Contrasting capabilities of two ungulate species to cope with extremes of aridity

Show simple item record Boyers, Melinda Parrini, Francesca Owen‑Smith, Norman Erasmus, Barend Frederik Nel Hetem, Robyn S. 2022-11-04T08:53:25Z 2022-11-04T08:53:25Z 2021-02-18
dc.description DATA AVAILABILITY : The data that support the findings of this study are available in AfriMove repository, en_US
dc.description.abstract Southern Africa is expected to experience increased frequency and intensity of droughts through climate change, which will adversely affect mammalian herbivores. Using bio-loggers, we tested the expectation that wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), a grazer with high water-dependence, would be more sensitive to drought conditions than the arid-adapted gemsbok (Oryx gazella gazella). The study, conducted in the Kalahari, encompassed two hot-dry seasons with similar ambient temperatures but differing rainfall patterns during the preceding wet season. In the drier year both ungulates selected similar cooler microclimates, but wildebeest travelled larger distances than gemsbok, presumably in search of water. Body temperatures in both species reached lower daily minimums and higher daily maximums in the drier season but daily fluctuations were wider in wildebeest than in gemsbok. Lower daily minimum body temperatures displayed by wildebeest suggest that wildebeest were under greater nutritional stress than gemsbok. Moving large distances when water is scarce may have compromised the energy balance of the water dependent wildebeest, a trade-off likely to be exacerbated with future climate change. en_US
dc.description.department Zoology and Entomology en_US
dc.description.librarian am2022 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The National Research Foundation of South Africa, the Centre for African Ecology; and University of the Witwatersrand Faculty of Science Research Committee. en_US
dc.description.uri en_US
dc.identifier.citation Boyers, M., Parrini, F., Owen-Smith, N. et al. Contrasting capabilities of two ungulate species to cope with extremes of aridity. Scientific Reports 11, 4216 (2021). en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2045-2322 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1038/s41598-021-83732-w
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Nature Research en_US
dc.rights © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. en_US
dc.subject Droughts en_US
dc.subject Climate change en_US
dc.subject Mammalian herbivores en_US
dc.subject Behavioural ecology en_US
dc.subject Climate-change ecology en_US
dc.subject Physiology en_US
dc.subject Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) en_US
dc.subject Gemsbok (Oryx gazella gazella) en_US
dc.title Contrasting capabilities of two ungulate species to cope with extremes of aridity en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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