Publications by authors named "Som B Ale"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Predicting the distributions of predator (snow leopard) and prey (blue sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya.

Ecol Evol 2016 06 18;6(12):4065-75. Epub 2016 May 18.

Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Massey University Private Bag 102904 Auckland New Zealand; School of Life and Environmental Sciences Faculty of Science The University of Sydney Sydney New South Wales Australia; The Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Veterinary Science and School of Biological Sciences The University of Sydney Sydney New South Wales Australia.

Future climate change is likely to affect distributions of species, disrupt biotic interactions, and cause spatial incongruity of predator-prey habitats. Understanding the impacts of future climate change on species distribution will help in the formulation of conservation policies to reduce the risks of future biodiversity losses. Using a species distribution modeling approach by MaxEnt, we modeled current and future distributions of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its common prey, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and observed the changes in niche overlap in the Nepal Himalaya. Annual mean temperature is the major climatic factor responsible for the snow leopard and blue sheep distributions in the energy-deficient environments of high altitudes. Currently, about 15.32% and 15.93% area of the Nepal Himalaya are suitable for snow leopard and blue sheep habitats, respectively. The bioclimatic models show that the current suitable habitats of both snow leopard and blue sheep will be reduced under future climate change. The predicted suitable habitat of the snow leopard is decreased when blue sheep habitats is incorporated in the model. Our climate-only model shows that only 11.64% (17,190 km(2)) area of Nepal is suitable for the snow leopard under current climate and the suitable habitat reduces to 5,435 km(2) (reduced by 24.02%) after incorporating the predicted distribution of blue sheep. The predicted distribution of snow leopard reduces by 14.57% in 2030 and by 21.57% in 2050 when the predicted distribution of blue sheep is included as compared to 1.98% reduction in 2030 and 3.80% reduction in 2050 based on the climate-only model. It is predicted that future climate may alter the predator-prey spatial interaction inducing a lower degree of overlap and a higher degree of mismatch between snow leopard and blue sheep niches. This suggests increased energetic costs of finding preferred prey for snow leopards - a species already facing energetic constraints due to the limited dietary resources in its alpine habitat. Our findings provide valuable information for extension of protected areas in future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2196DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4875782PMC
June 2016

Landscapes of fear or competition? Predation did not alter habitat choice by Arctic rodents.

Oecologia 2014 Feb 8;174(2):403-12. Epub 2013 Oct 8.

Institut des Sciences de la Forêt Tempérée, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Ripon, QC, J0V 1V0, Canada,

In systems where predation plays a key role in the dynamics of prey populations, such as in Arctic rodents, it is reasonable to assume that differential patterns of habitat use by prey species represent adaptive responses to spatial variation in predation. However, habitat selection by collared (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus) and brown (Lemmus trimucronatus) lemmings depends on intra- and inter-specific densities, and there has been little agreement on the respective influences of food abundance, predators, and competition for habitat on lemming dynamics. Thus, we investigated whether predation affected selection of sedge-meadow versus upland tundra by collared lemmings in the central Canadian Arctic. We first controlled for the effects of competition on lemming habitat selection. We then searched for an additional signal of predation by comparing habitat selection patterns between 12 control plots and one large grid where lemmings were protected from predators by fencing in 1996 and 1997, but not during 5 subsequent years when we monitored habitat use in the grid as well as in the control plots. Dicrostonyx used upland preferentially over meadows and was more numerous in 1996 and 2011 than in other sample years. Lemmus was also more abundant in 1996 than in subsequent years, but its abundance was too low in the exclosure to assess whether exclusion of predators influenced its habitat selection. Contrary to the effects of competition, predation had a negligible impact on the spatial dynamics of Dicrostonyx, at least during summer. These results suggest that any differences in predation risk between the two habitats have little direct influence on the temporal dynamics of Dicrostonyx even if induced through predator-prey cycles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-013-2792-7DOI Listing
February 2014

Evolution of cooperation: combining kin selection and reciprocal altruism into matrix games with social dilemmas.

PLoS One 2013 22;8(5):e63761. Epub 2013 May 22.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Darwinian selection should preclude cooperation from evolving; yet cooperation is widespread among organisms. We show how kin selection and reciprocal altruism can promote cooperation in diverse 2×2 matrix games (prisoner's dilemma, snowdrift, and hawk-dove). We visualize kin selection as non-random interactions with like-strategies interacting more than by chance. Reciprocal altruism emerges from iterated games where players have some likelihood of knowing the identity of other players. This perspective allows us to combine kin selection and reciprocal altruism into a general matrix game model. Both mechanisms operating together should influence the evolution of cooperation. In the absence of kin selection, reciprocal altruism may be an evolutionarily stable strategy but is unable to invade a population of non-co-operators. Similarly, it may take a high degree of relatedness to permit cooperation to supplant non-cooperation. Together, a little bit of reciprocal altruism can, however, greatly reduce the threshold at which kin selection promotes cooperation, and vice-versa. To properly frame applications and tests of cooperation, empiricists should consider kin selection and reciprocal altruism together rather than as alternatives, and they should be applied to a broader class of social dilemmas than just the prisoner's dilemma.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0063761PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3661668PMC
April 2014

Behavioral indicators for conserving mammal diversity.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2009 Apr;1162:334-56

Department of Biology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Mammals are threatened with population decline and extinction. Numerous species require immediate conservation intervention. But our ability to identify species on the brink of decline, and to intervene successfully, depends on developing reliable leading indicators of population, community, and environmental change. Classic approaches, such as population and life history assessment, as well as indicator species, trail environmental change. Adaptive behaviors honed by natural selection to respond quickly to environmental changes represent true leading indicators that we can learn to apply to conservation and management. Excellent examples of useful behaviors for conservation include foraging behavior, patch use, and habitat selection. Comparisons among giving-up densities collected in artificial resource patches can effectively indicate the forager's predation costs, its habitat quality, mechanisms of coexistence, and environmental richness. Patterns of adaptive habitat use can similarly reveal the relative value of different types of habitat, the location, and amounts of source versus sink habitat in a landscape, the effects of human disturbance, and projections on future extinction risk. Each behavior is likely to change more quickly than population size. As useful as these and related indicators may be to managers and conservationists, similar behaviors can emerge from different causes, and immediate returns of behavior to fitness may cause rapid evolution of associated morphological and physiological traits. Conservation strategies will thereby often be most effective if they build on research programs targeting the processes influencing adaptive behaviors and that assess whether wild-type or novel behaviors are most likely to sustain populations into the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04494.xDOI Listing
April 2009
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