Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub

    Description

    We investigated the roles of vegetation structure, micro-topographic relief, and predator activity patterns (time of day) on the perception of predatory risk of arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii), an abundant pan-Arctic omnivore, in Arctic Circle tundra on the North Slope of Alaska, where tundra vegetation structure has been predicted to change in response to climate. We quantified foraging intensity by measuring the giving-up densities (GUDs) of the arctic ground squirrels in experimental foraging patches along a heath–graminoid–shrub moist tundra gradient. We hypothesized that foraging intensity of arctic ground squirrels would be greatest and GUDs lowest, where low-stature vegetation or raised micro-topography improves sightlines for predator detection. Furthermore, GUDs should vary with time of day and reflect 24-h cycles of varying predation risk. Foraging intensity varied temporally, being highest in the afternoon and lowest overnight. During the morning, foraging intensity was inversely correlated with the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a proxy for vegetation productivity and cover. Foraging was additionally measured within landscapes of fear, confirming that vegetative and topographic obstructions of sightlines reduces foraging intensity and increases GUDs. We conclude that arctic ground squirrels may affect Arctic Circle vegetation of tundra ecosystems, but these effects will vary spatially and temporally.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Flower, Charles E.; Dalton, Jennifer E.; Whelan, Christopher J.; Brown, Joel S.; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A. 2019. Patch use in the arctic ground squirrel: effects of micro-topography and shrub encroachment in the Arctic Circle. Oecologia. 190(1): 243-254. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-019-04400-5.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Arctic ground squirrel, Climate change, Giving-up densities, Ecosystem impacts, Foraging, Landscape of fear, NDVI, Tundra

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/58304