Marco Festa-Bianchet

Marco Festa-Bianchet
Université de Sherbrooke | UdeS · Department of Biology

PhD

About

338
Publications
115,406
Reads
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24,185
Citations
Introduction
Evolution and population ecology, ideally involving tagging animals near birth, recapturing then regularly and finding out what they do until they die, while building a pedigree. Attempting to convince wildlife managers that evolution is important for conservation, with mixed success. Current projects involve bighorn sheep, eastern grey kangaroos and caribou.
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - September 2018
Australian National University
Position
  • Sabbatical visitor
Description
  • Collaboration with Loeske Kruuk on evolutionary ecology of kangaroos
July 2010 - July 2018
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Fellow
Description
  • I was a sabbatical visitor in the Dept. from July 2010 to September 2011, then continued to collaborate with Graeme Coulson on kangaroo evolutionary and population ecology
March 2001 - March 2016
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Position
  • Chair

Publications

Publications (338)
Article
Intense selective harvest of large mammals who carry the largest weapons may lead to an evolutionary shrinkage of those weapons. Currently, evidence suggesting evolutionary effects of harvest is limited to a few species of Bovidae and only 1 study has obtained data indicating a genetic effect. To have an evolutionary impact, harvest must be intense...
Article
Full-text available
Fitness costs of reproduction are expected when resources are limited. Costs drive the evolution of life‐history strategies and can affect population dynamics if females change their allocation of resources to reproduction. We studied fitness costs of reproduction in mountain ungulates in Alberta, Canada. We monitored two populations of bighorn she...
Article
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In some species where male mating success largely depends on intrasexual competition, males can adopt migratory or resident strategies to seek breeding opportunities. The resulting mixture of resident and migrant tactics within a population can have important ecological, genetic, and evolutionary consequences for metapopulations. Bighorn sheep Ovis...
Article
In polygynous species, secondary sexual traits such as weapons or elaborate ornaments have evolved through intrasexual competition for mates. In some species, these traits are present in both sexes but are underdeveloped in the sex facing lower intrasexual competition for mates. It is often assumed that these underdeveloped sexually selected traits...
Article
Full-text available
Group-living species are often organized into social dominance hierarchies, where high-ranking individuals have priority of access to resources, including estrous females. Traits associated with male dominance status should thus be correlated with reproductive success, but, with the exception of research on some primates, studies with both behavior...
Article
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Anthropogenic climate change and habitat alterations increase the importance of understanding the causes and consequences of variation in phenological traits. Although the timing of phenological events may vary in response to both direct and mediated effects, methods to measure and distinguish direct and mediated effects have seldom been used. We u...
Article
When sons and daughters have different fitness costs and benefits, selection may favor deviations from an even offspring sex ratio. Most theories on sex ratio manipulation focus on maternal strategies and sex-biased maternal expenditure. Recent studies report paternal influences on both offspring sex ratio and post-partum sex-biased maternal expend...
Article
The rate of adaptive evolution, the contribution of selection to genetic changes that increase mean fitness, is determined by the additive genetic variance in individual relative fitness. To date, there are few robust estimates of this parameter for natural populations, and it is therefore unclear whether adaptive evolution can play a meaningful ro...
Article
Full-text available
A central goal of ecology is to understand how environmental variation affects populations. Long-term studies of marked individuals can quantify the effects of environmental variation on key life-history traits. We monitored the survival and growth of 336 individually marked juvenile eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), a large herbivore li...
Article
Quantifying variation in individual resource acquisition and allocation to costly life-history functions is critical to understand the evolution of life-histories. Individuals should adaptively respond to changes in resource requirements throughout their lifetime through flexibility in resource acquisition behaviours. Empirical investigation of beh...
Article
Variation in age of primiparity is important for population dynamics and wildlife management because it can affect population growth. Using a novel technique based on the trade-off between annual horn growth and reproduction, we estimated the age of primiparity for 2274 female mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus (Blainville, 1816)) harvested across...
Article
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Little is known about the effects of environmental variation on allometric relationships of condition‐dependent traits, especially in wild populations. We estimated sex‐specific static allometry between horn length and body mass in four populations of mountain ungulates that experienced periods of contrasting density over the course of the study. T...
Article
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Populations of macropods are higher than estimated pre-European densities in many parts of Australia. To achieve appropriate densities of macropods in the Australian Capital Territory's nature reserves, multi-tenure kangaroo management units are used to tailor management of kangaroos and total grazing pressure to achieve conservation objectives. An...
Article
In species with long gestation, females commit to reproduction several months before parturition. If cues driving conception date are uncoupled from spring conditions, parturition could be mistimed. Mismatch may increase with global change if the rate of temporal changes in autumn cues differs from the rate of change in spring conditions. Using 17...
Article
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A recent article in Evolutionary Applications by LaSharr et al. reports on trends in the size of horns of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) throughout much of the species’ range. The article concludes that there are “... stable or increasing trends in horn growth over nearly 3 decades in the majority of hunt areas throughout the western U.S. and Cana...
Chapter
Harvest of fish and wildlife by humans is nearly always selective, altering the age-, sex-, or phenotype-specific mortality schedule of exploited populations (Allendorf and Hard 2009). The frequency distribution of harvested individuals often differs from that of the total population in size, sex, age, health status, or various morphological charac...
