Mark S. Boyce

Mark S. Boyce
University of Alberta | UAlberta · Department of Biological Sciences

B.S., M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D.

About

397
Publications
147,462
Reads
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29,312
Citations
Introduction
My research attempts to reveal mechanisms behind fluctuations in population size in space and time. I usually work with large mammals and furbearers, and primarily in Alberta, Canada. My early work focused on demography but more recently I've attempted to understand the interface between populations and habitats by studying resource selection functions. My ultimate intent is to develop models to help direct wildlife conservation.
Additional affiliations
September 1999 - present
University of Alberta
Position
  • Professor of Ecology
Description
  • Population Ecology
July 1999 - present
University of Alberta
Position
  • Alberta Conservation Association Chair in Fisheries & Wildlife
September 1993 - June 1999
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Position
  • Vallier Chair of Ecology & Wisconsin Distinguished Professor
Education
May 1982 - August 1983
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Zoology
September 1974 - February 1977
Yale University
Field of study
  • Forestry and Environmental Studies
May 1972 - May 1974
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Field of study
  • Wildlife Management

Publications

Publications (397)
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in stochastic demography provide unique insights into the probable effects of increasing environmental variability on population dynamics, and these insights can be substantially different compared with those from deterministic models. Stochastic variation in structured population models influences estimates of population growth rat...
Article
Full-text available
One of the early tenets of conservation biology is that population viability is enhanced by maintaining multiple populations of a species. The strength of this tenet is justified by principles of bet-hedging. Management strategies that reduce variance in population size will also reduce risk of extinction. Asynchrony in population fluctuations in i...
Article
Grasslands are used extensively for grazing livestock, and variation in grazing management may affect the soil microbial community and ecosystem functions, such as nutrient cycling, in grasslands. In particular, adaptive multi-paddock (hereafter ‘multi-paddock’) grazing is considered a regenerative grazing management practice that can improve the s...
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...
Article
Grassland plant community structure and function are dependent on the type, timing, frequency and intensity of disturbance. Grazing systems employing dense herds of livestock for short periods of time (e.g. Adaptive Multi‐paddock Grazing; AMP) are gaining popularity as a potentially sustainable practice. Effects of AMP systems on plant diversity an...
Article
Full-text available
Mazabraud’s syndrome (MZB) is a rare condition in which fibrous dysplasia of bone/the McCune-Albright syndrome (FD/MAS) co-exists with intramuscular myxomas. Both FD and the myxomas harbor the GNAS-mutation. Recent studies have shown that extraskeletal, GNAS-related features are associated with a more severe phenotype of FD/MAS. However, patients w...
Article
Population densities are an important consideration for wildlife management. For hunted species, estimates of population size are essential for establishing quotas. There are limited data regarding sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) abundance, and few studies have used camera traps for estimating population densities. We estimated sitatunga density in...
Article
Significant interest exists in the potential for specialized grazing systems, including adaptive multipaddock (AMP) grazing, to enhance grassland health and function. However, specific pasture management practices associated with AMP grazing at the ranch level remain poorly understood in comparison with more regionally representative management sys...
Article
Adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing, a grazing system in which individual paddocks are grazed for a short duration at a high stock density and followed by a long rest period, is claimed to be an effective tool to sustainably manage and improve grasslands and enhance their ecosystem services. However, whether AMP grazing is superior to conventional...
Article
The maintenance of hydrologic function on grazing lands is an important management objective to sustain forage production during low moisture supply, safeguard other ecosystem goods and services and build resilience to a warming climate. Hydrologic function can be influenced by grazing patterns, as represented by variation in the timing, intensity...
Article
Migratory prey experience spatially variable predation across their life cycle. They face unique challenges in navigating this predation landscape, which affects their perception of risk, antipredator responses, and resulting mortality. Variable and unfamiliar predator cues during migration can limit accurate perception of risk and migrants often r...
Article
Full-text available
Several species of bears are known to rub deliberately against trees and other objects, but little is known about why bears rub. Patterns in rubbing behavior of male and female brown bears (Ursus arctos) suggest that scent marking via rubbing functions to communicate among potential mates or competitors. Using DNA from bear hairs collected from rub...
Article
Full-text available
Models of population dynamics are a central piece for harvest management, allowing managers to evaluate alternative strategies and to identify uncertainty. Here we present a density-dependent population dynamics model that can be used in conjunction with adaptive management to optimize big game management, designed to use data commonly collected by...
Article
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The pathways through which environmental variability affects population dynamics remain poorly understood, limiting ecological inference and management actions. Here, we use matrix-based population models to examine the vital rate responses to environmental variability and individual traits, and subsequent transient dynamics of the population in re...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing is a form of rotational grazing in which small paddocks are grazed with high densities of livestock for short periods, with long recovery periods prior to regrazing. We compared the fluxes of greenhouse gases (GHGs), including carbon dioxide (CO 2), methane (CH 4), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O), from soils of AMP-gr...
