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Author: Olivier Gimenez (57)


Jan
2018

Forage quality for herbivores and litter quality for decomposers are two key plant properties affecting ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling. Although there is a positive relationship between palatability and decomposition, very few studies have focused on larger vertebrate herbivores while considering links between the digestibility of living leaves and stems and the decomposability of litter and associated traits. The hypothesis tested is that some defences of living organs would reduce their digestibility and, as a consequence, their litter decomposability, through 'afterlife' effects.

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Nov
2017

This study describes two longitudinal serological surveys of European Bat Lyssavirus type 1 (EBLV-1) antibodies in serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) maternity colonies located in the North-East of France. This species is currently considered as the main EBLV-1 reservoir. Multievent capture-recapture models were used to determine the factors influencing bat rabies transmission as this method accounts for imperfect detection and uncertainty in disease states.

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Nov
2017

The interactions between wild and captive populations of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) persist in most countries of the species distribution, notably through the reproduction between captive females and wild males. However, these complex interactions have been poorly studied, despite their relevance for conservation of this endangered species. Laos has a centuries-long tradition of raising Asian elephants.

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Jan
2018

In iteroparous species, intermittent breeding is an important life-history tactic that can greatly affect animal population growth and viability. Despite its importance, few studies have quantified the consequences of breeding pauses on lifetime reproductive output, principally because calculating lifetime reproductive output requires knowledge of each individual's entire reproductive history. This information is extremely difficult to obtain in wild populations.

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Sep
2017

Breeding dispersal is a key process of population structure and dynamics and is often triggered by an individual's breeding failure. In both colonial and territorial birds, reproductive success of conspecifics (RSc) can also lead individuals to change breeding sites after a failure on a site. Yet, few studies have simultaneously investigated the independent contribution of individual reproductive success (RSi) and of RSc on dispersal decision.

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Dec
1969

While the Mediterranean Sea has been designated as a Global Biodiversity Hotspot, assessments of cetacean population abundance are lacking for large portions of the region, particularly in the southern and eastern basins. The challenges and costs of obtaining the necessary data often result in absent or poor abundance information. We applied capture-recapture models to estimate abundance, survival and temporary emigration of odontocete populations within a 2,400 km2 semi-enclosed Mediterranean bay, the Gulf of Corinth.

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Nov
2016

While it is commonly believed that animals live longer in zoos than in the wild, this assumption has rarely been tested. We compared four survival metrics (longevity, baseline mortality, onset of senescence and rate of senescence) between both sexes of free-ranging and zoo populations of more than 50 mammal species. We found that mammals from zoo populations generally lived longer than their wild counterparts (84% of species).

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Dec
1969

The canalization hypothesis postulates that the rate at which trait variation generates variation in the average individual fitness in a population determines how buffered traits are against environmental and genetic factors. The ranking of a species on the slow-fast continuum - the covariation among life-history traits describing species-specific life cycles along a gradient going from a long life, slow maturity, and low annual reproductive output, to a short life, fast maturity, and high annual reproductive output - strongly correlates with the relative fitness impact of a given amount of variation in adult survival. Under the canalization hypothesis, long-lived species are thus expected to display less individual heterogeneity in survival at the onset of adulthood, when reproductive values peak, than short-lived species.

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Mar
2017

Early-life demographic traits are poorly known, impeding our understanding of population processes and sensitivity to climate change. Survival of immature individuals is a critical component of population dynamics and recruitment in particular. However, obtaining reliable estimates of juvenile survival (i.

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Jan
2016

The relationships between group size, survival, and longevity vary greatly among social species. Depending on demographic and ecological circumstances, there are both positive and negative effects of group size variation on individual survival and longevity. For socially foraging species in particular there may be an optimal group size that predicts maximum individual survival that is directly related to the potential for information transfer, social coordination, and costs of conspecific interference.

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Oct
2015

Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward.

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Dec
2015

In most mammals, both sexes display different survival patterns, often involving faster senescence in males. Being under intense sexual competition to secure mating opportunities, males of polygynous species allocate resources to costly behaviors and conspicuous sexual traits, which might explain these observed differences in longevity and senescence patterns. However, comparative studies performed to date have led to conflicting results.