Article
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The rate of senescence may vary among individuals of a species according to individual life histories and environmental conditions. According to the principle of allocation, changes in mortality driven by environmental conditions influence how organisms allocate resources among costly functions. In several vertebrates, environmental conditions duri...
Article
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In long‐lived polygynous species, male reproductive success is often monopolized by a few mature dominant individuals. Young males are generally too small to be dominant and may employ alternative tactics; however, little is known about the determinants of reproductive success for young males. Understanding the causes and consequences of variabilit...
Article
Trophy hunting can affect weapon size of wild animals through both demographic and evolutionary changes. In bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis Shaw, 1804), intense harvest of young males with fast-growing horns may have partly driven long-term decreases in horn size. These selective effects could be dampened if migrants from protected areas, not subjec...
Article
Full-text available
When the fitness costs and benefits of sons and daughters differ, offspring sex ratio manipulation could be an important reproductive tactic. We explored the effects of environment and maternal caring ability on offspring sex to test four adaptive sex ratio modification hypotheses: the extrinsic modification hypothesis (EMH), carrying capacity hypo...
Article
1. Life‐history theory predicts energy allocation trade‐offs between traits when resources are limited. If females reduce allocation to growth when they reproduce, annual growth could reveal past reproductive effort, which would be useful to assess population dynamics and harvest sustainability. The potential and accuracy of growth measures for pre...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Many ecological and evolutionary processes strongly depend on the way natural selection varies over time. However, a gap remains when trying to connect theoretical predictions to empirical work on this question: Most theory assumes that adaptation involves tracking a moving optimum phenotype through time, but this is seldom estimated e...
Article
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Understanding how spring phenology influences early life can provide important insights into drivers of future development and survival. We combined unique, long-term data from a bighorn sheep population and satellite-derived phenology indices to quantify the relative importance of maternal and environmental influences on milk composition and lamb...
Article
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Previous studies to understand the evolution of interspecific variation in mammalian social organization (SO; composition of social units) produced inconsistent results, possibly by ignoring intraspecific variation. Here we present systematic data on SO in artiodactyl populations, coding SO as solitary, pair-living, group-living, sex-specific or va...
Article
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Life history theory predicts trade-offs in allocation between survival, maintenance, growth, and reproduction, especially when resources are scarce. Individual variation in resource acquisition can affect trade-offs, but is often unaccounted for. We quantified the fitness costs of reproduction, accounting for environmental conditions, maternal char...
Article
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Unfortunately, the online publication contained an error in the "Data availability statement" and it is corrected by this erratum.
Article
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In polygynous species, male reproductive success is predicted to be monopolized by a few dominant males. This prediction is often not supported, suggesting that ecological and alternative mating tactics influence siring success. The spatiotemporal distribution of individuals and the number of males competing for each receptive female are often over...
Article
Aging, or senescence, is a progressive deterioration of physiological function with age. It leads to age-related declines in reproduction (reproductive senescence) and survival (actuarial senescence) in most organisms. However, senescence patterns can be highly variable across species, populations, and individuals, and the reasons for such variatio...
Article
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1. Sustainable exploitation must minimize its impact on the ecology and evolution of exploited wildlife. Intense phenotype-based selective harvests can induce evolutionary change. Refuges could mitigate those evolutionary effects if individuals not subject to selective hunting in harvest refuges migrated and reproduced in hunted areas. The role of...
Poster
Full-text available
Results from the published paper Forage availability and maternal characteristics affect reproductive costs in a large marsupial. Presented in Turku (Finland) at the 2019 conference of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). Also presented in Montréal (QC, Canada) at the 2019 annual meeting of the Quebec Science for Biodiversity Centr...
Poster
Full-text available
In mammals with a polygamous mating system, male reproductive success can vary with the number and social rank of competitors overlapping its home range, as well as the spatial and temporal distribution of reproductive females. Some of these ecological variables, however, are rarely considered in studies of sexual selection, which often assume that...
Article
Full-text available
British Columbia has the greatest biological diversity of any province or territory in Canada. Yet increasing numbers of species in British Columbia are threatened with extinction. The current patchwork of provincial laws and regulations has not effectively prevented species declines. Recently, the Provincial Government has committed to enacting an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding inter-specific variation in social systems is a major goal of behavioural ecology. Previous comparative studies of mammalian social organisation produced inconsistent results, possibly because they ignored intra-specific variation in social organisation (IVSO). The Artiodactyla have been the focus of many comparative studies as they o...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change can lead to a mismatch between resource availability and key life history events. Without plasticity in reproductive traits, that mismatch can lower fitness and decrease population size. In birds, phenotypic plasticity is frequently reported as the main mechanism to track environmental changes, but evidence for plasticity in large ma...
Article
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1.Environmental conditions during early development, from conception to sexual maturity, can have lasting consequences on fitness components. Although adult lifespan often accounts for much of the variation in fitness in long‐lived animals, we know little about how early environment affects adult lifespan in the wild, and even less about whether th...
