Advertisement

Reproductive Phenology of Large Mammals

  • Jeffrey Kerby
  • Eric PostEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Many large herbivores, specifically ungulates, display a distinct seasonality in their reproductive phenology. Focusing on empirical studies of caribou/reindeer, moose, and red deer, we illustrate the influence of abiotic (i.e. climatic) and biotic (i.e., density dependent) factors on the timing of calving–an important life-history trait affecting population dynamics. Furthermore, we clarify the distinction between the concepts of timing and synchrony of births, as well as the difference between long-term (i.e., evolutionary) and proximal influences on these population level traits. These distinctions are essential when interpreting the consequences of variation in the timing of parturition, particularly in the context of changing abiotic seasonality caused by climate change.

Keywords

North Atlantic Oscillation Birth Date Large Herbivore Arctic Oscillation Plant Phenology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Adams LG, Dale BW (1998) Timing and synchrony of parturition in Alaskan caribou. J Mamm 79:287–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams LG, Singer FJ, Dale BW (1995) Caribou calf mortality in Denali National Park Alaska. J Wildl Manag 59:584–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asher GW (2011) Reproductive cycles of deer. Anim Repr Sci 124:170–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Both C, Visser ME (2001) Adjustment to climate change is constrained by arrival date in a long-distance migrant bird. Nature 411:296–298PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bøving PS, Post E (1997) Vigilance and foraging behaviour of female caribou in relation to predation risk. Rangifer 17:55–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bowyer RT (1991) Timing of parturition and lactation in southern mule deer. J Mamm 72:138–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bowyer RT, Van Ballenberghe V, Kie JG (1998) Timing and synchrony of parturition in Alaskan moose: long-term versus proximal effects of climate. J Mamm 79:1332–1344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Caughley G (1971) Investigation of hybridization between free-ranging wapiti and red deer in New Zealand. N Z J Sci 14:993–1008Google Scholar
  9. Clutton-Brock TH, Albon SD (1989) Red deer in the highlands. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Clutton-Brock TH, Major M, Guinness FE (1985) Population regulation in male and female red deer. J Anim Ecol 54:831–846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clutton-Brock TH, Major M, Albon SD, Guinness FE (1987) Early development and population dynamics in red deer. I. Demographic consequences of density-dependent changes in birth weight and date. J Anim Ecol 56:53–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coulson T, Catchpole EA, Albon SD, Morgan BJT, Pemberton JM, Clutton-Brock TH, Crawley MJ, Grenfell BT (2001) Age, sex, density, winter weather, and population crashes in Soay sheep. Science 292:1528–1531PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Darling FF (1938) Bird flocks and breeding cycle. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  14. Estes RD (1976) The significance of breeding synchrony in the wildebeest. E African Wildl J 14:135–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Estes RD, Estes RK (1979) The birth and survival of wildebeest calves. Z Tierpsych 50:45–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Festa-Bianchet M (1988) Birthdate and survival in bighorn lambs (Ovis canadensis). J Zool 214:653–661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Forchhammer MC, Post E, Stenseth NC (1998) Breeding phenology and climate. Nature 391:29–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Forchhammer MC, Clutton-Brock TH, Lindström J, Albon SD (2001) Climate and population density induce long-term cohort variation in a northern ungulate. J Anim Ecol 70:721–729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Forchhammer MC, Post E, Stenseth NC, Boertmann D (2002) Long-term responses in arctic ungulate dynamics to variation in climate and trophic processes. Popul Ecol 44:113–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gaillard JM, Festa-Bianchet M, Yoccoz NG (1998) Population dynamics of large herbivores: variable recruitment with constant adult survival. Trends Ecol Evol 13:58–63PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Garcia AJ, Landete-Castillejos T, Carrion D, Gaspar-Lopez E, Gallego L (2006) Compensatory extension of gestation length with advance of conception in red deer (Cervus elaphus). J Exp Zool 305a:55–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guinness FE, Gibson RM, Clutton-Brock TH (1978) Calving times of Red deer (cervus elaphus) on rhum. J Zool Lond 185:105–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hastie TJ, Tibshirani RJ (1999) Generalized additive models. Chapman & Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Ims RA (1990a) On the adaptive value of reproductive synchrony as a predator-swamping strategy. Am Nat 136:485–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ims RA (1990b) The ecology and evolution of reproductive synchrony. Trends Ecol Evol 5:135–140PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keech MA, Bowyer RT, Ver Hoef JM, Boertje RD, Dale BW, Stephenson TR (2000) Life-history consequences of maternal condition in Alaskan moose. J Wildl Manag 64:450–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Klein DR (1990) Variation in quality of caribou and reindeer forage plants associated with season, plant part, and phenology. Special Issue – Rangifer 3:123–130Google Scholar
