Francesca Cagnacci

Francesca Cagnacci
Fondazione Edmund Mach - Istituto Agrario San Michele All'Adige | Fondazione Mach · DBEM, AE

PhD, MSc

About

156
Publications
63,936
Reads
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5,297
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2015 - present
Harvard University
Position
  • Hrdy Fellowship in Conservation Biology
April 2009 - present
Fondazione Edmund Mach - Istituto Agrario San Michele All'Adige
Position
  • Confirmed researcher (permanent)
Description
  • Wildlife ecologist
Education
October 1999 - April 2003
Università degli Studi di Siena
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology
October 1992 - July 1997
University of Milan and University of Siena, Italy
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (156)
Conference Paper
Introduction In a global change context, the association between generalists and specialists could be a determinant of ecosystem stability. This holds particularly true in mountain ecosystems, where the environmental tolerance of generalists to global warming may lead to upward distributional shifts and thus declining of specialists. As a consequen...
Presentation
How resources are partitioned among sympatric species is conditional to extrinsic (e.g. climate driven) and intrinsic (e.g. demography-dependent) factors. To analyse these effects, we carried out a treatment-control experiment with supplemental ad libitum food accessible to the community of wild rodents, throughout seasons at two latitudinal extrem...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Environmental, climatic and anthropogenic modifications constantly impact worldwide ecosystems resulting in global scale biological responses across all ecological levels (individual, population, species and community). As a consequence living organisms can adapt their niche breadth either via genetic evolution and phenotypic plasticity or through...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The functional role and position of a species within the environment is strongly governed by the interplay between species internal state, abiotic and biotic environmental conditions, as well as by multi-species interactions (predation, competition and parasitism). In this work we have implemented a multi-factorial niche-based approach to evaluate...
Article
Full-text available
Context Diel use of forest and open habitats by large herbivores is linked to species-specific needs of multiple and heterogeneous resources. However, forest cover layers might deviate considerably for a given landscape, potentially affecting evaluations of animals’ habitat use. Objectives We assessed inconsistency in the estimates of diel forest...
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...
Preprint
Full-text available
A central debate in ecology has been the long running discussion on the role of apex predators in affecting the abundance and dynamics of their prey. In terrestrial systems, research has primarily relied on correlational approaches, due to the challenge of implementing robust experiments with replication and appropriate controls. A consequence of t...
Article
Full-text available
Most animals live in home ranges, and memory is thought to be an important process in their formation. However, a general memory‐based model for characterising and predicting home range emergence has been lacking. Here, we use a mechanistic movement model to: (1) quantify the role of memory in the movements of a large mammal reintroduced into a nov...
Article
Full-text available
Space-based tracking technology using low-cost miniature tags is now delivering data on fine-scale animal movement at near-global scale. Linked with remotely sensed environmental data, this offers a biological lens on habitat integrity and connectivity for conservation and human health; a global network of animal sentinels of environmental change.
Article
Full-text available
Among the Apicomplexa parasites, Hepatozoon spp. have been mainly studied in domestic animals and peri-urban areas. The epidemiology of Hepatozoon spp. is poorly investigated in natural systems and wild hosts because of their scarce veterinary and economic relevance. For most habitats, the occurrence of these parasites is unknown, despite their hig...
Article
Full-text available
The use of camera traps to estimate population size when animals are not individually recognizable is gaining traction in the ecological literature, because of its applicability in population conservation and management. We estimated population size of synthetic animals with four camera trap sampling-based statistical models that do not rely on ind...
Article
Full-text available
Automated contact detection by means of proximity loggers permits the measurement of encounters between individuals (animal‐animal contacts) and the time spent by individuals in the proximity of a focal resource of interest (animal‐fixed logger contacts). The ecological inference derived from contact detection is intrinsically associated with the d...
Article
Full-text available
The fitting of tracking devices to wild animals requires capture and handling which causes stress and can potentially cause injury, behavioural modifications that can affect animal welfare and the output of research. We evaluated post capture and release ranging behaviour responses of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) for five different capture method...
