Nigel G Yoccoz

Nigel G Yoccoz
UiT The Arctic University of Norway · Department of Arctic and Marine Biology

PhD University of Lyon 1988

About

507
Publications
129,349
Reads
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27,460
Citations
Citations since 2016
151 Research Items
12757 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,000
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,000
Additional affiliations
September 2003 - present
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 2003 - present
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Position
  • Research Adviser
September 2003 - May 2016
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (507)
Article
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What drives ecosystem buildup, diversity, and stability? We assess species arrival and ecosystem changes across 16 millennia by combining regional-scale plant sedimentary ancient DNA from Fennoscandia with near-complete DNA and trait databases. We show that postglacial arrival time varies within and between plant growth forms. Further, arrival time...
Article
Numerical models of ecological systems are increasingly used to address complex environmental and resource management questions. One challenge for scientists, managers, and stakeholders is to appraise how well suited these models are to answer questions of scientific or societal relevance, that is, to perform, communicate, or access transparent eva...
Article
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Demographic buffering and lability have been identified as adaptive strategies to optimise fitness in a fluctuating environment. These are not mutually exclusive, however, we lack efficient methods to measure their relative importance for a given life history. Here, we decompose the stochastic growth rate (fitness) into components arising from nonl...
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Temporal correlations among demographic parameters can strongly influence population dynamics. Our empirical knowledge, however, is very limited regarding the direction and the magnitude of these correlations and how they vary among demographic parameters and species’ life histories. Here, we use long‐term demographic data from 15 bird and mammal s...
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Temporal variability in abundance and composition of species in marine ecosystems results from a combination of internal processes, external drivers, and stochasticity. One way to explore the temporal variability in an ecosystem is through temporal stability, measured using the inverse of the coefficient of variation for biomass of single species....
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Linking climate variability and change to the phenological response of species is particularly challenging in the context of mountainous terrain. In these environments, elevation and topography lead to a diversity of bioclimatic conditions at fine scales affecting species distribution and phenology. In order to quantify in situ climate conditions f...
Preprint
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The Traill island model of Gilg et al. (2003) is a landmark attempt at mechanistic modelling of the cyclic population dynamics of rodents, focusing on a high Arctic community. It models the dynamics of one prey, the collared lemming, and four predators : the stoat, the Arctic fox, the long-tailed skua and the snowy owl. In the present short note, w...
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Wildlife harvest remains a conservation concern for many species and assessing patterns of harvest can provide insights on sustainability and inform management. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are harvested over a large part of their range by local people. The species has a history of unsustainable harvest that was largely rectified by an internation...
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Global temperatures are increasing, affecting timing and availability of vegetation along with relationships between plants and their consumers. We examined the effect of population density, herd body condition in the previous year, elevation, plant productivity and phenology, snow, and winter onset on juvenile body mass in 63 semi-domesticated pop...
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A standardized delineation of the world’s mountains has many applications in research, education, and the science-policy interface. Here we provide a new inventory of 8616 mountain ranges developed under the auspices of the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA). Building on an earlier compilation, the presented geospatial database uses a f...
Preprint
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Spatial population synchrony has been the focus of theoretical and empirical studies for decades, in the hopes of understanding mechanisms and interactions driving ecological dynamics. In many systems, it is well-known that seasonality plays a critical role in the density dependence structure of the populations, yet this has hardly received any att...
Preprint
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Management blind spots, i.e., influential processes not included in management models, may undermine management objectives and reduce system resilience. Here we address one such blind spot in the management of Rangifer in Norway. The current model is based on regulation of pastures and population vital rates through reindeer density, but lacks vali...
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Rare species are challenging to study, in part because rarity can take many forms. Jeliazkov et al. guide us through the multiple decisions to be made-from sampling designs to field methods and analytical, integrated models. Improved monitoring methods are needed to improve our understanding of rare species importance for ecosystem structure and fu...
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Climate impacts are not always easily discerned in wild populations as detecting climate change signals in populations is challenged by stochastic noise associated with natural climate variability, variability in biotic and abiotic processes, and observation error in demographic rates. Detection of the impact of climate change on populations requir...
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The sustainable use of natural resources is critical for addressing the global challenges of today. Strategies for sustainable harvesting need to consider not only harvested species, but also other non-harvested species interacting with them in the same ecosystem. In addition, environmental variation needs to be considered, with climate change curr...
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1. An increasing number of empirical studies aim to quantify individual variation in demographic parameters because these patterns are key for evolutionary and ecological processes. Advanced approaches to estimate individual heterogeneity are now using a multivariate normal distribution with correlated individual random effects to account for the l...
