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Diseases and reproductive success in a wild mammal: example in the alpine chamois.

Abstract : Density-dependent and climatic factors affect reproduction and dynamics of wild ungulates. Parasites can also decrease reproductive success through either a direct abortive effect or a negative impact on host growth and body condition. However, few studies have investigated the effect of parasitism on fecundity of ungulates in natural conditions. We studied three bacterial infections caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Abortusovis, Chlamydophila abortus and Coxiella burnetii. These bacteria are leading causes of reproductive failure in sheep, goat and cattle, which raises the question of their influence on population dynamics of wild ungulates. A long-term study of demography and epidemiology of an alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra, L.) population (Les Bauges Reserve, France) and a generalized linear modeling approach were used to analyze the reproductive success of chamois according to population density, weather conditions and the prevalence of antibodies against the three bacteria in females. This approach enabled us to identify the confounding effect of weather and parasitism on fecundity in a natural population. After accounting for density, the prevalence of antibodies against the three bacteria explained 36% of the annual variation in reproductive success, and weather conditions explained an additional 31%. This study was, to our knowledge, the first to compare the decrease in fecundity due to bacterial infections and weather conditions in a population of wild mountain ungulates.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01862851
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Submitted on : Monday, August 27, 2018 - 8:04:49 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 3:10:00 AM

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Maryline Pioz, Anne Loison, Dominique Gauthier, Philippe Gibert, Jean-Michel Jullien, et al.. Diseases and reproductive success in a wild mammal: example in the alpine chamois.. Oecologia, Springer Verlag, 2008, 155 (4), pp.691-704. ⟨10.1007/s00442-007-0942-5⟩. ⟨hal-01862851⟩

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