Article
Full-text available
Estimates of population density of mammals are critical data for effective management. Estimating density is complicated if the species of interest has cryptic markings and occupies dense habitat. Sitatunga is such a species, specially adapted to the dense swamps and marshes of sub-Saharan Africa, where traditional population survey techniques have...
Article
Full-text available
Nest survival is most limited by nest predation, which often is increased by anthropogenic causes including habitat fragmentation, mesopredator release and predator subsidies. In mallards and other upland-nesting duck species in the North American prairies, the rate of nest survival is the vital rate most influential to population dynamics, with 15...
Article
Full-text available
Phenological shifts are occurring in many ecosystems around the world. The capacity of species to adapt to changing phenology will be critical to their success under climate change scenarios. Failure to adjust migratory and reproductive timing to keep pace with the earlier onset of spring has led to negative demographic effects for populations of s...
Article
Full-text available
Surface mining is the most prevalent form of coal extraction in North America. Reclamation aims to transform former surface mines into self‐sustaining ecosystems that support uses similar to pre‐development conditions. Success of reclamation often is determined by assessing the re‐establishment of landscape structure and vegetation communities. How...
Article
Full-text available
Population fragmentation is stressing wildlife species worldwide. In populations with minimal genetic structure across potential fractures, detecting fragmentation can be challenging. Here we apply a relatively unused approach, genetic pedigree analysis, to detect fragmentation in the American black bear (Ursus americanus) across 2 highway corridor...
Article
Full-text available
The growing human footprint has placed unprecedented stressors on ecosystems in recent decades resulting in losses of biodiversity and ecosystem function around the world. Roads are influential through their direct footprint and facilitating human access; however, their influence can be mitigated. Here, we review the scientific literature on the re...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the underlying mechanisms driving population demographics such as species-habitat relation- ships and the spatial scale in which these relationships occur is essential for developing optimal management strategies. Here we evaluated how landscape characteristics and winter severity measured at three spatial scales (1 km2, 9 km2, and hu...
Article
Full-text available
Mammals are imperiled worldwide. Threats to terrestrial species are primarily from habitat loss or modification, and in some instances from commercial, illegal, or unregulated hunting. Terrestrial species are negatively affected throughout the tropics from deforestation. Threats to marine mammals are related to harvest, strikes in shipping lanes, p...
Article
Full-text available
Adequate connectivity between discontinuous habitat patches is crucial for the persistence of metapopulations across space and time. Loss of landscape connectivity is often a direct result of fragmentation caused by human activities but also can be caused indirectly through anthropogenic climate change. Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) are...
Poster
Grasslands cover a quarter of Earth’s surface and provide food for over a billion people. Improving grazing management practices can promote soil quality and health and produce higher-quality food. Specifically, we studied adaptive multi-paddock grazing (AMP), a rotational grazing system which involves stocking cattle at high density in small paddo...
Article
Full-text available
We respond to Festa‐Bianchet (2019) and caution against using interpretations from the unique Ram Mountain history to justify management of mountain sheep throughout their range. Because harvest management at Ram Mountain is atypical, it is not useful in informing the management of most mountain sheep herds.
Article
Full-text available
Global biodiversity is decreasing rapidly. Parks and protected lands, while designed to conserve wildlife, often cannot provide the habitat protection needed for wide‐ranging animals such as the American black bear (Ursus americanus). Conversely, private lands are often working landscapes (e.g., farming) that have high human footprints relative to...
Article
Full-text available
Artelle et al . (2018) conclude that “hallmarks of science” are largely missing from North American wildlife management based on a desk review of selected hunting management plans and related documents found through Internet searches and email requests to state and provincial wildlife agencies. We highlight three fundamental problems that compromis...
Article
Outdoor recreation on trail networks is a growing form of disturbance for wildlife. However, few studies have examined behavioural responses by large carnivores to motorised and non‐motorised recreational activity — a knowledge gap that has implications for the success of human access management aimed at improving habitat quality for wildlife. We u...
Article
The reintroduction of gray wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park is the most celebrated ecological experiment in history. As predicted by population models, the rapid recovery of a wolf population caused both temporal and spatial variability in wolf-ungulate interactions that likewise generated temporal and spatial variation in the expr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Here we reviewed the scientific literature on the relationship between grizzly bears, human motorized access, and the efficacy of motorized access control as a tool to benefit grizzly bear conservation in western Canada. We suggest landscape road targets that will benefit bear conservation.
Article
The foraging patterns and behaviors of predators can be discerned using GPS data. We used GPS data to investigate the temporal patterns of wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) foraging on large prey in northern Alberta. We built a predictive model of wolverine large-prey events (beaver predation or ungulate scavenging) based on the spatial and temporal pat...