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Jun
2015

Understanding the relative effects of climate, harvest, and density dependence on population dynamics is critical for guiding sound population management, especially for ungulates in arid and semiarid environments experiencing climate change. To address these issues for bison in southern Utah, USA, we applied a Bayesian state-space model to a 72-yr time series of abundance counts. While accounting for known harvest (as well as live removal) from the population, we found that the bison population in southern Utah exhibited a strong potential to grow from low density (β0 = 0.

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Dec
2014

Theory recognizes that a treatment of the detection process is required to avoid producing biased estimates of population rate of change. Still, one of three monitoring programmes on animal or plant populations is focused on simply counting individuals or other fixed visible structures, such as natal dens, nests, tree cavities. This type of monitoring design poses concerns about the possibility to respect the assumption of constant detection, as the information acquired in a given year about the spatial distribution of reproductive sites can provide a higher chance to detect the species in subsequent years.

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Dec
2014

The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1-4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology.

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Dec
2014

Patterns of actuarial senescence vary among long-lived species. A proposed explanation of the evolution of species-specific senescence patterns is that increased levels of energy allocation to intra-male competition decrease the amount of energy available for somatic maintenance, leading to earlier or faster actuarial senescence. Previous studies did not provide support for such relationships, but did not focus on the intensity of allocation likely to shape inter-specific variation in actuarial senescence in males.

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Jun
2014

We examine memory models for multisite capture-recapture data. This is an important topic, as animals may exhibit behavior that is more complex than simple first-order Markov movement between sites, when it is necessary to devise and fit appropriate models to data. We consider the Arnason-Schwarz model for multisite capture-recapture data, which incorporates just first-order Markov movement, and also two alternative models that allow for memory, the Brownie model and the Pradel model.

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Nov
2014

Most mammalian populations suffer from natural or human-induced disturbances; populations are no longer at the equilibrium (i.e., at stable [st]age distribution) and exhibit transient dynamics.

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Aug
2014

Dispersal affects processes as diverse as habitat selection, population growth, and gene flow. Inference about dispersal and its variation is thus crucial for assessing population and evolutionary dynamics. Two approaches are generally used to estimate dispersal in free-ranging animals.

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Dec
2014

Actuarial senescence is widespread in age-structured populations. In growing populations, the progressive decline of Hamiltonian forces of selection with age leads to decreasing survival. As actuarial senescence is overcompensated by a high fertility, actuarial senescence should be more intense in species with high reproductive effort, a theoretical prediction that has not been yet explicitly tested across species.

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May
2014

When to commence breeding is a crucial life-history decision that may be the most important determinant of an individual's lifetime reproductive output and can have major consequences on population dynamics. The age at which individuals first reproduce is an important factor influencing the intensity of potential costs (e.g.

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Dec
1969

Seabirds are affected by changes in the marine ecosystem. The influence of climatic factors on marine food webs can be reflected in long-term seabird population changes. We modelled the survival and recruitment of the Mediterranean storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus melitensis) using a 21-year mark-recapture dataset involving almost 5000 birds.

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Jun
2014

Predicting the dynamics of animal populations with different life histories requires careful understanding of demographic responses to multifaceted aspects of global changes, such as climate and trophic interactions. Continent-scale dampening of vole population cycles, keystone herbivores in many ecosystems, has been recently documented across Europe. However, its impact on guilds of vole-eating predators remains unknown.

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Dec
1969

Data collected to inform time variations in natural population size are tainted by sampling error. Ignoring sampling error in population dynamics models induces bias in parameter estimators, e.g.

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Nov
2013

Studying the demography of wild animals remains challenging as several of the critical parts of their life history may be difficult to observe in the field. In particular, determining with certainty when an individual breeds for the first time is not always obvious. This can be problematic because uncertainty about the transition from a prebreeder to a breeder state - recruitment - leads to uncertainty in vital rate estimates and in turn in population projection models.

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Apr
2013

Distance sampling is widely used to estimate the abundance or density of wildlife populations. Methods to estimate wildlife mortality rates have developed largely independently from distance sampling, despite the conceptual similarities between estimation of cumulative mortality and the population density of living animals. Conventional distance sampling analyses rely on the assumption that animals are distributed uniformly with respect to transects and thus require randomized placement of transects during survey design.

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Oct
2013

To maximize long-term average reproductive success, individuals can diversify the phenotypes of offspring produced within a reproductive event by displaying the 'coin-flipping' tactic. Wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa) females have been reported to adopt this tactic. However, whether the magnitude of developmental plasticity within a litter depends on stochasticity in food resources has not been yet investigated.

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Apr
2013

Quantifying metapopulation dynamics is a challenging task. Difficulties particularly arise in species that possess unobservable resistance forms that bias the estimation of colonization and persistence rates. Here, we develop a general multistate occupancy model that allows estimation of species persistence for both normal and resistant forms, even when the latter are not detectable.

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Sep
2013

1. In highly variable environments, the optimal reproductive tactics of iteroparous organisms should minimize variance in yearly reproductive success to maximize the long-term average reproductive success. To minimize among-year variation in reproductive success, individuals can either minimize the variance in the number of offspring produced at each reproductive attempt (classical bet-hedging) or maximize the phenotypic diversity of offspring produced within or among reproductive attempts (coin-flipping).

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Apr
2013

Porcine brucellosis due to Brucella suis biovar 1 raises important issues for pig breeders in French Polynesia. In this region, the disease is enzootic, spreads silently and engenders economic losses in infected farms as well as sporadic human cases. While serological tests are essential in surveillance and control programmes of animal diseases, to date none of the available tests have been shown to be reliable enough to be used as a gold standard in routine individual diagnosis of porcine brucellosis.

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Feb
2012

Studying evolutionary mechanisms in natural populations often requires testing multifactorial scenarios of causality involving direct and indirect relationships among individual and environmental variables. It is also essential to account for the imperfect detection of individuals to provide unbiased demographic parameter estimates. To cope with these issues, we developed a new approach combining structural equation models with capture-recapture models (CR-SEM) that allows the investigation of competing hypotheses about individual and environmental variability observed in demographic parameters.

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Apr
2012

Conditional strategies are the most common form of discrete phenotypic plasticity. In a conditional strategy, the phenotype expressed by an organism is determined by the difference between an environmental cue and a threshold, both of which may vary among individuals. The environmental threshold model (ETM) has been proposed as a mean to understand the evolution of conditional strategies, but has been surprisingly seldom applied to empirical studies.

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Dec
2012

Structured population models are widely used in plant and animal demographic studies to assess population dynamics. In matrix population models, populations are described with discrete classes of individuals (age, life history stage or size). To calibrate these models, longitudinal data are collected at the individual level to estimate demographic parameters.

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Apr
2012

While serological tests are essential in surveillance and control programs of animal diseases, to date none of the common serological tests approved in the EU (complement fixation test or Rose-Bengal test) has been shown to be reliable in routine individual diagnosis of porcine brucellosis, and some more recent tests like ELISA have not been fully evaluated yet. In the absence of a gold standard, this study allowed the estimation of sensitivities and specificities of these tests with a Bayesian approach using Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms. The pig population that was tested included 6422 animals from Metropolitan France.

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Nov
2011

Exploitation by humans affects the size and structure of populations. This has evolutionary and demographic consequences that have typically being studied independent of one another. We here applied a framework recently developed applying quantitative tools from population ecology and selection gradient analysis to quantify the selection on a quantitative trait-birth date-through its association with multiple fitness components.

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Aug
2011

Both evolutionary ecologists and wildlife managers make inference based on how fitness and demography vary in space. Spatial variation in survival can be difficult to assess in the wild because (1) multisite study designs are not well suited to populations that are continuously distributed across a large area and (2) available statistical models accounting for detectability less than 1.0 do not easily cope with geographical coordinates.

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Mar
2011

Senescence, a decrease in life history traits with age, is a within-individual process. The lack of suitable methods to deal with individual heterogeneity has long impeded progress in exploring senescence in wild populations. Analyses of survival senescence are additionally complicated by the often neglected issue of imperfect detectability.

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Oct
2011

In long-lived species, individuals can skip reproduction. The proportion of breeders affects population growth rate and viability, there is a need to investigate the factors influencing intermittent breeding. The theory predicts that if lack of experience is an important constraint, breeding probabilities should increase with experience for individuals of the same age, whereas under the so-called restraint hypothesis, breeding probabilities should increase with age regardless of experience.

