Atle Mysterud

Atle Mysterud
University of Oslo · Department of Biosciences

Dr. scient. (PhD)

About

415
Publications
107,026
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
25,105
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in foraging ecology, life history and population ecology of ungulates, and how these levels interact. That is, I aim to understand how individual movement affect life history and in turn population dynamics, but also how population level factors (e.g. population density) affect movement and life history. I often work with questions of interest for management, such as effects of harvesting, how climate affect performance, and more recently on ticks and tick borne diseases.
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
University of Oslo
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (415)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Emerging wildlife diseases often comes with negative cultural and economic impact. Limiting disease spread is a recurrent goal and challenge, but the efficacy of various mitigation measures is rarely assessed. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a lethal disease among cervids that was discovered among alpine reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in th...
Article
Full-text available
Macroecological studies that require habitat suitability data for many species often derive this information from expert opinion. However, expert‐based information is inherently subjective and thus prone to errors. The increasing availability of GPS tracking data offers opportunities to evaluate and supplement expert‐based information with detailed...
Preprint
Context The Complementary Habitat Hypothesis posits that animals access resources for different needs by moving between complementary habitats that can be seen as ‘resource composites’. These movements can occur on a range of temporal scales, from diurnal to seasonal, responding to multiple drivers, such as access to food, weather constraints, risk...
Article
Full-text available
Deer are key components of many ecosystems and estimating deer abundance or density is critical to understanding these roles. Many field methods have been used to estimate deer abundance and density, but the factors determining where, when, and why a method was used, and its usefulness, have not been investigated. We systematically reviewed journal...
Article
Full-text available
Hunting of cervids is commonly regulated by quotas that are specific to sex and age groups. There is substantial cultural variation in how quotas are regulated. In Scandinavia, the entire quotas are often not shot making deer management potentially less predictable. However, the effect of quota size and demographic composition on harvest offtake by...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Herbivores shape vegetation by suppressing certain plant species while benefitting others. By thus modifying plant species functional composition, herbivores affect carbon cycling, albedo, vegetation structure and species' interactions. These effects have been suggested to be able to counteract the effects of increasing temperatures on veg...
Article
Full-text available
Background Human disturbance alters animal movement globally and infrastructure, such as roads, can act as physical barriers that impact behaviour across multiple spatial scales. In ungulates, roads can particularly hamper key ecological processes such as dispersal and migration, which ensure functional connectivity among populations, and may be pa...
Article
Full-text available
The forage maturation hypothesis (FMH) states that energy intake for ungulates is maximised when forage biomass is at intermediate levels. Nevertheless, metabolic allometry and different digestive systems suggest that resource selection should vary across ungulate species. By combining GPS relocations with remotely sensed data on forage characteris...
Article
Full-text available
Reindeer pastoralism is a widespread practise across Fennoscandia and Russia. An outbreak of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) poses a severe threat to the semi-domestic reindeer herding culture. Establishing surveillance is therefore key, but current models for surveillance of CWD are designed for wild cervids a...
Article
Partial migration, whereby a proportion of a population migrates between distinct seasonal ranges, is common throughout the animal kingdom. However, studies linking existing theoretical models of migration probability, with empirical data are lacking. The competitive release hypothesis for partial migration predicts that due to density-dependent ha...
Article
Full-text available
Background In Europe, the generalist tick, Ixodes ricinus , is the main vector of several tick-borne pathogens causing diseases in humans and livestock. Understanding how different species of hosts limit the tick population is crucial for management. In general, larger ectoparasites are expected to select hosts with larger body size. Consistent wit...
Article
Full-text available
Migration of ungulates (hooved mammals) is a fundamental ecological process that promotes abundant herds, whose effects cascade up and down terrestrial food webs. Migratory ungulates provide the prey base that maintains large carnivore and scavenger populations and underpins terrestrial biodiversity (fig. S1). When ungulates move in large aggregati...
Article
Full-text available
Herbivores like cervids usually graze on widely scattered forage, but anthropogenic food sources may cause spatial revisitation and aggregation, posing a risk for transmission of infectious diseases. In 2016, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first detected in Norway. A legal regulation to ban supplemental feeding of cervids and to fence stored hay...
Article
Full-text available
High host density combined with climate change may lead to invasion of harmful parasites in cervid (host) populations. Bot flies (Diptera: Oestridae) are a group of ectoparasites that may have strong impact on their hosts, but data on the current distribution, prevalence and intensity of the moose nose bot fly (Cephenemyia ulrichii) in Scandinavia...