Presentation
Introduction: Emergence of tick-borne diseases is related to host-pathogen-parasite system alterations, which are affected by several factors. In this sense, underlining the mechanisms between environmental heterogeneity, hosts availability and tick burden are of particular interest to understand the circulation of tick-borne pathogens. Materials...
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
EUROLYNX (European Lynx Information System) is an open, collaborative project based on a spatial database that stores shared Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx data to investigate variation in behavioural ecology along environmental gradients or population responses to specific conditions, such as habitat changes, impact of human activities, prey densities, o...
Article
Full-text available
Recent events related to the measures taken to control the spread of the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) reduced human mobility (i.e. anthropause), potentially opening connectivity opportunities for wildlife populations. In the Italian Alps, brown bears have recovered after reintroduction within a complex anthropogenic matrix, but failed to establish a me...
Article
Full-text available
The current and future consequences of anthropogenic impacts such as climate change and habitat loss on ecosystems will be better understood and therefore addressed if diverse ecological data from multiple environmental contexts are more effectively shared. Re-use requires that data are readily available to the scientific scrutiny of the research c...
Article
Full-text available
Alpine large herbivores have developed physiological and behavioural mechanisms to cope with fluctuations in climate and resource availability that may become maladaptive under climate warming. We tested this hypothesis in female Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) by modelling annual and daily movement and activity patterns in relation to temperature, vegeta...
Article
Full-text available
The cover image is based on the Letter Behavioural heat‐stress compensation in a cold‐adapted ungulate: Forage‐mediated responses to warming Alpine summers by Paola Semenzato et al., https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13750.
Presentation
Trophic resources strongly shape individual fitness, population dynamics and community structure of small rodents by maintaining energy budget, activity rate and thermoregulation. To explicitly disentangle the role of food availability against the effect of seasonality on rodent populations, we carried out a treatment-control experiment in a natur...
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
Significance Understanding how animals respond to changes in resource availability is central to ecological research and to designing effective wildlife conservation and management strategies. To date, little research has been conducted on the cognitive mechanisms—memory or perception—by which large mammals make foraging decisions in nature. By com...
Article
Full-text available
Ungulates in alpine ecosystems are constrained by winter harshness through resource limitation and direct mortality from weather extremes. However, little empirical evidence has definitively established how current climate change and other anthropogenic modifications of resource availability affect ungulate winter distribution, especially at their...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The recent recovery of large carnivores in Europe has been explained as resulting from a decrease in human persecution driven by widespread rural land abandonment, paralleled by forest cover increase and the consequent increase in availability of shelter and prey. We investigated whether land cover and human population density changes are relat...
Article
During the last half-century, the distribution of golden jackals (Canis aureus) has rapidly increased throughout Europe. Today, golden jackals are thriving in human-dominated landscapes across Southeastern and Central Europe. Most studies on golden jackals have focused on large-scale distribution patterns; to date, little is known about the species...
Article
Evolution should favour plasticity in dispersal decisions in response to spatial heterogeneity in social and environmental contexts. Sex differences in individual optimization of dispersal decisions are poorly documented in mammals, because species where both sexes commonly disperse are rare. To elucidate the sex-specific drivers governing dispersa...
Article
Bio‐logging data obtained by tagging animals is key to addressing global conservation challenges. However, the many thousands of existing bio‐logging datasets are not easily discoverable, universally comparable, nor readily accessible through existing repositories and across platforms. This slows down ecological research and effective management. A...
Article
In Focus: Ellison, N., Hatchwell, B. J., Biddiscombe, S. J., Napper, C. J., & Potts, J. R. (2020). Mechanistic home range analysis reveals drivers of space use patterns for a non-territorial passerine. Journal of Animal Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13292. Most animals for which space use has been studied restrict their movements into...
Article
Full-text available
Winter supplemental feeding of ungulates potentially alters their use of resources and ecological interactions, yet relatively little is known about the patterns of feeding sites use by target populations. We used camera traps to continuously monitor winter and spring feeding site use in a roe deer population living in a peri-urban area in Northern...
Article
Full-text available
Humans profoundly affect animal distributions by directly competing for space, not only transforming, but actively using their habitat. Anthropogenic disturbance is usually measured via structural proxies such as infrastructure and land use that overlook the impact of human presence, or functional disturbance. In this study, we propose a methodolog...
