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Declining home range area predicts reduced late-life survival in two wild ungulate populations / Hannah Froy, Luca Borger, Charlotte E. Regan, Alison Morris, Sean Morris, Jill G. Pilkington, Michael J. Crawley, Tim H. Clutton-Brock, Josephine M. Pemberton, Daniel H. Nussey

Ecology Letters, Volume: 21, Issue: 7, Pages: 1001 - 1009

Swansea University Author: Luca Borger

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/ele.12965

Abstract

Demographic senescence is increasingly recognised as an important force shaping the dynamics of wild vertebrate populations. However, our understanding of the processes that underpin these declines in survival and fertility in old age remains limited. Evidence for age‐related changes in foraging beh...

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Published in: Ecology Letters
ISSN: 1461023X
Published: 2018
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa39543
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Abstract: Demographic senescence is increasingly recognised as an important force shaping the dynamics of wild vertebrate populations. However, our understanding of the processes that underpin these declines in survival and fertility in old age remains limited. Evidence for age‐related changes in foraging behaviour and habitat use is emerging from wild vertebrate studies, but the extent to which these are driven by within‐individual changes, and the consequences for fitness, remain unclear. Using longitudinal census observations collected over four decades from two long‐term individual‐based studies of unmanaged ungulates, we demonstrate consistent within‐individual declines in home range area with age in adult females. In both systems, we found that within‐individual decreases in home range area were associated with increased risk of mortality the following year. Our results provide the first evidence from the wild that age‐related changes in space use are predictive of adult mortality.
Keywords: Ageing, fitness, home range, Isle of Rum, longitudinal study, red deer, Elaphus cervus , senescence, Soay sheep, Ovis aries , space use, St Kilda
College: College of Science
Issue: 7
Start Page: 1001
End Page: 1009