Functional responses in the habitat selection of a generalist mega-herbivore, the African savannah elephant

Show simple item record Roever, Carrie Lynn Van Aarde, Rudi J. Leggett, K. 2017-01-19T06:41:29Z 2017-01-19T06:41:29Z 2012
dc.description.abstract Resource selection function (RSF) models are commonly used to quantify species/ habitat associations and predict species occurrence on the landscape. However, these models are sensitive to changes in resource availability and can result in a functional response to resource abundance, where preferences change as a function of availability. For generalist species, which utilize a wide range of habitats and resources, quantifying habitat selection is particularly challenging. Spatial and temporal changes in resource abundance can result in changes in selection preference affecting the robustness of habitat selection models. We examined selection preference across a wide range of ecological conditions for a generalist mega-herbivore, the African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana), to quantify general patterns in selection and to illustrate the importance of functional responses in elephant habitat selection. We found a functional response in habitat selection across both space and time for tree cover, with tree cover being unimportant to habitat selection in the mesic, eastern populations during the wet season. A temporal functional response for water was also evident, with greater variability in selection during the wet season. Selection for low slopes, high tree cover, and far distance from people was consistent across populations; however, variability in selection coefficients changed as a function of the abundance of a given resource within the home range. This variability of selection coefficients could be used to improve confidence estimations for inferences drawn from habitat selection models. Quantifying functional responses in habitat selection is one way to better predict how wildlife will respond to an ever-changing environment, and they provide promising insights into the habitat selection of generalist species. en_ZA
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian hb2017 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship Support for this study was provide by Billiton, Conservation Foundation Zambia, Conservation International’s southern Africa’s Wildlife Programme, the Conservation Lower Zambezi, Duke University, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Mozal Community Development Trust, the National Research Foundation, the National Postcode Lottery of the Netherlands, Peace Parks Foundation, the US Fish and Wildlife Services, the University of Pretoria, the World Wildlife Fund (SARPO; Mozambique; SA), the Walt Disney Grant Foundation, and the Wildlifewins Lottery. Logistical support was provided by Bateleurs, South African National Parks, Tracks4Africa, and Wings for Wildlife. This research was sanctioned and supported by the Botswana Department of Wildlife & National Parks, Direcção Nacional de Areas de Conservação, the Namibian Ministry of Tourism & Environment, the Malawian Wildlife Department, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife of South Africa, and the Zambian Wildlife Authority. en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Roever, CL, Van Aarde, RJ & Leggett, K 2012, 'Functional responses in the habitat selection of a generalist mega-herbivore, the African savannah elephant', Ecography, vol. 35, no.11, pp. 972-982. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0906-7590 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1600-0587 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07359.x
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Wiley en_ZA
dc.rights © 2012 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2012 Nordic Society Oikos. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article : Functional responses in the habitat selection of a generalist mega-herbivore, the African savannah elephant, Ecography, vol. 35, no. 11, pp. 972-982, 2012. doi : 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07359.x. The definite version is available at : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.comjournal/10.1111/(ISSN)1600-0587. en_ZA
dc.subject Functional response en_ZA
dc.subject Generalist en_ZA
dc.subject Habitat selection en_ZA
dc.subject Herbivore en_ZA
dc.subject Loxodonta africana en_ZA
dc.subject Mixed effects logistic regression en_ZA
dc.subject African elephant (Loxodonta africana) en_ZA
dc.subject Resource selection function (RSF) en_ZA
dc.title Functional responses in the habitat selection of a generalist mega-herbivore, the African savannah elephant en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA

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