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Assessing seasonal demographic covariation to understand environmental‐change impacts on a hibernating mammal


Paniw, Maria; Childs, Dylan Z; Armitage, Kenneth B; Blumstein, Daniel T; Martin, Julien G A; Oli, Madan K; Ozgul, Arpat (2020). Assessing seasonal demographic covariation to understand environmental‐change impacts on a hibernating mammal. Ecology Letters, 23(4):588-597.

Abstract

Natural populations are exposed to seasonal variation in environmental factors that simultaneously affect several demographic rates (survival, development and reproduction). The resulting covariation in these rates determines population dynamics, but accounting for its numerous biotic and abiotic drivers is a significant challenge. Here, we use a factor‐analytic approach to capture partially unobserved drivers of seasonal population dynamics. We use 40 years of individual‐based demography from yellow‐bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventer) to fit and project population models that account for seasonal demographic covariation using a latent variable. We show that this latent variable, by producing positive covariation among winter demographic rates, depicts a measure of environmental quality. Simultaneously, negative responses of winter survival and reproductive‐status change to declining environmental quality result in a higher risk of population quasi‐extinction, regardless of summer demography where recruitment takes place. We demonstrate how complex environmental processes can be summarized to understand population persistence in seasonal environments.

Abstract

Natural populations are exposed to seasonal variation in environmental factors that simultaneously affect several demographic rates (survival, development and reproduction). The resulting covariation in these rates determines population dynamics, but accounting for its numerous biotic and abiotic drivers is a significant challenge. Here, we use a factor‐analytic approach to capture partially unobserved drivers of seasonal population dynamics. We use 40 years of individual‐based demography from yellow‐bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventer) to fit and project population models that account for seasonal demographic covariation using a latent variable. We show that this latent variable, by producing positive covariation among winter demographic rates, depicts a measure of environmental quality. Simultaneously, negative responses of winter survival and reproductive‐status change to declining environmental quality result in a higher risk of population quasi‐extinction, regardless of summer demography where recruitment takes place. We demonstrate how complex environmental processes can be summarized to understand population persistence in seasonal environments.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 April 2020
Deposited On:17 Feb 2021 14:50
Last Modified:18 Feb 2021 21:00
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1461-023X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13459
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID31003A_182286
  • : Project TitlePopulation Persistence Under Environmental Change Across Space and Time: A Unified Framework

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