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Life history responses of meerkats to seasonal changes in extreme environments

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Science  08 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6427, pp. 631-635
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau5905
  • Fig. 1 Interactive effects of seasonality, population density, and rainfall and temperature variation on meerkat vital rates and population dynamics.

    (A) Line colors and different plot panels depict predictions of log(body mass) (grams) in the next month reproduction rates given average log(mass) in the current month using maximum (+) and minimum (–) observed temperature and rainfall deviation from seasonal averages, respectively. Shaded areas show 95% prediction intervals. Plot backgrounds highlight the rainy (October to April; darker color) and dry (May to September; lighter color) seasons. (B) Average (lines) ± 95% bootstrap confidence intervals (shaded areas) projected population densities (individuals per square kilometer) obtained from modeling the relationships described in (A).

  • Fig. 2 Projected density and viability of meerkats under changes in rainfall and temperature variation.

    (A) Average (lines) population density (individuals per square kilometer) ± 95% projection interval (shaded areas) based on 280 and 120 simulations in which the population persisted or went extinct, respectively. The plot background highlights the rainy (October to April) and dry (May to September) seasons. (B) Cumulative probabilities of quasi-extinction under four scenarios of greenhouse gas Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). Shaded areas show 95% projection intervals among sequential versus stochastic projections of climate. (C) Effects on extinction probability of imposing constant low, intermediate, and high densities during projections.

  • Fig. 3 Projected changes in population structure and trait dynamics for meerkats under climate change.

    Seasonal distribution of proportion of different life history stages (A) and average log(body mass) (grams) within each stage (B). Box plots show the distribution of values across years and simulations grouped on the basis of different simulations of future rainfall and temperature variation. The stages are pups, juveniles (Juv), and subadults (SubA), as well as nonpregnant (NP), pregnant (P), and litter-weaning (L) helpers (H) and dominants (D). Plot backgrounds highlight the rainy (October to April) and dry (May to September) seasons.

  • Fig. 4 Seasonal differences in probability of quasi-extinction under climate-change simulations.

    Averages (points) ± 1 SE (error bars) changes in the time (years) to extinction across 120 simulations when a given vital rate is affected by observed (1997–2016) rather than projected (2017–2066) rainfall and temperature variation. The observed variation was maintained over an entire year or specifically for the rainy (October to April), dry (May to September), hot (November to February), or cool (June to August) seasons.

Supplementary Materials

  • Life history responses of meerkats to seasonal changes in extreme environments

    Maria Paniw, Nino Maag, Gabriele Cozzi, Tim Clutton-Brock, Arpat Ozgul

    Materials/Methods, Supplementary Text, Tables, Figures, and/or References

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    • Materials and Methods
    • Supplementary Text
    • Figs. S1 to S17
    • Tables S1 to S4
    • Caption for Fig. S18
    • Captions for R Scripts S1 to S3
    • Captions for Data S1 to S18
    • References

    Additional Data

    R Scripts S1 to S3 and Data S1 to S17

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