Article
Full-text available
Large-scale climate oscillations may contribute to the observed dramatic fluctuations and regional synchrony in Rangifer abundance. Here, we test this hypothesis using long-term abundance and physical condition datasets to investigate the relationships between broad climate patterns, summer-range quality, and population dynamics in three barren-gro...
Article
Full-text available
Compensation programs are used globally to increase tolerance for and help offset economic loss caused by large carnivores. Compensation program funding comes from a variety of sources, and in Wyoming and Idaho, USA and Alberta, Canada this includes revenue from hunting and fishing license sales. We review the patterns of livestock depredation and...
Article
The fine-scale behavior of wildlife when crossing roads and interacting with traffic is likely to mirror natural responses to predation risk including not responding, pausing, avoiding, or increasing speed during crossing. We generated coarse-scale behavioral predictions based on these expectations that could be assessed with GPS radiotelemetry. We...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Species’ distributions are influenced by a combination of landscape variables and biotic interactions with other species, including people. Grizzly bears and black bears are sympatric, competing omnivores that also share habitats with human recreationists. By adapting models for multi-species occupancy analysis, we analyzed trail camera data from 1...
Data
Posterior distributions for change in occurrence (grey) and intensity of use (black) by motorised activity and non-motorised activity inside protected areas (on the logit scale). The central mark represents the median, and the tails represent the 95% confidence intervals. Results were treated as non-significant if confidence intervals overlapped ze...
Data
Probability density functions across 24-hour period for grizzly (solid line) and black (jagged line) bears. Blue shaded area represents overlap in activity between the two species. Coefficient of overlapping was estimated at 0.8. (TIFF)
Data
Model descriptions and results. WAIC weight for model i was calculated as likelihoodi∑likelihoodi…n where n is the total number of models. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review We review and provide comment on issues of scale in ecological studies in the context of two paradigms used to define landscapes: the patch-mosaic and gradient models. Our intent is to offer guidance for structuring habitat-selection models with examples of how scale, autocorrelation, measurement error, and choice of patch-mosaic...
Article
Full-text available
Human-wildlife conflicts are a global conservation and management challenge. Multipredator systems present added complexity to the resolution of human-wildlife conflicts because mitigation strategies often are species-specific. Documenting the type and distribution of such conflicts is an important first step toward ensuring that subsequent managem...
Article
Full-text available
Supplemental and diversionary feeding can reduce conflicts between wildlife and people. However, feeding also can increase species abundance, survival, and reproductive success, which might increase human-wildlife conflicts. In southwestern Alberta, Canada, the provincial government fed road-killed ungulates to grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) each spr...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of many species to adapt to the shifting environmental conditions associated with climate change will be a key determinant of their persistence in the coming decades. This is a challenge already faced by species in the Arctic, where rapid environmental change is well underway. Caribou and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) play a key role in...
Article
Full-text available
Migrations of large ungulates are globally threatened in environments affected by increasing human disturbance, rising large carnivore predation, deteriorating habitat quality, and changing climate. Animals migrating outside of protected areas can be exposed to greater human pressure, and this effect can be stronger when humans are perceived to be...
Article
Full-text available
In animal behaviour, there is a dichotomy between innate behaviours (e.g., temperament or personality traits) versus those behaviours shaped by learning. Innate personality traits are supposedly less evident in animals when confounded by learning acquired with experience through time. Learning might play a key role in the development and adoption o...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat-selection analysis lacks an appropriate measure of the ecological significance of the statistical estimates—a practical interpretation of the magnitude of the selection coefficients. There is a need for a standard approach that allows relating the strength of selection to a change in habitat conditions across space, a quantification of the...
Data
Map of the study area with female elk satellite relocations, and distribution of wildlife management units and protected areas. (DOCX)
Data
Elk hunting times and types. (DOCX)
Data
Female elk sample size overview. (DOCX)
Data
Residuals’ variograms for top-ranked models. (DOCX)
Data
Parameters estimated via model averaging of top ranked models selected in Table 2. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
During the past several decades, numbers of Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) have declined throughout their breeding and wintering ranges in North America. We estimated Western Grebe abundance and documented habitat factors between 2007 and 2009 from 43 lakes in Alberta, Canada where Western Grebes historically have occurred, to (1) compa...
Article
We evaluated alternative hypotheses that anthropogenic disturbance can attract versus displace wolver-ines (Gulo gulo luscus). Our research took place in boreal forests of northwestern Alberta where we employed radiotelemetry to track wolverine habitat use over three years. We used resource selection functions (used/available design) to analyze wol...
Article
Full-text available
Roads are a prevalent, ever-increasing form of human disturbance on the landscape. In many places in western North America, energy development has brought human and road disturbance into seasonal winter range areas for migratory elk. 2.We sought to evaluate predictions from the risk-disturbance hypothesis when studying elk response to roads during...