Preprint
Full-text available
Most animals live in a characteristic home range, a space-use pattern thought to emerge from the benefits of memory-based movements; however, a general model for characterizing and predicting their formation in the absence of territoriality has been lacking. Here, we use a mechanistic movement model to quantify the role of memory in the movements o...
Article
Full-text available
The link between spatio-temporal resource patterns and animal movement behaviour is a key ecological process, however, limited experimental support for this connection has been produced at the home range scale. In this study, we analysed the spatial responses of a resident large herbivore (roe deer Capreolus capreolus) using an in situ manipulation...
Article
Full-text available
The link between spatio-temporal resource patterns and animal movement behaviour is a key ecological process, however, limited experimental support for this connection has been produced at the home range scale. In this study, we analysed the spatial responses of a resident large herbivore (roe deer Capreolus capreolus) using an in situ manipulation...
Article
Full-text available
Red foxes are a well-established species of urban ecosystems in the UK and worldwide. Understanding the spatial ecology of foxes in urban landscapes is important for enhancement of urban biodiversity and effective disease management. The Resource Dispersion Hypothesis (RDH) holds that territory (home range) size is linked to distribution and richne...
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
Reduced human mobility during the pandemic will reveal critical aspects of our impact on animals, providing important guidance on how best to share space on this crowded planet.
Preprint
Full-text available
Many animals restrict their movements to a characteristic home range. This pattern of constrained space-use is thought to result from the foraging benefits of memorizing the locations and quality of heterogeneously distributed resources. However, due to the confounding effects of sensory perception, the role of memory in home range movement behavio...
Article
Restricting movements to familiar areas should increase individual fitness as it provides animals with information about the spatial distribution of resources and predation risk. While the benefits of familiarity for locating resources have been reported previously, the potential value of familiarity for predation avoidance has been accorded less a...
Article
Humans, as super predators, can have strong effects on wildlife behaviour, including profound modifications of diel activity patterns. Subsequent to the return of large carnivores to human-modified ecosystems, many prey species have adjusted their spatial behaviour to the contrasting landscapes of fear generated by both their natural predators and...
Poster
Full-text available
Background – European biomes and specifically boreal-alpine regions are particularly sensitive to climate change impacts because of their distinctive environmental and climatic context. Environmental bioindicators, such as small mammals, are extremely relevant to determine impacts resulting from anthropic and fast occurring global changes. The pres...
Preprint
Full-text available
The link between spatio-temporal resource patterns and movement behaviour is a key ecological process, however, limited experimental support has been produced at the home range scale. In this study, we analysed the spatial responses of a resident large herbivore (roe deer Capreolus capreolus ) during an in situ manipulation of a concentrated food r...
Article
Full-text available
The Data Standardisation Working Group pursues the recently formed International Bio-Logging Society's (IBioLS) objective “to progress standardisation of data protocols used within the bio-logging community, with a view to making databases interoperable”. During 2017 and 2018, the group has garnered a lot of interest across the sector from well ove...
Article
Full-text available
In the Anthropocene context, changes in climate, land use and biodiversity are considered among the most important anthropogenic factors affecting parasites-host interaction and wildlife zoonotic diseases emergence. Transmission of vector borne pathogens are particularly sensitive to these changes due to the complexity of their cycle, where the tra...
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
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
Full-text available
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
Large herbivores respond to fluctuations in predation and hunting risk. The temporal scale of risk heterogeneity affects behavioral responses and determines the usefulness of metrics to quantify them. We present a conceptual framework to link anti-predator responses to risk fluctuations and appropriate metrics, based on temporal scale. We applied t...
Poster
Full-text available
Since the first reintroductions in the early 2000s, the Alpine bear population has been continuously monitored and genetically sampled through the joint effort of various authorities. This long-term monitoring, combined with the advent of new technologies, has produced a comprehensive and ecologically diverse dataset. However, the high amount of da...
Article
The most common framework under which ungulate migration is studied predicts that it is driven by spatio–temporal variation in plant phenology, yet other hypotheses may explain differences within and between species. To disentangle more complex patterns than those based on single species/ single populations, we quantified migration variability usin...