Article
Full-text available
The intensive harvesting of hosts is often the only practicable strategy for controlling emerging wildlife diseases. Several harvesting approaches have been explored theoretically with the objective of lowering transmission rates, decreasing the transmission period or specifically targeting spatial disease clusters or high-risk demographic groups....
Technical Report
Full-text available
Report in Norwegian with summary in English: Background Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease affecting cervids such as deer species, moose (Alces alces) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). Prions are abnormally folded proteins that are transmissible and able to induce abnormal folding of specific proteins naturally occurring in cells, th...
Article
Full-text available
Continuing geographic spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) poses a serious threat to the sustainable future of cervids and hunting in North America. Moreover, CWD has been detected in captive cervids in South Korea and, in recent years, in free-ranging reindeer in Europe (Norway). Management of this disease is limited by logistical, financial, a...
Chapter
This book is a collection of 77 expert opinions arranged in three sections. Section 1 on "Climate" sets the scene, including predictions of future climate change, how climate change affects ecosystems, and how to model projections of the spatial distribution of ticks and tick-borne infections under different climate change scenarios. Section 2 on "...
Article
Full-text available
Prion diseases constitute a class of invariably fatal and degenerative encephalopathies. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a contagious prion disease among cervids, which is spreading and causing marked population declines in USA and Canada. The first outbreak of CWD in Europe was discovered in a reindeer population in Norway in 2016. In the worst-c...
Article
Full-text available
Many animal populations providing ecosystem services, including harvest, live in seasonal environments and migrate between seasonally distinct ranges. Unfortunately, two major sources of human-induced global change threaten these populations: climate change and anthropogenic barriers. Anthropogenic infrastructure developments present a global threa...
Poster
Full-text available
Parasites have an undeniable key role on ecosystem functioning and health, affecting directly or indirectly wildlife community structure. The accelerating anthropogenic impacts on the ecosystems have triggered changes on land-use and climate, enhancing the spread and persistence of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) with a zoonotic significance, e...
Article
International policy for the management of wildlife disease(s) plays an important role for concerted action, and changes to policy should be evidence‐based and updated as new evidence accumulates. Management of chronic wasting disease (CWD), the prion disease affecting cervids, is based on its highly contagious nature relative to most other prion d...
Article
Full-text available
The Arctic is undergoing the most rapid climate warming on Earth. While concerns have been raised that more frequent icing events cause die‐offs, and earlier springs generate a mismatch in phenology, the effects of warming autumns have been largely neglected. We used 25 years of individual‐based data from a growing population of wild Svalbard reind...
Article
Full-text available
Hunting and culling are frequently used to combat infectious wildlife diseases. The aim is to markedly lower population density in order to limit disease transmission or to eradicate the host. Massive host culling can yield a trade‐off when combating wildlife disease; it follows that intrusive actions may have unintended behavioural side effects, l...
Article
Full-text available
The successful mitigation of emerging wildlife diseases may involve controversial host culling. For livestock, ‘preemptive host culling’ is an accepted practice involving the removal of herds with known contact to infected populations. When applied to wildlife, this proactive approach comes in conflict with biodiversity conservation goals. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
Human hunters are described as ‘superpredators’ with a unique ecology. Chronic wasting disease among cervids and African swine fever among wild boar are emerging wildlife diseases in Europe, with huge economic and cultural repercussions. Understanding hunter movements at broad scales has implications for how to control the spread of these diseases....
Article
Animals exhibit a diversity of movement tactics [1]. Tracking resources that change across space and time is predicted to be a fundamental driver of animal movement [2]. For example, some migratory ungulates (i.e., hooved mammals) closely track the progression of highly nutritious plant green-up, a phenomenon called “green-wave surfing” [3, 4, 5]....
Article
Full-text available
Background: Recent global changes have led to an increase in distribution of ticks towards higher elevation and latitude in Europe and livestock are at increasing risk of contracting tick-borne diseases, but psychological aspects of how this affects human well-being are rarely assessed. Departing from the theory on emotional appraisal coming from...
Article
Full-text available
Space demanding mammalian species, such as reindeer, are in decline worldwide due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Policy to restore connectivity of reindeer habitat is now put to an abrupt halt in several areas because of an outbreak of Chronic Wasting Disease in Norway, and replaced with deliberate fragmentation of the landscape by enhancing ba...
Article
Full-text available
The deer ked ( Lipoptena cervi), a hematophagous ectoparasite of cervids, is currently spreading in Scandinavia, and the moose ( Alces alces) is its main host. However, little is known about the impact of deer keds on moose. We analyzed the hair cortisol concentration (HCC) from 262 moose harvested in the fall in relation to age class, sex, body ma...
