Date of Original Version
Natural Resources Science
Seasonal environmental conditions shape the behavior and life history of virtually all organisms. Climate change is modifying these seasonal environmental conditions, which threatens to disrupt population dynamics. It is conceivable that climatic changes may be beneficial in one season but result in detrimental conditions in another because life-history strategies vary between these time periods. We analyzed the temporal trends in seasonal survival of yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventer) and explored the environmental drivers using a 40-y dataset from the Colorado Rocky Mountains (USA). Trends in survival revealed divergent seasonal patterns, which were similar across age-classes. Marmot survival declined during winter but generally increased during summer. Interestingly, different environmental factors appeared to drive survival trends across age-classes. Winter survival was largely driven by conditions during the preceding summer and the effect of continued climate change was likely to be mainly negative, whereas the likely outcome of continued climate change on summer survival was generally positive. This study illustrates that seasonal demographic responses need disentangling to accurately forecast the impacts of climate change on animal population dynamics.
Cordes LS, Blumstein DT, Armitage KB, CaraDonna PJ, Childs DZ, Gerber BD, Martin JGA, Oli MK, Ozgul A. Contrasting effects of climate change on seasonal survival of a hibernating mammal. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jul 28;117(30):18119-18126. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1918584117. Epub 2020 Jul 6. PMID: 32631981; PMCID: PMC7395557.