Effects of climate change on life-history traits in hibernating mammals

Findlay-Robinson, Rachel, Deecke, Volker, Weatherall, Andrew and Hill, Davina (2022) Effects of climate change on life-history traits in hibernating mammals. Mammal Review . Item availability may be restricted.

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Abstract

Animals can respond to climate change through changes in behaviour, morphology or life-history traits. Changes in life-history traits do not occur independently, as they trade off or co-evolve with other traits. Hibernation is a life-history trait used to cope with periods of low resource availability. The energetic and survival benefits of hibernation depend on environmental conditions. Climate change-induced changes in hibernation patterns are therefore likely to affect other life-history traits through trade-offs. We systematically reviewed the literature to (i) identify studies testing for associations between climatic variables and life-history traits in hibernators, (ii) assess variation in responses between species, and (iii) determine whether changes in life-history traits associated with climate have subsequent effects on other life-history traits. Air temperature was the most commonly measured climatic variable, and phenology of hibernation emergence was the most commonly studied life history trait. Very few studies tested whether changes in life-history traits associated with climatic variables have subsequent effects on potentially coadapted traits. Despite being considered key life-history traits due to their potential to influence population dynamics, our search returned no studies on the effects of climatic variables on the age of primiparity or on the age distribution of reproduction. Directions of associations between climatic variables and life history traits often differed between species, and both species- and sex-specific variation occurred in response to climatic variables for some traits. We highlight the importance of long-term, species-specific research, and the need for further studies on subsequent effects of climatic cues on coadapted traits to fully understand the potential for hibernators to respond to ongoing and future climate change.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Mammal Review
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1365-2907
Departments: Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies > Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2022 09:01
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2022 13:50
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6619
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