Foraging ecology of three sympatric ungulate species – Behavioural and resource maps indicate differences between chamois, ibex and red deer

Anna K. Schweiger, Martin Schütz, Pia Anderwald, Michael E. Schaepman, Mathias Kneubühler, Rudolf Haller, Anita C. Risch

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Abstract

The spatial distribution of forage resources is a major driver of animal movement patterns. Understanding where animals forage is important for the conservation of multi-species communities, since interspecific competition can emerge if different species use the same depletable resources. However, determining forage resources in a spatially continuous fashion in alpine grasslands at high spatial resolution was challenging up to now, because terrain heterogeneity causes vegetation characteristics to vary at small spatial scales, and methods for detection of behavioural phases in animal movement patterns were not widely available. We delineated areas coupled to the foraging behaviour of three sympatric ungulate species (chamois, ibex, red deer) using Time Local Convex Hull (T-LoCoH), a non-parametric utilisation distribution method incorporating spatial and temporal autocorrelation structure of GPS data. We used resource maps of plant biomass and plant nitrogen content derived from high-resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy data, and multinomial logistic regression to compare the foraging areas of the three ungulate species.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalMovement Ecology
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2015

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