  28. Langvatn R, Mysterud A, Stenseth NC, Yoccoz NG (2004) Timing and synchrony of ovulation in red deer constrained by short northern summers. Am Nat 163(5):763–772PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Leader-Williams N (1988) Reindeer on South Georgia. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. Lindström J (1999) Early development and fitness in birds and mammals. Trends Ecol Evol 14:343–348PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lu W, Meng Q-J, Tyler NJC, Stokkan K-A, Loudon ASI (2010) A circadian clock is not required in an arctic mammal. Curr Biol 20:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McGinnis BS, Downing RL (1977) Factors affecting the peak of white-tailed deer fawning in Virginia. J Wildl Manag 41:715–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mech LD, Adams LG, Meier TJ, Burch JW, Dale BW (1998) The wolves of Denali. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  34. Moyes K, Nussey DH, Clements MN, Guinness FE, Morris A, Morris S, Pemberton JM, Kruuk LEB, Clutton-Brock TH (2011) Advancing breeding phenology in response to environmental change in a wild red deer population. Glob Ch Biol 17:2455–2469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Olson KA, Fuller TK, Schaller GB, Lhagvasuren B, Odonkhuu D (2005) Reproduction, neonatal weights, and first-year survival of Mongolian gazelles (Procapra gutturosa). J Zool Lond 265:227–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Olstad O (1930) Rats and reindeer in the Antarctic. Sci Res Norwegian Antarctic Exped 4:1–20Google Scholar
  37. Post E (2003a) Timing of reproduction in large mammals: climatic and density-dependent influences. In: Schwartz MD (ed) Phenology, an integrative environmental science, 1st edn. Kluwer Academic Publishers, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  38. Post E (2003b) Large-scale climate synchronizes the timing of flowering by multiple species. Ecology 84:277–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Post E, Forchhammer MC (2002) Synchronization of animal population dynamics by large-scale climate. Nature 420:168–171PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Post E, Forchhammer MC (2008) Climate change reduces reproductive success of an Arctic herbivore through trophic mismatch. Philos Trans R Soc B 363:2367–2373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Post E, Klein DR (1999) Caribou calf production and seasonal range quality during a population decline. J Wildl Manag 63:335–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Post E, Stenseth NC (1999) Climatic variability, plant phenology, and northern ungulates. Ecology 80:1322–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Post E, Stenseth NC, Langvatn R, Fromentin J-M (1997) Global climate change and phenotypic variation among red deer cohorts. Proc R Soc Lond B 264:1317–1324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Post E, Forchhammer MC, Stenseth NC, Callaghan TV (2001) The timing of life history events in a changing climate. Proc R Soc Lond B 268:15–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rachlow JL, Bowyer RT (1991) Interannual variation in timing and synchrony of parturition in Dall’s sheep. J Mamm 72:487–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rubin ES, Boyce WM, Bleich VC (2000) Reproductive strategies of desert bighorn sheep. J Mamm 81:769–786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rutberg AT (1987) Adaptive hypotheses of birth synchrony in ruminants: an interspecific test. Am Nat 130:692–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sadleir RMFS (1969) The ecology of reproduction in wild and domesticated mammals. Methuen, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sekulic R (1978) Seasonality of reproduction in the sable antelope. E African Wildl J 16:177–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Skogland T (1989) Comparative social organization of wild reindeer in relation to food, mates, and predator avoidance. Paul Parey Publishers, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  51. Smith BL (1994) Out-of-season births of elk calves in Wyoming. Prairie Natr 26:131–136Google Scholar
  52. Thing H (1984) Feeding ecology of the West Greenland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) in the Sisimiut-Kangerlussuaq region. Vildtbiologisk St 12(3):1–53Google Scholar
  53. Thompson DW, Wallace JM (1998) The Arctic oscillation signature in the wintertime geopotential height and temperature fields. Geophys Res Lett 25:1297–1300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. van Oort BEH, Tyler NJC, Gerkema MP, Folkow L, Stokkan K-A (2007) Where clocks are redundant: weak circadian mechanisms in reindeer living under polar photic conditions. Naturwissenschaften 94:183–194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Visser ME, Both C (2005) Shifts in phenology due to global climate change: the need for a yardstick. Proc R Soc B 272:2561–2569PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhigunov PS (1968) Reindeer Husbandry. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, JerusalemGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations