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Habitat use by female western roe deer (Capreolus capreolus): influence of resource availability on habitat selection in two contrasting years

Abstract : In most previous studies of habitat selection, the use of a given habitat type is assumed to be directly proportional to its availability. However, the use and (or) the selection of a given habitat may be conditional on the availability of that habitat. We aim here to (i) identify the environmental variables involved in habitat selection, (ii) identify classes of individuals with similar patterns of habitat selection, and (iii) assess whether habitat use changes with changing availability of habitat types, within monthly home ranges of female western roe deer (Capreolus capreolus (L., 1758)). We found that some females adjust their habitat use according to the distribution of resources within habitats. Females with similar home ranges in terms of resource quantity and quality showed similar patterns of habitat selection. Differences in habitat use between 2 years with contrasting resource availability showed that temporal changes of environmental conditions influenced the pattern of habitat selection by female roe deer. Habitat selection also differed between periods of the life cycle likely because of contrasted energy requirements. This study shows that the relationship between habitat use by herbivores and habitat availability is nonproportional, and that the availability of resources influences use mostly at intermediate values.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00549115
Contributor : Martine Lacalle Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 12:03:38 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 5:20:06 PM

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Maryline Pellerin, C. Calenge, Sonia Said, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Hervé Fritz, et al.. Habitat use by female western roe deer (Capreolus capreolus): influence of resource availability on habitat selection in two contrasting years. Canadian Journal of Zoology, NRC Research Press, 2010, 88 (11), pp.1052-1062. ⟨10.1139/Z10-070⟩. ⟨hal-00549115⟩

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