Reassessing the determinants of breeding synchrony in Ungulates

English, Annie K., Chauvenet, Alienor L. M., Safi, Kamran and Pettorelli, Nathalie (2012) Reassessing the determinants of breeding synchrony in Ungulates. PLoS One, 7 7: e41444-e41444. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041444

Author English, Annie K.
Chauvenet, Alienor L. M.
Safi, Kamran
Pettorelli, Nathalie
Title Reassessing the determinants of breeding synchrony in Ungulates
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2012-07-20
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0041444
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue 7
Start page e41444
End page e41444
Total pages 7
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Abstract Predicting the consequences of climate change is a major challenge in ecology and wildlife management. While the impact of changes in climatic conditions on distribution ranges has been documented for many organisms, the consequences of changes in resource dynamics for species' overall performance have seldom been investigated. This study addresses this gap by identifying the factors shaping the reproductive synchrony of ungulates. In temporally-variable environments, reproductive phenology of individuals is a key determinant of fitness, with the timing of reproduction affecting their reproductive output and future performance. We used a satellite-based index of resource availability to explore how the level of seasonality and inter-annual variability in resource dynamics affect birth season length of ungulate populations. Contrary to what was previously thought, we found that both the degree of seasonal fluctuation in resource dynamics and inter-annual changes in resource availability influence the degree of birth synchrony within wild ungulate populations. Our results highlight how conclusions from previous interspecific analyses, which did not consider the existence of shared life-history among species, should be treated with caution. They also support the existence of a multi-faceted link between temporal variation in resource availability and breeding synchrony in terrestrial mammals, and increase our understanding of the mechanisms shaping reproductive synchrony in large herbivores, thus enhancing our ability to predict the potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity.
Keyword Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 90 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 27 Oct 2014, 22:27:28 EST by Alienor L. M. Chauvenet on behalf of School of Biological Sciences