Preprint
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Demographic buffering and lability have both been identified as important adaptive strategies to optimise long-term fitness in variable environments. These strategies are not mutually exclusive, however we lack efficient methods to measure their relative importance. Here, we define a new index to measure the total lability for a given life history,...
Article
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In colonially breeding marine predators, individual movements and colonial segregation are influenced by seascape characteristics. Tidewater glacier fronts are important features of the Arctic seascape and are often described as foraging hotspots. Albeit their documented importance for wildlife, little is known about their structuring effect on Arc...
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The Arctic is under great pressure due to climate change. Drones are increasingly used as a tool in ecology and may be especially valuable in rapidly changing and remote landscapes, as can be found in the Arctic. For effective applications of drones, decisions of both ecological and technical character are needed. Here, we provide our method planni...
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Tidewater glacier fronts can represent important foraging areas for Arctic predators. Their ecological importance is likely to change in a warmer Arctic. Their profitability and use by consumers are expected to vary in time, but the underlying mechanisms driving such variation remain poorly known. The subglacial plume, originating from meltwater di...
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Background Herbivores modify the structure and function of tundra ecosystems. Understanding their impacts is necessary to assess the responses of these ecosystems to ongoing environmental changes. However, the effects of herbivores on plants and ecosystem structure and function vary across the Arctic. Strong spatial variation in herbivore effects i...
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We point out problems with the article Productivity beyond density: A critique of management models for reindeer pastoralism in Norway by Marin and co-workers published in Pastoralism in 2020. In our opinion, there are several misleading claims about the governance of the reindeer pastoralist system in Norway, the Røros model for herd management an...
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The high occurrence of social monogamy in birds has led to questions about partner fidelity, or the perennial nature of monogamy from one breeding season to another. Despite the evolutionary advantages of partner fidelity, divorce occurs among 95% of bird species. We aimed to describe patterns of divorce and partner fidelity in five seabird species...
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Ecosystems are currently experiencing rapid changes. Decision-makers need to anticipate future changes or challenges that will emerge in order to implement both short-term actions and long-term strategies for reducing undesirable impacts. Strategic foresight has been proposed to help resolve these challenges for better planning and decision-making...
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Significance Whether the renowned population cycles of small mammals in northern food webs are driven by bottom-up (plant–herbivore) or top-down (predator–prey) interactions is still a debated question but crucial to our understanding of their ecological functions and response to climate change. A long-term study of a graminivorous vole population...
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The alarming decline of amphibians around the world calls for complementary studies to better understand their responses to climate change. In mountain environments, water resources linked to snowmelt play a major role in allowing amphibians to complete tadpole metamorphosis. As snow cover duration has significantly decreased since the 1970s, amphi...
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Methods and devices specifically created for remote animal surveys and monitoring are becoming increasingly popular and effective. However, remote devices are also widely used in our societies for different, not scientific, goals. Ski resorts in the European Alps, for instance, use webcams to share panoramic views and promote themselves in the indu...
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The increasing severity and frequency of natural disturbances requires a better understanding of their effects on all compartments of biodiversity. In Northern Fennoscandia, recent large-scale moth outbreaks have led to an abrupt change in plant communities from birch forests dominated by dwarf shrubs to grass-dominated systems. However, the indire...
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The Barents Sea is a subarctic shelf sea which has experienced major changes during the past decades. From ecological time-series, three different food-web configurations, reflecting successive shifts of dominance of pelagic fish, demersal fish, and zooplankton, as well as varying trophic control have been identified in the last decades. This cover...
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The effects of climate change on species richness are debated but can be informed by the past. Here, we generated a sedimentary ancient DNA dataset covering 10 lakes and applied novel methods for data harmonization. We assessed the impact of Holocene climate changes and nutrients on terrestrial plant richness in northern Fennoscandia. We find that...
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Climate change has different and sometimes divergent effects on terrestrial and marine food webs, and in coastal ecosystems, these effects are tightly interlinked. Responses of opportunistic coastal predators and scavengers to climate change may thus be complex and potentially highly flexible, and can simultaneously serve as indicators of, and have...
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ABSTRACT: The impact of climate change on the dynamics of populations has been documented and is widespread. However, weather variability influences populations both directly and indirectly and is mediated by species interactions. This complexity may impede proper climate impact assessments. Hence, predicting the consequences of climate change may...
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Scavenging can have important consequences for food web dynamics, for example, it may support additional consumer species and affect predation on live prey. Still, few food web models include scavenging. We develop a dynamic model that includes two facultative scavenger species, which we refer to as the predator or scavenger species according to th...
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The current warming of the oceans has been shown to have detrimental effects for a number of species. An understanding of the underlying mechanisms may be hampered by the non-linearity and non-stationarity of the relationships between temperature and demography, and by the insufficient length of available time series. Most demographic time series a...
