Global climate change and phenotypic variation among red deer cohorts

E. Post, N. Chr Stenseth, I. Rolf, J. M. Fromentin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

158 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The variability of two fitness-related phenotypic traits (body weight and a mandibular skeletal ratio) was analysed among cohorts and age-classes of red deer in Norway. Phenotypic variation among cohorts was pronounced for calves, yearlings and reproductively mature adults. Fluctuations in cohort-specific mean body weights and skeletal ratios of adults correlated with global climatic variation in winter conditions influenced by the North Atlantic Oscillation while cohorts were in utero. Red deer born following warm winters were smaller than those born after cold winters, and this inter-cohort variability persisted into adulthood. Phenotypic variation among cohorts of red deer influenced by climate change may pose consequences for fitness of cohorts since body size and condition contribute to reproductive success and survival in male and female red deer. In particular, the recent trend of increasingly warm winters in northern Europe and Scandinavia may lead to reduced body size and fecundity of red deer, and perhaps other ungulates, in those areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1324
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume264
Issue number1386
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

Fingerprint

Deer
Climate Change
Cervus elaphus
phenotypic variation
Climate change
deer
global climate
climate change
winter
Body Size
body size
fitness
Body Weight
Scandinavian and Nordic Countries
body weight
Northern European region
Scandinavia
body condition
ungulate
Norway

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Post, E. ; Stenseth, N. Chr ; Rolf, I. ; Fromentin, J. M. / Global climate change and phenotypic variation among red deer cohorts. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 1997 ; Vol. 264, No. 1386. pp. 1317-1324.
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Global climate change and phenotypic variation among red deer cohorts. / Post, E.; Stenseth, N. Chr; Rolf, I.; Fromentin, J. M.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 264, No. 1386, 01.01.1997, p. 1317-1324.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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