Experimental trials of the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) traversing managed rainforest landscapes: perceptual range and fine-scale movements

Flaherty, E. A.; Smith, W. P.; Pyare, S.; Ben-David, M.
September 2008
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Sep2008, Vol. 86 Issue 9, p1050
Academic Journal
Successful dispersal in many species may be a function of the distance at which animals can perceive a particular landscape feature (i.e., perceptual range), as well as energetic costs associated with traversing the distance towards that feature. We used a model, relating perceptual range to body size of mammals, to predict the perceptual range of the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus (Shaw, 1801)) in fragmented forests of Southeast Alaska. We hypothesized that the perceptual range of flying squirrels would be 325.5-356.5 m in clearcuts and 159.7-174.9 m in second-growth stands. The distance advantage in clearcuts may, however, be lost if the cost of transport in that habitat is higher. Our results suggest that as heuristically predicted by the model, the perceptual range of flying squirrels was greater in clearcut habitats than in second-growth stands. Nonetheless, for both habitats the actual perceptual range was significantly shorter than predicted by the model. We found that precipitation, and associated cloud cover and illumination, and wind speed, which affect olfaction capabilities, influenced orientation success. Although squirrels more often oriented towards the forest edge in clearcuts, they paused more often during their movements, which may lead to higher costs of dispersing through this habitat. The application of the mass-based model to nonagricultural landscapes should be done with caution, and variables such as wind and illumination be measured concurrently. Our data illustrate that dispersing squirrels likely will not venture into managed habitats because logging creates clearcuts larger than the perceptual range of these mammals. La réussite de la dispersion peut être fonction de la distance à laquelle les animaux peuvent percevoir un élément particulier du paysage (c’est-à-dire la portée de leur perception), ainsi que des coûts énergétiques associés à la distance à parcourir vers cet élément. Nous utilisons un modèle qui relie la portée de la perception à la taille corporelle chez les mammifères afin de prédire la portée de la perception chez le grand polatouche (Glaucomys sabrinus (Shaw, 1801)) dans des forêts fragmentées du sud-est de l’Alaska. Nous avons établi en hypothèse que la portée de la perception des polatouches serait de 325.5-356.5 m dans les zones de coupe à blanc et de 159.7-174.9 m dans les peuplements secondaires. L’avantage lié à la distance dans les zones de coupe à blanc peut, cependant, être perdu si les coûts du déplacement dans cet habitat sont plus élevés. Nos résultats indiquent que, comme le prédit de manière heuristique le modèle, la portée de la perception des polatouches est plus grande dans les habitats de coupe à blanc que dans les peuplements secondaires. Néanmoins, dans les deux habitats, la portée réelle de la perception est significativement inférieure aux prédictions du modèle. Les précipitations et la couverture nuageuse et l’éclairement qui les accompagnent, ainsi que la vitesse du vent qui affecte les capacités de l’olfaction, influencent le succès de l’orientation. Bien que les polatouches se dirigent plus fréquemment vers l’orée des forêts dans les zones de coupe à blanc, ils s’arrêtent plus souvent au cours de leurs déplacements, ce qui peut mener à des coûts plus élevés de la dispersion dans cet habitat. On doit utiliser avec prudence le modèle basé sur la masse dans les paysages non agricoles et il est nécessaire de mesurer concurremment les variables telles que le vent et l’éclairement. Nos données montrent que les polatouches durant leur dispersion ne vont vraisemblablement pas s’aventurer dans les habitats aménagés parce que la coupe forestière crée des zones de coupe à blanc plus étendues que la portée de la perception de ces mammifères.


Related Articles

  • Patch leaving decision rules in parasitoids: do they use sequential decisional sampling? Pierre, Jean-Sébastien; van Baaren, Joan; Boivin, Guy // Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology;Jul2003, Vol. 54 Issue 2, p147 

    Within the framework of optimal foraging theory, models assume that parasitoid insects are able to evaluate the quality of the patch in which they are currently searching for hosts and the travel time between patches. They can adjust their residence time in consequence. Simple and more realistic...

