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Wherever I may roam—Human activity alters movements of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and elk (Cervus canadensis) across two continents
Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; Fondazione Edmund Mach, San Michele all'Adige, Italy; Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Berkeley, United States.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3671-4596
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Berkeley, United States.
Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0994-3422
Fondazione Edmund Mach, San Michele all'Adige, Italy; Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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2023 (English)In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Human activity and associated landscape modifications alter the movements of animals with consequences for populations and ecosystems worldwide. Species performing long-distance movements are thought to be particularly sensitive to human impact. Despite the increasing anthropogenic pressure, it remains challenging to understand and predict animals' responses to human activity. Here we address this knowledge gap using 1206 Global Positioning System movement trajectories of 815 individuals from 14 red deer (Cervus elaphus) and 14 elk (Cervus canadensis) populations spanning wide environmental gradients, namely the latitudinal range from the Alps to Scandinavia in Europe, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in North America. We measured individual-level movements relative to the environmental context, or movement expression, using the standardized metric Intensity of Use, reflecting both the directionality and extent of movements. We expected movement expression to be affected by resource (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI) predictability and topography, but those factors to be superseded by human impact. Red deer and elk movement expression varied along a continuum, from highly segmented trajectories over relatively small areas (high intensity of use), to directed transitions through restricted corridors (low intensity of use). Human activity (Human Footprint Index, HFI) was the strongest driver of movement expression, with a steep increase in Intensity of Use as HFI increased, but only until a threshold was reached. After exceeding this level of impact, the Intensity of Use remained unchanged. These results indicate the overall sensitivity of Cervus movement expression to human activity and suggest a limitation of plastic responses under high human pressure, despite the species also occurring in human-dominated landscapes. Our work represents the first comparison of metric-based movement expression across widely distributed populations of a deer genus, contributing to the understanding and prediction of animals' responses to human activity. Global Change Biology© 2023 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Inc., 2023.
Keywords [en]
Anthropocene, Cervus spp., human footprint, migratory ungulates, movement expression, wildlife
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-51448DOI: 10.1111/gcb.16769ISI: 001007366600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85161720296OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-51448DiVA, id: diva2:1788997
Funder
Önnesjö FoundationRegion SkåneSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesSwedish Environmental Protection Agency, 802-0092-11
Note

Funding: Ågerups & Elsagårdens Säteri AB; Assmåsa Gods AB; Carl Piper; Danish Forest and Nature Agency, Grant/Award Number: Wildlife & Landscape Research Package-project 2B; Ersaf Lombardia and Trento; Fondazione Edmund Mach; Grand Teton Association; Halmstad University; Högestad & Christinehofs Förvaltnings AB; Holmen Skog AB; International Research School of Applied Ecology; Ittur AB; Karl-Erik Önnesjös Stiftelse för Vetenskaplig forskning och Utveckling; Kolmårdens insamlingsstiftelse/Täby Allmänning; Marie-Claire Cronstedts Stiftelse; Office Français de la Biodiversité; Public Service of Wallonia; Region Skåne / Stiftelsen Skånska Landskap; Stelvio National Park; Stiftelsen Oscar och Lili Lamms Minne; Sveaskog; Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management, Grant/Award Number: 5871/2005; Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Grant/Award Number: 802-0092-11; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; Universita degli Studi di Trento; University of California Berkeley; Vectronic Aerospace GmbH; Virå Bruk AB

Available from: 2023-08-17 Created: 2023-08-17 Last updated: 2023-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Jarnemo, Anders

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