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Data from: Reproductive success of a keystone herbivore is more variable and responsive to climate in habitats with lower resource diversity

Citation

Iles, David T.; Rockwell, Robert F.; Koons, Dave N.; Koons, David N. (2018), Data from: Reproductive success of a keystone herbivore is more variable and responsive to climate in habitats with lower resource diversity, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8c4196f

Abstract

1. The effects of climate on wild populations are often channeled through species interactions. Population responses to climate variation can therefore differ across habitats, owing to variation in the biotic community. Theory predicts that consumer demography should be less variable and less responsive to climate in habitats with greater resource diversity. 2. We tested these predictions using a long-term study of breeding lesser snow geese along the western coast of Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada. Reproductive success was measured in 22 years from 114 locations, in either coastal or inland habitat types. We used Bayesian analysis to estimate the response of reproductive success to climate in each habitat type, along with residual variation not explained by climate. We then quantified gosling diet composition in each habitat type to test the prediction that reproductive success would be less variable and more responsive to climate in habitats with lower resource diversity. 3. Reproductive success responded positively to seasonal warmness, but this response was much stronger in inland habitats than in coastal habitats. Site- and year-level random effects were also three to five times more variable in inland habitats. Simultaneously, land cover diversity and gosling diet diversity were lower in inland habitats. 4. Our study illustrates that spatial variation in resource diversity (and thus, species interactions) can have important effects on consumer responses to climate. In this system, climate change is expected to disproportionately increase the reproductive success of snow geese in vast inland habitats, potentially counteracting management efforts to reduce the abundance of this keystone herbivore.

Usage Notes

Location

Northern Manitoba