Article
Full-text available
Infection patterns linked to age and sex are crucial to predict the population dynamic effects of diseases in long‐lived species. How such demographic patterns of infection arise is often multifactorial, although the cause is commonly seen as a combination of immune status as well as variation in pathogen exposure. Prion diseases are particularly i...
Article
Full-text available
Most populations of large mammals in developed countries are managed by human hunting, but there are surprisingly few empirical studies about the benefits and limitations of using recreational hunters to achieve specific management objectives. In particular, the extensive host culling required to markedly reduce population densities to combat some...
Article
Full-text available
In animals with long generation times, evolution of physiological and morphological traits may not be fast enough to keep up with rapid climate warming, but thermoregulatory behaviour can possibly serve as an important buffer mitigating warming effects. In this study, we investigated if the cold-adapted Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhy...
Article
Humans have widely extirpated large carnivores and simultaneously promoted overabundance of deer. The intense pressure imposed by these herbivores in forests has led to extremely low rates of natural forest regeneration. In natural old-growth forests, deadwood functions as a key driver of biodiversity and promotes ecosystem functioning, such as wat...
Article
Full-text available
The supplementary feeding of cervids is a widespread practice across the northern hemisphere. There are few studies, however, regarding the extent of feeding in space and time. There are adverse effects of supplementary feeding, of which the most severe are increased parasite and disease transmission. With the recent emergence of chronic wasting di...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet, NFSA) and the Norwegian Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet, NEA) requested the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM) for a scientific opinion on Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids. The project was divided into two phases, and VKM published...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Wild animal populations experience selection pressures from both natural and anthropogenic sources. The availability of extensive pedigrees is increasing along with our ability to quantify the heritability and evolvability of phenotypic traits and thus the speed and potential for evolutionary change in wild populations. The environment may...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Anaplasma phagocytophilum is currently regarded as a single species. However, molecular studies indicate that it can be subdivided into ecotypes, each with distinct but overlapping transmission cycle. Here, we evaluate the interactions between and within clusters of haplotypes of the bacterium isolated from vertebrates and ticks, using...
Article
Many vector-borne diseases are transmitted through complex pathogen-vector-host networks, which makes it challenging to identify the role of specific host groups in disease emergence. Lyme borreliosis in humans is now the most common vector-borne zoonosis in the Northern Hemisphere. The disease is caused by multiple genospecies of Borrelia burgdorf...
Article
Full-text available
Satellite telemetry is an increasingly utilized technology in wildlife research, and current devices can track individual animal movements at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. However, as we enter the golden age of satellite telemetry, we need an in-depth understanding of the main technological, species-specific and environmental fact...
Data
R-code for boosted beta regression (Fix acquisition rate). (R)
Data
Covariate partial effects on the variability of the fix acquisition rate. (PDF)
Data
Tagged individuals per species. (PDF)
Data
Covariate partial effects on the variability of the Overall fix success rate. (PDF)
Data
Trends in observed data. (PDF)
Data
Global dataset for boosted beta regressions. (CSV)
Data
Description of data fields in S1 Data. (CSV)
Data
Satellite telemetry articles published. (PDF)
Data
Distribution of response variables and covariates. (PDF)
Data
Unit purchase and operation costs. (PDF)
Data
R-code for boosted beta regression (Overall fix success rate). (R)
Data
Standardized data collection questionnaire. (PDF)
Data
Satellite telemetry evaluations. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
The pathogens causing Lyme disease are all vectored by generalist tick species found on a wide range of vertebrates, but spatial and annual variation in host use has rarely been quantified. We here compare the load of Ixodes ricinus (the vector) on small mammals and investigate the infection prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. (the pathogen) in...
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing global warming is now affecting migratory cycles in a large variety of taxa in seasonally variable environments. Disruption of migratory systems can cause population decline and affect ecosystem function across the globe. It is therefore urgent to understand the drivers of migration and how the different fitness limitations of the sexes aff...
Article
We present methodological advances to a recently developed framework to study sequential habitat use by animals using a visually-explicit and tree-based Sequence Analysis Method (SAM), derived from molecular biology and more recently used in time geography. Habitat use sequences are expressed as annotations obtained by intersecting GPS movement tra...
Article
With climate change, the effect of global warming on snow cover is expected to cause range expansion and enhance habitat suitability for species at their northern distribution limits. However, how this depends on landscape topography and sex in size-dimorphic species remains uncertain, and is further complicated for migratory animals following clim...
Article
Full-text available
Lyme borreliosis is the most common vector-borne zoonosis in the northern hemisphere, and the pathogens causing Lyme borreliosis have distinct, incompletely described transmission cycles involving multiple host groups. The mammal community in Fennoscandia differs from continental Europe, and we have limited data on potential competent and incompete...