Publications by authors named "Arild Landa"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Fitness and fur colouration: Testing the camouflage and thermoregulation hypotheses in an Arctic mammal.

J Anim Ecol 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Bergen, Norway.

Selection for crypsis has been recognized as an important ecological driver of animal colouration, whereas the relative importance of thermoregulation is more contentious with mixed empirical support. A potential thermal advantage of darker individuals has been observed in a wide range of animal species. Arctic animals that exhibit colour polymorphisms and undergo seasonal colour moults are interesting study subjects for testing the two alternative hypotheses: demographic performance of different colour morphs might be differentially affected by snow cover with a cryptic advantage for lighter morphs, or conversely by winter temperature with a thermal advantage for darker morphs. In this study, we explored whether camouflage and thermoregulation might explain differences in reproduction and survival between the white and blue colour morphs of the Arctic fox Vulpes lagopus under natural conditions. Juvenile and adult survival, breeding propensity and litter size were measured for 798 captive-bred and released or wild-born Arctic foxes monitored during an 11-year period (2007-2017) in two subpopulations in south-central Norway. We investigated the proportion of the two colour morphs and compared their demographic performance in relation to spatial variation in duration of snow cover, onset of snow season and winter temperatures. After population re-establishment, a higher proportion of blue individuals was observed among wild-born Arctic foxes compared to the proportion of blue foxes released from the captive population. Our field study provides the first evidence for an effect of colour morph on the reproductive performance of Arctic foxes under natural conditions, with a higher breeding propensity of the blue morph compared to the white one. Performance of the two colour morphs was not differentially affected by the climatic variables, except for juvenile survival. Blue morph juveniles showed a tendency for higher survival under colder winter temperatures but lower survival under warmer temperatures compared to white morph juveniles. Overall, our findings do not consistently support predictions of the camouflage or the thermoregulation hypotheses. The higher success of blue foxes suggests an advantage of the dark morph not directly related to disruptive selection by crypsis or thermoregulation. Our results rather point to physiological adaptations and behavioural traits not necessarily connected to thermoregulation, such as stress response, immune function, sexual behaviour and aggressiveness. Our findings highlight the need to explore the potential role of genetic linkage or pleiotropy in influencing the fitness of white and blue Arctic foxes as well as other species with colour polymorphisms.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13457DOI Listing
March 2021

Genetic rescue in an inbred Arctic fox () population.

Proc Biol Sci 2018 03;285(1875)

Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden.

Isolation of small populations can reduce fitness through inbreeding depression and impede population growth. Outcrossing with only a few unrelated individuals can increase demographic and genetic viability substantially, but few studies have documented such genetic rescue in natural mammal populations. We investigate the effects of immigration in a subpopulation of the endangered Scandinavian arctic fox (), founded by six individuals and isolated for 9 years at an extremely small population size. Based on a long-term pedigree (105 litters, 543 individuals) combined with individual fitness traits, we found evidence for genetic rescue. Natural immigration and gene flow of three outbred males in 2010 resulted in a reduction in population average inbreeding coefficient (), from 0.14 to 0.08 within 5 years. Genetic rescue was further supported by 1.9 times higher juvenile survival and 1.3 times higher breeding success in immigrant first-generation offspring compared with inbred offspring. Five years after immigration, the population had more than doubled in size and allelic richness increased by 41%. This is one of few studies that has documented genetic rescue in a natural mammal population suffering from inbreeding depression and contributes to a growing body of data demonstrating the vital connection between genetics and individual fitness.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.2814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5897638PMC
March 2018

Habitat differentiation within the large-carnivore community of Norway's multiple-use landscapes.

J Appl Ecol 2008 Oct;45(5):1382-1391

The re-establishment of large carnivores in Norway has led to increased conflicts and the adoption of regional zoning for these predators. When planning the future distribution of large carnivores, it is important to consider details of their potential habitat tolerances and strength of inter-specific differentiation. We studied differentiation in habitat and kill sites within the large-carnivore community of south-eastern Norway.We compared habitat selection of the brown bear Ursus arctos L., Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx L., wolf Canis lupus L. and wolverine Gulo gulo L., based on radio-tracking data. Differences in kill site locations were explored using locations of documented predator-killed sheep Ovis aries L. We modelled each species' selection for, and differentiation in, habitat and kill sites on a landscape scale using resource selection functions and multinomial logistic regression. Based on projected probability of occurrence maps, we estimated continuous patches of habitat within the study area.Although bears, lynx, wolves and wolverines had overlapping distributions, we found a clear differentiation for all four species in both habitat and kill sites. The presence of bears, wolves and lynx was generally associated with rugged, forested areas at lower elevations, whereas wolverines selected rugged terrain at higher elevations. Some degree of sympatry was possible in over 40% of the study area, although only 1.5% could hold all four large carnivores together.Synthesis and applications. A geographically differentiated management policy has been adopted in Norway, aimed at conserving viable populations of large carnivores while minimizing the potential for conflicts. Sympatry of all four carnivores will be most successful if regional zones are established of adequate size spanning an elevational gradient. High prey densities, low carnivore densities, low dietary overlap and scavenging opportunities have most probably led to reduced competitive exclusion. Although regional sympatry enhances the conservation of an intact guild of large carnivores, it may well increase conflict levels and resistance to carnivore conservation locally.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01527.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658717PMC
October 2008

Diet shift of a facultative scavenger, the wolverine, following recolonization of wolves.

J Anim Ecol 2008 Nov 23;77(6):1183-90. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Trondheim, Norway.

1. Wolves Canis lupus L. recolonized the boreal forests in the southern part of the Scandinavian peninsula during the late 1990s, but so far there has been little attention to its effect on ecosystem functioning. Wolf predation increases the availability of carcasses of large prey, especially moose Alces alces L., which may lead in turn to a diet switch in facultative scavengers such as the wolverine Gulo gulo L. 2. Using 459 wolverine scats collected during winter-spring 2001-04 for DNA identity and dietary contents, we compared diet inside and outside wolf territories while controlling for potential confounding factors, such as prey density. We tested the hypothesis that wolverine diet shifted towards moose in the presence of wolves, while taking into account possible sexual segregation between the sexes. Occurrence of reindeer, moose and small prey was modelled against explanatory covariates using logistic mixed-effects models. Furthermore, we compared diet composition and breadth among habitats and sexes. 3. Occurrence of reindeer, moose and small prey in the diet varied with prey availability and habitat. As expected, diet contained more moose and less reindeer and small prey in the presence of wolves. Their diet in tundra consisted of 40% reindeer Rangifer tarandus L., 39% moose and 9% rodents. In forest with wolf, their diet shifted to 76% moose, 18% reindeer and 5% rodents; compared to 42% moose, 32% reindeer and 15% rodents in forest without wolf. This diet switch could not be explained by higher moose density in wolf territories. Female diet consisted of more small prey than for males, but there was a tendency for females to use the highly available moose carrion opportunistically and to hunt less on small prey within wolf territories. 4. Our study highlights how wolves increase scavenging opportunities for wolverines, and how sexual differences in diet may also apply to large scavengers. Due to their more restricted home range, female wolverines are forced to rely more on hunting small prey. The relatively high occurrence of wolf kills, however, forms an important food source to wolverines in this area. The recolonization of wolves may therefore have contributed to the consequent recolonization of wolverines into the same area.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01445.xDOI Listing
November 2008