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Mountain areas are biodiversity hotspots and provide a multitude of ecosystem services of irreplaceable socio‐economic value. In the European Alps, air temperature has increased at a rate of about 0.36°C decade−1 since 1970, leading to glacier retreat and significant snowpack reduction. Due to these rapid environmental changes, this mountainous reg...
Preprint
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Climate impacts are not always easily discerned in wild populations as climate change occurs in the context of natural variability. Furthermore, species responses to climate change and variability differ among life histories. The time of emergence (ToE) identifies when the signal of anthropogenic climate change can be quantitatively distinguished f...
Preprint
Ecologists are still puzzled by the diverse population dynamics of herbivorous small mammals that range from high-amplitude, multi-annual cycles to stable dynamics. Theory predicts that this diversity results from combinations of climatic seasonality, weather stochasticity and density-dependent food web interactions. The almost ubiquitous 3-5-yr cy...
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• In species providing extended parental care, one or both parents care for altricial young over a period including more than one breeding season. We expect large parental investment and long‐term dependency within family units to cause high variability in life trajectories among individuals with complex consequences at the population level. So far...
Preprint
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Occupancy models have been developed independently to account for multiple spatial scales and species interactions in a dynamic setting. However, as interacting species (e.g., predators and prey) often operate at different spatial scales, including nested spatial structure might be especially relevant in models of interacting species. Here we bridg...
Preprint
Full-text available
The increasing severity and frequency of natural disturbances requires a better understanding of their effects on all compartments of biodiversity. In Northern Fennoscandia, recent large-scale moth outbreaks have led to an abrupt change in plant communities from birch forests dominated by dwarf shrubs to grass-dominated systems. However, the indire...
Article
Full-text available
Tundra plant communities are often shaped by topography. Contrasting wind exposure, slopes of different inclination and landforms of different curvature affect habitat conditions and shape plant diversity patterns. The majority of tundra is also grazed by ungulates, which may alter topographically induced plant diversity patterns, but such effects...
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Scientists, wildlife managers implementing adaptive monitoring, and management schemes are tasked with providing predictions of populations’ responses to harvest and environmental changes. Such predictions are useful not only to forecast direct effects of climate, productivity, land use, or habitat degradation, but also changes in the food web, suc...
Preprint
Full-text available
The effects of climate change on species richness is debated but can be informed by the past. Here, we assess the impact of Holocene climate changes and nutrients on terrestrial plant richness across multiple sites from northern Fennoscandia using new sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) data quality control methods. We find that richness increased st...
Article
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The Nansen Legacy workshop on best practices for ecological model evaluation, chaired by Benjamin Planque (IMR) was held in Tromsø on the 6-7th November 2018. The objective of the workshop was to develop recommendations for best practice in evaluation of the performance of food-web simulation models (deliverable 4-4.1.1 of the Nansen Legacy project...
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• Climate change is commonly associated with many species redistributions and the influence of other factors may be marginalized, especially in the rapidly warming Arctic. • The Barents Sea, a high latitude large marine ecosystem in the Northeast Atlantic has experienced above‐average temperatures since the mid‐2000s with divergent bottom temperatu...
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Aim In migratory species, individuals often use fixed and individual‐specific migration strategies, which we term individual migration strategy fidelity (IMSF). Our goal was to test if guillemots have flexible or fixed individual migration strategies (i.e. IMSF), if this behaviour is consistent across large parts of the genus’ range and if they wer...
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Population dynamic models combine density dependence and environmental effects. Ignoring sampling uncertainty might lead to biased estimation of the strength of density dependence. This is typically addressed using state‐space model approaches, which integrate sampling error and population process estimates. Such models seldom include an explicit l...
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Temperatures in mountain areas are increasing at a higher rate than the Northern Hemisphere land average, but how fauna may respond, in particular in terms of phenology, remains poorly understood. The aim of this study was to assess how elevation could modify the relationships between climate variability (air temperature and snow melt‐out date), th...
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Individual heterogeneity in diet and foraging behaviour is common in wild animal populations, and can be a strong determinant of how populations respond to environmental changes. Within populations, variation in foraging behaviour and the occurrence of individual tactics in relation to resources distribution can help explain differences in individu...
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Biological invasions are a major driver of human-induced global environmental change. This makes monitoring of potential spread, population changes and control measures necessary for guiding management. We illustrate the value of integrated methods (species distribution modelling (SDM), plant population monitoring and questionnaires) for monitoring...
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Sampling efficiency is crucial in order to overcome the data crisis in biodiversity and to understand what drives the distribution of rare species. Adaptive niche‐based sampling (ANBS) is an iterative sampling strategy that relies on the predictions of species distribution models (SDMs). By predicting highly suitable areas to guide prospection, ANB...