  • HOME-RANGE SIZE AND SPACING PATTERNS OF MACROPHYLLUM MACROPHYLLUM (PHYLLOSTOMIDAE) FORAGING OVER WATER. Meyer, Christoph F. J.; Weinbeer, Moritz; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V. // Journal of Mammalogy;Jun2005, Vol. 86 Issue 3, p587 

    We studied home-range size and patterns of range use of long-legged bats, Macrophyllum macrophyllum (Phyllostomidae), at Barro Colorado Nature Monument, Panama, by using radiotelemetry. Movements of 4 males and 5 females fitted with radiotransmitters were monitored for 4-7 entire nights each...

  • RELATEDNESS WITHIN NEST GROUPS OF THE SOUTHERN FLYING SQUIRREL USING MICROSATELLITE AND DISCRIMINANT FUNCTION ANALYSES. Winterrowd, Michael F.; Gergits, William F.; Laves, Kevin S.; Weigl, Peter D.; Bradley, Robert D. // Journal of Mammalogy;Aug2005, Vol. 86 Issue 4, p841 

    Genetic relationships were examined among wild-caught southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) sharing the same natural nest cavity. Under natural conditions, typically 75-80% of southern flying squirrel nest groups comprise adult-aged individuals. The remainder nest in family-based groups...

  • Get on goose time. Whitford, Philip // Pest Control;Oct2004, Vol. 72 Issue 10, p56 

    Focuses on the annual behavior patterns of giant Canada geese. Characteristics of geese; Establishment of a nesting territory for geese; Concerns on the kind of goose dispersal program.

  • An association between ear and tail morphologies of bats and their foraging style. Gardiner, James D.; Codd, Jonathan R.; Nudds, Robert L. // Canadian Journal of Zoology;Feb2011, Vol. 89 Issue 2, p90 

    Most studies relating bat morphology to flight ecology have concentrated on the wing membrane. Here, canonical variance analysis showed that the ear and tail morphologies of bats also strongly relate to foraging strategy, which in turn is correlated with flight style. Variations in tail membrane...

  • Dynamic decision-making in uncertain environments I. The principle of dynamic utility. Yoshimura, Jin; Ito, Hiromu; Miller III, Donald; Tainaka, Kei-ichi // Journal of Ethology;May2013, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p101 

    Understanding the dynamics or sequences of animal behavior usually involves the application of either dynamic programming or stochastic control methodologies. A difficulty of dynamic programming lies in interpreting numerical output, whereas even relatively simple models of stochastic control...

  • Exploring the effects of individual traits and within-colony variation on task differentiation and collective behavior in a desert social spider. Keiser, Carl; Jones, Devin; Modlmeier, Andreas; Pruitt, Jonathan // Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology;May2014, Vol. 68 Issue 5, p839 

    Social animals are extraordinarily diverse and ecologically abundant. In understanding the success of complex animal societies, task differentiation has been identified as a central mechanism underlying the emergence and performance of adaptive collective behaviors. In this study, we explore how...

  • Environmental context explains Lévy and Brownian movement patterns of marine predators. Humphries, Nicolas E.; Queiroz, Nuno; Dyer, Jennifer R. M.; Pade, Nicolas G.; Musyl, Michael K.; Schaefer, Kurt M.; Fuller, Daniel W.; Brunnschweiler, Juerg M.; Doyle, Thomas K.; Houghton, Jonathan D. R.; Hays, Graeme C.; Jones, Catherine S.; Noble, Leslie R.; Wearmouth, Victoria J.; Southall, Emily J.; Sims, David W. // Nature;6/24/2010, Vol. 465 Issue 7301, p1066 

    An optimal search theory, the so-called Lévy-flight foraging hypothesis, predicts that predators should adopt search strategies known as Lévy flights where prey is sparse and distributed unpredictably, but that Brownian movement is sufficiently efficient for locating abundant prey....

  • Habitat saturation, benefits of philopatry, relatedness, and the extent of co-operative breeding in a cichlid. Heg, Dik; Rothenberger, Susan; Schürch, Roger // Behavioral Ecology;Jan2011, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p82 

    Co-operative breeding in vertebrates may emerge due to subordinates delaying dispersal when free breeding habitat is not available (‘habitat saturation’ hypothesis, HS). However, delayed dispersal might also be due to younger individuals postponing dispersal to when they are more...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics