lecture 4 2009

lecture 4 2009 - Habitat selection: where to live habitat?...

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Habitat selection: where to live habitat? What is habitat selection? Process by which an animal identifies a site to settle on the landscape
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Specialist vs. generalist bongo white-tailed deer Habitat specialists: restricted to a limited range of habitat types Habitat generalists : capable of surviving and reproducing in many habitats
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Limiting factors Food – most important limiting factor for most animals Water – important in dry areas and for water-dependent species Cover – important in open or exposed environments Temperature – limits activity period and distribution of organisms Predators and competitors Special needs: – Nesting sites – Mud baths – Minerals/salts
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Settlement and food The “numerical response” (predators respond to prey) # of prey # of settling predators few many few many Discovery: predators “discover” prey in habitat Immigration: predators settle in response to increasing prey Resident predators repel newcomers: habitat is saturated
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Settlement and water Mobility and water efficiency often determine habitat choice
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Settlement and soil Why soil(?) - Burrow construction (many rodents, some birds, reptiles) - Movement and health (muddy conditions impair movement) - Background matching (crypsis is key to catching prey and hiding)
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INSERT CAVITY NESTER Great gray owl
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lecture 4 2009 - Habitat selection: where to live habitat?...

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