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Jul
2011

Spatial patterns of site occupancy are commonly driven by habitat heterogeneity and are thought to shape population dynamics through a site-dependent regulatory mechanism. When examining this, however, most studies have only focused on a single vital rate (reproduction), and little is known about how space effectively contributes to the regulation of population dynamics. We investigated the underlying mechanisms driving density-dependent processes in vital rates in a Mauritius kestrel population where almost every individual was monitored.

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Apr
2011

Intermittent breeding is an important life-history strategy that has rarely been quantified in the wild and for which drivers remain unclear. It may be the result of a trade-off between survival and reproduction, with individuals skipping breeding when breeding conditions are below a certain threshold. Heterogeneity in individual quality can also lead to heterogeneity in intermittent breeding.

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Apr
2011

In long-lived animals, adult survival is among the most important determinants of population dynamics. Although it may show considerable variation both in time and among populations and sites, a single survival estimate per species is often used in comparative evolutionary studies or in conservation management to identify threatened populations. We estimated adult survival of the isabelline serotine bat Eptesicus isabellinus using capture-recapture data collected on six maternity colonies scattered over a large area (distance 8-103 km) during periods varying from 8 to 26 years.

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Jul
2010

Whether different sources of mortality are additive, compensatory, or depensatory is a key question in population biology. A way to test for additivity is to calculate the correlation between cause-specific mortality rates obtained from marked animals. However, existing methods to estimate this correlation raise several methodological issues.

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Sep
2010

Evolutionary trade-offs among demographic parameters are important determinants of life-history evolution. Investigating such trade-offs under natural conditions has been limited by inappropriate analytical methods that fail to address the bias in demographic estimates that can result when issues of detection (uncertain detection of individual) are ignored. We propose a new statistical approach to quantify evolutionary trade-offs in wild populations.

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Sep
2010

Life-history theory predicts that traits involved in maturity, reproduction and survival correlate along a fast-slow continuum of life histories. Evolutionary theories and empirical results indicate that senescence-related traits vary along this continuum, with slow species senescing later and at a slower pace than fast species. Because senescence patterns are typically difficult to estimate from studies in the wild, here we propose to predict the associated trait values in the frame of life-history theory.

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Jan
2010

Understanding population dynamics requires accurate estimates of demographic rates. Integrated population models combine demographic and survey data into a single, comprehensive analysis and provide more coherent estimates of vital rates. Integrated population models rely on the assumption that different data sets are independent, which is frequently violated in practice.

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Apr
2010

Assessing conservation strategies requires reliable estimates of abundance. Because detecting all individuals is most often impossible in free-ranging populations, estimation procedures have to account for a <1 detection probability. Capture-recapture methods allow biologists to cope with this issue of detectability.

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Nov
2009

The rate of plant decomposition depends on both the decomposition environment and the functional traits of the individual species (e.g. leaf and litter quality), but their relative importance in determining interspecific differences in litter decomposition remains unclear.

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Dec
2009

Understanding how selection operates on a set of phenotypic traits is central to evolutionary biology. Often, it requires estimating survival (or other fitness-related life-history traits) which can be difficult to obtain for natural populations because individuals cannot be exhaustively followed. To cope with this issue of imperfect detection, we advocate the use of mark-recapture data and we provide a general framework for both the estimation of linear and nonlinear selection gradients and the visualization of fitness surfaces.

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May
2009

1. The population dynamic and evolutionary effects of harvesting are receiving growing attention among biologists. Cause-specific estimates of mortality are necessary to determine and compare the magnitude and selectivity of hunting and other types of mortalities.

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Oct
2008

Species-area relationships (SARs) are fundamental to the study of key and high-profile issues in conservation biology and are particularly widely used in establishing the broad patterns of biodiversity that underpin approaches to determining priority areas for biological conservation. Classically, the SAR has been argued in general to conform to a power-law relationship, and this form has been widely assumed in most applications in the field of conservation biology. Here, using nonlinear regressions within an information theoretical model selection framework, we included uncertainty regarding both model selection and parameter estimation in SAR modeling and conducted a global-scale analysis of the form of SARs for vascular plants and major vertebrate groups across 792 terrestrial ecoregions representing almost 97% of Earth's inhabited land.

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