Article
In species with sexual size dimorphism, the offspring of the larger sex usually have greater energy requirements and may lead to greater fitness costs for parents. The effects of offspring sex on maternal longevity, however, have only been tested in humans. Human studies produced mixed results and considerable debate mainly owing to the difficulty...
Technical Report
Full-text available
British Columbia has the greatest biological diversity of any province or territory in Canada. Yet more and more species in British Columbia are threatened with extinction and require active measures for protection and recovery. The current patchwork of provincial laws and regulations managing wildlife and their habitats has not effectively prevent...
Article
Full-text available
Isolation of small populations is expected to reduce fitness through inbreeding and loss of genetic variation, impeding population growth and compromising population persistence. Species with long generation time are the least likely to be rescued by evolution alone. Management interventions that maintain or restore genetic variation to assure popu...
Article
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Article
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Increasing global demand for Canada’s re-sources is eroding the country’s iconic wilderness, intact ecosystems, and rich megafaunal diversity (1, 2). To meet its 2020 commitments to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Canada must protect 17% of its terrestrial area and 10% of its marine area (3); cur-rently, only 10% and 1%...
Article
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Elucidating the genetic basis of fitness-related traits is a major goal of molecular ecology. Traits subject to sexual selection are particularly interesting, as non-random mate choice should deplete genetic variation and thereby their evolutionary benefits. We examined the genetic basis of three sexually selected morphometric traits in bighorn she...
Article
Translocation of animals to reinforce small populations is a widespread technique in conservation biology. Recent reviews of translocation science underline the need to monitor translocated individuals. We sought to quantify social integration within the resident population and acclimation to a new environment of translocated bighorn sheep (Ovis ca...
Article
Full-text available
When resources are limited, organisms face allocation conflicts. Indeterminate growth creates a persistent conflict with reproduction, as growth may enhance future reproduction, but diverts resources from current reproduction. Little is known about allocation trade-offs in mammals with indeterminate growth. We studied growth and reproduction in adu...
Article
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Environmental variation affects foraging decisions and resources available for allocation among competing life-history traits. In seasonal environments, variation in breeding phenology leads to differences in relative timing of resource intake and expenditure, which can lead to variation in maternal allocation tactics. Monitoring maternal allocatio...
Article
This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: [10.1111/oik.4725]. Heterogeneity among individuals influences the li...
Article
Recent studies suggest that evolutionary changes can occur on a contemporary time scale. Hence, evolution can influence ecology and vice-versa. To understand the importance of eco-evolutionary dynamics in population dynamics, we must quantify the relative contribution of ecological and evolutionary changes to population growth and other ecological...
Article
Studies of marked free-ranging ungulates have provided major contributions to ecology, evolution, and conservation. We focus on research areas where these studies have been particularly important: the role of individual differences in population dynamics, temporal changes in factors limiting populations, variation in reproductive success, quantitat...
Article
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Cohort effects can be a major source of heterogeneity and play an important role in population dynamics. Silver-spoon effects, when environmental quality at birth improves future performance regardless of the adult environment, can induce strong lagged responses on population growth. Alternatively, the external predictive adaptive response (PAR) hy...
Article
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Close behavioural association between mothers and offspring should enhance survival and growth of the young. Eastern grey kangaroos Macropus giganteus are gregarious and live in fission-fusion societies where adult females do not form strong bonds with other females but associate closely with their juvenile offspring. We aimed to determine whether...
Article
Full-text available
Trophy hunting, the selective removal of animals for human recreation, can contribute to conservation when appropriately managed. Yet, little is known about how harvest rates or different definitions of trophy affect age structure and trophy size in harvested animals and in survivors because no controlled studies exist. To investigate the impacts o...
Article
Full-text available
The main component of mammalian maternal care is milk production. We investigated individual differences in milk composition and offspring survival in wild eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus). We analyzed total protein and lipid concentrations in 103 milk samples from 91 females over two years. Females nursing in late winter produced milk w...
Article
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Finding effective ways of conserving large carnivores is widely recognised as a priority in Conservation. However, there is disagreement about the most effective way to do this, with some favouring top-down “command and control” approaches and others, collaborative approaches. Arguments for coercive top-down approaches have been presented elsewhere...
Article
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Commercial and recreational harvests create selection pressures for fitness-related phenotypic traits that are partly under genetic control. Consequently, harvesting can drive evolution in targeted traits. However, the quantification of harvest-induced evolutionary life history and phenotypic changes is challenging, because both density-dependent f...
Article
Full-text available
Female ungulates are often selectively harvested according to their reproductive status. Because ungulate population growth depends heavily on adult female survival, it is crucial to understand the effects of this selective harvest. Recent studies revealed persistent individual differences in female reproductive potential, with a positive correlati...
Article
Full-text available
The development of male secondary sexual characters such as antlers or horns has substantial biological and socio-economic importance because in many species these traits affect male fitness positively through sexual selection and negatively through trophy hunting. Both environmental conditions and selective hunting can affect horn growth but their...