Flexibility in activity timing may enable organisms to quickly adapt to environmental changes. Under global warming, diurnally adapted endotherms may achieve a better energy balance by shifting their activity towards cooler nocturnal hours. However, this shift may expose animals to new or increased environmental challenges (e.g. increased predation risk, reduced foraging efficiency). We analysed a large dataset of activity data from 47 ibex (Capra ibex) in two protected areas, characterized by varying levels of predation risk (presence versus absence of the wolf-Canis lupus). We found that ibex increased nocturnal activity following warmer days and during brighter nights. Despite the considerable sexual dimorphism typical of this species and the consequent different predation-risk perception, males and females demonstrated consistent responses to heat in both predator-present and predator-absent areas. This supports the hypothesis that shifting activity towards nighttime may be a common strategy adopted by diurnal endotherms in response to global warming. As nowadays different pressures are pushing mammals towards nocturnality, our findings emphasize the urgent need to integrate knowledge of temporal behavioural modifications into management and conservation planning.

Seeking temporal refugia to heat stress: Increasing nocturnal activity despite predation risk

Bertolucci C.
Penultimo
Conceptualization
;
Grignolio S.
Ultimo
Supervision
2024

Abstract

Flexibility in activity timing may enable organisms to quickly adapt to environmental changes. Under global warming, diurnally adapted endotherms may achieve a better energy balance by shifting their activity towards cooler nocturnal hours. However, this shift may expose animals to new or increased environmental challenges (e.g. increased predation risk, reduced foraging efficiency). We analysed a large dataset of activity data from 47 ibex (Capra ibex) in two protected areas, characterized by varying levels of predation risk (presence versus absence of the wolf-Canis lupus). We found that ibex increased nocturnal activity following warmer days and during brighter nights. Despite the considerable sexual dimorphism typical of this species and the consequent different predation-risk perception, males and females demonstrated consistent responses to heat in both predator-present and predator-absent areas. This supports the hypothesis that shifting activity towards nighttime may be a common strategy adopted by diurnal endotherms in response to global warming. As nowadays different pressures are pushing mammals towards nocturnality, our findings emphasize the urgent need to integrate knowledge of temporal behavioural modifications into management and conservation planning.
2024
Brivio, F.; Apollonio, M.; Anderwald, P.; Filli, F.; Bassano, B.; Bertolucci, C.; Grignolio, S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2537471
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