Acceleration Data Reveal Highly Individually Structured Energetic Landscapes in Free-Ranging Fishers (Pekania pennanti)

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PLoS ONE. 2016, 11(2), e0145732. eISSN 1932-6203. Available under: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145732
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Investigating animal energy expenditure across space and time may provide more detailed insight into how animals interact with their environment. This insight should improve our understanding of how changes in the environment affect animal energy budgets and is particularly relevant for animals living near or within human altered environments where habitat change can occur rapidly. We modeled fisher (Pekania pennanti) energy expenditure within their home ranges and investigated the potential environmental and spatial drivers of the predicted spatial patterns. As a proxy for energy expenditure we used overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) that we quantified from tri-axial accelerometer data during the active phases of 12 individuals. We used a generalized additive model (GAM) to investigate the spatial distribution of ODBA by associating the acceleration data to the animals' GPS-recorded locations. We related the spatial patterns of ODBA to the utilization distributions and habitat suitability estimates across individuals. The ODBA of fishers appears highly structured in space and was related to individual utilization distribution and habitat suitability estimates. However, we were not able to predict ODBA using the environmental data we selected. Our results suggest an unexpected complexity in the space use of animals that was only captured partially by re-location data-based concepts of home range and habitat suitability. We suggest future studies recognize the limits of ODBA that arise from the fact that acceleration is often collected at much finer spatio-temporal scales than the environmental data and that ODBA lacks a behavioral correspondence. Overcoming these limits would improve the interpretation of energy expenditure in relation to the environment.

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ISO 690SCHARF, Anne K., Scott LAPOINT, Martin WIKELSKI, Kamran SAFI, 2016. Acceleration Data Reveal Highly Individually Structured Energetic Landscapes in Free-Ranging Fishers (Pekania pennanti). In: PLoS ONE. 2016, 11(2), e0145732. eISSN 1932-6203. Available under: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145732
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@article{Scharf2016-02-03Accel-33723,
  year={2016},
  doi={10.1371/journal.pone.0145732},
  title={Acceleration Data Reveal Highly Individually Structured Energetic Landscapes in Free-Ranging Fishers (Pekania pennanti)},
  number={2},
  volume={11},
  journal={PLoS ONE},
  author={Scharf, Anne K. and LaPoint, Scott and Wikelski, Martin and Safi, Kamran},
  note={Article Number: e0145732}
}
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