Predicting diet quality and genetic diversity of a desert-adapted ungulate with NDVI Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/1544br07j

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  • Diet quality influences ungulate population dynamics but is difficult to measure at fine temporal or spatial resolution using field-intensive methods such as fecal nitrogen (FN). Increasingly, the remotely sensed vegetation index NDVI is used to represent potential ungulate diet quality, but NDVI's relationship with diet quality has yet to be examined for herbivores in desert environments. We evaluated how strongly NDVI was associated with diet quality of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) in the Mojave Desert using FN data from multiple years and populations. We considered effects of temporal resolution, geographic variability, and NDVI spatial summary statistic on the NDVI-diet quality relationship. NDVI was more reliably associated with diet quality over the entire growing season than with instantaneous diet quality for a population. NDVI was also positively associated with population genetic diversity, a proxy for long-term, population-level effects of diet quality. We conclude that NDVI is a useful diet quality indicator for Mojave Desert bighorn sheep and potentially other desert ungulates. However, it may not reliably track diet quality if NDVI data are too spatially coarse to detect microhabitats providing high-quality forage, or if diet is strongly influenced by forage items that are weakly correlated with landscape greenness.
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  • Creech, T. G., Epps, C. W., Monello, R. J., & Wehausen, J. D. (2016). Predicting diet quality and genetic diversity of a desert-adapted ungulate with NDVI. Journal of Arid Environments, 127, 160-170. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2015.11.011
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2016-04-14T16:27:37Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 2 CreechPredictingDietQuality.pdf: 1367519 bytes, checksum: dd37a47d2fa961b764879cd85ae9b077 (MD5) CreechPredictingDietQualityAppendixA.pdf: 129772 bytes, checksum: 4a935bfceda0f9f019298d7154b90ebc (MD5) Previous issue date: 2016-04
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