography 28:619–628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Frid A, Dill LM (2002) Human-caused disturbance stimuli as a form of predation risk. Conserv Ecol 6:11Google Scholar
  12. Gaillard JM, Hebblewhite M, Loison A, Fuller M, Powell R, Basille M, Van Moorter B (2010) Habitat-performance relationships: finding the right metric at a given spatial scale. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 365:2255–2265PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gillies CS, Hebblewhite M, Nielsen SE, Krawchuk MA, Aldridge CL, Frair JL, Saher DJ, Stevens CE, Jerde CL (2006) Application of random effects to the study of resource selection by animals. J Anim Ecol 75:887–898PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Godvik IMR, Loe LE, Vik JO, Veiberg V, Langvatn R, Mysterud A (2009) Temporal scales, trade-offs, and functional responses in red deer habitat selection. Ecology 90:699–710PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hansen BB, Aanes R, Herfindal I, Saether BE, Henriksen S (2009a) Winter habitat-space use in a large arctic herbivore facing contrasting forage abundance. Polar Biol 32:971–984CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hansen BB, Herfindal I, Aanes R, Saether BE, Henriksen S (2009b) Functional response in habitat selection and the tradeoffs between foraging niche components in a large herbivore. Oikos 118:859–872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hebblewhite M, Merrill E (2008) Modelling wildlife–human relationships for social species with mixed-effects resource selection models. J Appl Ecol 45:834–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hebblewhite M, Merrill EH (2009) Trade-offs between predation risk and forage differ between migrant strategies in a migratory ungulate. Ecology 90:3445–3454PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Herfindal I, Tremblay JP, Hansen BB, Solberg EJ, Heim M, Saether BE (2009) Scale dependency and functional response in moose habitat selection. Ecography 32:849–859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hjeljord O (1992) Sunny and shaded growth sites-influence on moose forage quality. Alces 28:112–114Google Scholar
  21. Houston AI, McNamara JM, Hutchinson JMC (1993) General results concerning the trade-off between gaining energy and avoiding predation. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 341:375–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Johnson DH (1980) The comparison of usage and availability measurements for evaluating resource preference. Ecology 61:65–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kie JG, Bowyer RT (1999) Sexual segregation in white-tailed deer: density-dependent changes in use of space, habitat selection, and dietary niche. J Mammal 80:1004–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Laurian C, Ouellet JP, Courtois R, Breton L, St-Onge S (2000) Effects of intensive harvesting on moose reproduction. J Appl Ecol 37:515–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Laurian C, Dussault C, Ouellet JP, Courtois R, Poulin M, Breton L (2008a) Behavioral adaptations of moose to roadside salt pools. J Wildl Manag 72:1094–1100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Laurian C, Dussault C, Ouellet JP, Courtois R, Poulin M, Breton L (2008b) Behavior of moose relative to a road network. J Wildl Manag 72:1550–1557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lima SL, Dill LM (1990) Behavioral decisions made under the risk of predation—a review and prospectus. Can J Zool 68:619–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Manly BFJ, McDonald LL, Thomas DL, McDonald TL, Erickson WP (2002) Resource selection by animals: statistical design and analysis for field studies, 2nd edn. Kluwer, NorwellGoogle Scholar
  29. Mauritzen M, Belikov SE, Boltunov AN, Derocher AE, Hansen E, Ims RA, Wiig O, Yoccoz N (2003) Functional responses in polar bear habitat selection. Oikos 100:112–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McLoughlin PD, Dunford JS, Boutin S (2005) Relating predation mortality to broad-scale habitat selection. J Anim Ecol 74:701–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McLoughlin PD, Vander Wal E, Lowe SJ, Patterson BR, Murray DL (2011) Seasonal shifts in habitat selection of a large herbivore and the influence of human activity. Basic Appl Ecol 12:654–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mohr CO (1947) Table of equivalent populations of North American small mammals. Am Midl Nat 37:223–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mysterud A, Ims RA (1998) Functional responses in habitat use: availability influences relative use in trade-off situations. Ecology 79:1435–1441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Osko TJ, Hiltz MN, Hudson RJ, Wasel SM (2004) Moose habitat preferences in response to changing availability. J Wildl Manag 68:576–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pellerin M, Calenge C, Saïd S, Gaillard JM, Fritz H, Duncan P, Van Laere G (2010) Habitat use by female western roe deer (Capreolus capreolus): influence of resource availability on habitat selection in two contrasting years. Can J Zool 88:1052–1062CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rogala JK, Hebblewhite M, Whittington J, White CA, Coleshill J, Musiani M (2011) Human activity differentially redistributes large mammals in the Canadian Rockies National Parks. Ecol Soc 16:16Google Scholar
  37. Ruckstuhl KE, Kokko H (2002) Modelling sexual segregation in ungulates: effects of group size, activity budgets and synchrony. Anim Behav 64:909–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. SAS (2004) SAS statistical software, v.9.1.3. SAS Institute, CaryGoogle Scholar
  39. St-Onge S, Courtois R, Banville D (1997) Rapport annuel des inventaires aériens de l’orignal a l’hiver 1997 (incluant la zone 02 en 1991). Ministere de l’Environnement et de la Faune, QuébecGoogle Scholar
  40. Testa JW (2004) Population dynamics and life history trade-offs of moose (Alces alces) in south-central Alaska. Ecology 85:1439–1452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. van Beest FM, Mysterud A, Loe LE, Milner JM (2010) Forage quantity, quality and depletion as scale-dependent mechanisms driving habitat selection of a large browsing herbivore. J Anim Ecol 79:910–922PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Verdolin JL (2006) Meta-analysis of foraging and predation risk trade-offs in terrestrial systems. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 60:457–464Google Scholar
  43. White KS, Berger J (2001) Antipredator strategies of Alaskan moose: are maternal trade-offs influenced by offspring activity? Can J Zool 79:2055–2062CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Géraldine Mabille
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christian Dussault
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jean-Pierre Ouellet
    • 1
  • Catherine Laurian
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de biologie, chimie et géographie, Centre d’études nordiquesUniversité du Québec à RimouskiRimouskiCanada
  2. 2.Department for Arctic EcologyNorwegian Institute for Nature ResearchTromsoNorway
  3. 3.Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, Direction de l’expertise sur la faune et ses habitatsQuebecCanada

Personalised recommendations