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Habitat selection by a large herbivore at multiple spatial and temporal scales is primarily governed by food resources

Abstract : Habitat selection can be considered as a hierarchical process in which animals satisfy their habitat requirements at di erent ecological scales. eory predicts that spatial and temporal scales should co-vary in most ecological processes and that the most limiting factors should drive habitat selection at coarse ecological scales, but be less in uential at ner scales. Using detailed location data on roe deer Capreolus capreolus inhabiting the Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany, we investigated habitat selection at several spatial and temporal scales. We tested 1) whether time-varying patterns were governed by factors reported as having the largest e ects on tness, 2) whether the trade-o between forage and predation risks di ered among spatial and temporal scales and 3) if spatial and temporal scales are positively associated. We analysed the variation in habitat selection within the landscape and within home ranges at monthly intervals, with respect to land-cover type and proxys of food and cover over seasonal and diurnal temporal scales. e ne-scale temporal variation follows a nycthemeral cycle linked to diurnal variation in human disturbance. e large-scale variation matches seasonal plant phenology, suggesting food resources being a greater limiting factor than lynx predation risk. e trade-o between selection for food and cover was similar on seasonal and diurnal scale. Habitat selection at the di erent scales may be the consequence of the temporal variation and predictability of the limiting factors as much as its association with tness. e landscape of fear might have less importance at the studied scale of habitat selection than generally accepted because of the predator hunting strategy. Finally, seasonal variation in habitat selection was similar at the large and small spatial scales, which may arise because of the marked philopatry of roe deer. e di erence is supposed to be greater for wider ranging herbivores.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01892055
Contributor : Christophe Bonenfant <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 11:53:20 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 5:20:06 PM

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Claudia Dupke, Christophe Bonenfant, Björn Reineking, Robert Hable, Thorsten Zeppenfeld, et al.. Habitat selection by a large herbivore at multiple spatial and temporal scales is primarily governed by food resources. Ecography, Wiley, 2017, 40 (8), pp.1014 - 1027. ⟨10.1111/ecog.02152⟩. ⟨hal-01892055⟩

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