Risk-sensitive reproductive allocation: fitness consequences of body mass losses in two contrasting environments

Just got a paper published in Ecology and Evolution. It is basically about reindeer life history and risk sensitivity.

A herd of semi-domestic reindeer during winter. Photo: Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen.

The theory of risk senstivity provides a mechanistic understanding of how climate affect the evolution of life history strategies.

This study utilized reindeer from Saami reindeer herds inhabiting contrasting environments in northern Norway, i.e. environments with poor and good winter climatic conditions.

Reindeer in corral

Reindeer in corral. Photo: Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen.

An increased understanding of how individuals respond to environmental unpredictability will be vital in predicting both the demography and population viability for reindeer and other long-lived organism in the face of future climate change.

Herding during winter with snowmobiles

Herding during winter with the help of snowmobiles. Photo: Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen.

In short, the study found that reindeer have developed a risk sensitive life history because reindeer adjust the reproductive allocation according to environmental conditions:

When they experienced poor winters, reindeer allocated more resources to own body reserves than reproduction and vice versa when winter conditions were good

The full paper can be found here.

Additional papers pertaining to reindeer life history and risk

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This entry was posted in Behavioural ecology, Nomadic pastoralism, Output, Publication and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Risk-sensitive reproductive allocation: fitness consequences of body mass losses in two contrasting environments

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