BeguinMcIntireFortin2013

Reference

Beguin, J., McIntire, E.J.B., Fortin, D., Cumming, S.G., Raulier, F., Racine, P. and Dussault, C. (2013) Explaining geographic gradients in landscape selection by boreal caribou with implications under global changes. PLoS ONE.

Abstract

Many animal species exhibit broad-scale latitudinal or longitudinal gradients in their response to biotic and abiotic components of their habitat. Although knowing the underlying mechanism of these patterns can be critical to the development of sound measures for the preservation or recovery of endangered species, few studies have yet identified which processes drive the existence of geographical gradients in habitat selection. Using extensive spatial data of large latitudinal and longitudinal extent, we tested three hypotheses that could explain the presence of geographical gradients in habitat selection of the endangered boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou): 1) climate-driven selection, which postulates that geographic gradients are a surrogate for climatic gradients; 2) road-driven selection, which proposes that boreal caribou adjust their selection for certain habitat classes as a function of proximity to roads; and 3) an additive effect of both roads and climate. Our data strongly supported road-driven selection over a climate influence. Thus, direct human alteration of landscapes dominates boreal caribou distribution and will likely remain so until theclimate changes sufficiently from the present. We also found that boreal caribou avoidance of logged areas was two-fold stronger than burned areas. Limiting the spread of road networks and accounting for the uneven impact of logging compared to wildfire should therefore be integral parts of any habitat management plan and conservation measures within the range of the endangered boreal caribou. The use of hierarchical spatial models allowed us to identify strong spatial latent patterns that provided valuable insights for generating alternative hypotheses about processes responsible for boreal caribou distribution.

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@ARTICLE { BeguinMcIntireFortin2013,
    TITLE = { Explaining geographic gradients in landscape selection by boreal caribou with implications under global changes },
    ABSTRACT = { Many animal species exhibit broad-scale latitudinal or longitudinal gradients in their response to biotic and abiotic components of their habitat. Although knowing the underlying mechanism of these patterns can be critical to the development of sound measures for the preservation or recovery of endangered species, few studies have yet identified which processes drive the existence of geographical gradients in habitat selection. Using extensive spatial data of large latitudinal and longitudinal extent, we tested three hypotheses that could explain the presence of geographical gradients in habitat selection of the endangered boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou): 1) climate-driven selection, which postulates that geographic gradients are a surrogate for climatic gradients; 2) road-driven selection, which proposes that boreal caribou adjust their selection for certain habitat classes as a function of proximity to roads; and 3) an additive effect of both roads and climate. Our data strongly supported road-driven selection over a climate influence. Thus, direct human alteration of landscapes dominates boreal caribou distribution and will likely remain so until theclimate changes sufficiently from the present. We also found that boreal caribou avoidance of logged areas was two-fold stronger than burned areas. Limiting the spread of road networks and accounting for the uneven impact of logging compared to wildfire should therefore be integral parts of any habitat management plan and conservation measures within the range of the endangered boreal caribou. The use of hierarchical spatial models allowed us to identify strong spatial latent patterns that provided valuable insights for generating alternative hypotheses about processes responsible for boreal caribou distribution. },
    JOURNAL = { PLoS ONE },
    YEAR = { 2013 },
    DOI = { 10.1371/journal.pone.0078510 },
    AUTHOR = { Beguin, J. and McIntire, E.J.B. and Fortin, D. and Cumming, S.G. and Raulier, F. and Racine, P. and Dussault, C. },
}

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