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Modelling the Effect of Landscape Features on Woodland Caribou Movement and Population Growth in Ontario

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Title: Modelling the Effect of Landscape Features on Woodland Caribou Movement and Population Growth in Ontario
Author: Liu, Boyan
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Fryxell, John
Abstract: The suitability of an animal’s local environment is expected to influence patterns of movement and population growth rate (lambda). Landscape suitability can accordingly be estimated, based on the relative frequency and spatial distribution of good versus poor areas. This framework can be used to evaluate the landscape suitability of 14 woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) ranges in Ontario and relate it to projected inter-range differences in movement and lambda; calculated using individual-based movement trajectories. The caribou movement simulation model predicted that average rates of caribou displacement should decrease with increasing forage variability and decreasing variability in moose abundance. The caribou population viability analysis model predicted that caribou population growth should decrease with increasing density of both wolves and moose, the wolves’ primary prey. These model predictions suggest that caribou movement and lambda could respond differently to spatial variation in food availability and predation risk.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/14261
Date: 2018-07-30
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada


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Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada