Stan A Boutin

Stan A Boutin
University of Alberta | UAlberta · Department of Biological Sciences

About

441
Publications
115,035
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
21,147
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1993 - present
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
Position
  • science director

Publications

Publications (441)
Article
As interest in animal personality research grows, methodologies for quantifying consistent among-individual differences in behaviour are expanding. Two of the most common methods for quantifying animal personality are standardized behavioural assays and focal animal sampling. We evaluated whether assays and focals provided similar animal personalit...
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
Ecological communities are fundamentally connected through a network of trophic interactions that are often complex and difficult to model. Substantial variation exists in the nature and magnitude of these interactions across various predators and prey and through time. However, the empirical data needed to characterize these relationships are diff...
Article
Full-text available
Snowshoe hare cycles are one of the most prominent phenomena in ecology. Experimental studies point to predation as the dominant driving factor, but previous experiments combining food supplementation and predator removal produced unexplained multiplicative effects on density. We examined the potential interactive effects of food limitation and pre...
Article
Estimating animal abundance and density are fundamental goals of many wildlife monitoring programs. Camera trapping has become an increasingly popular tool to achieve these monitoring goals due to recent advances in modeling approaches and the capacity to simultaneously collect data on multiple species. However, estimating the density of unmarked p...
Article
Full-text available
Indigenous Peoples around the northern hemisphere have long relied on caribou for subsistence, ceremonial, and community purposes. Unfortunately, despite recovery efforts by Federal and Provincial agencies, caribou are currently in decline in many areas across Canada. In response to recent and dramatic declines of mountain caribou populations withi...
Article
Observing and collecting data on wildlife through motion-triggered cameras is becoming a widespread practice in ecological field research. To answer several ecological questions, including obtaining estimates of animal density, there is often the need to reliably identify individual animals in photos, which can be difficult, particularly at night....
Article
Full-text available
The gut microbiome impacts host health and fitness, in part through the diversification of gut metabolic function and pathogen protection. Elevations in glucocorticoids (GCs) appear to reduce gut microbiome diversity in experimental studies, suggesting that a loss of microbial diversity may be a negative consequence of increased GCs. However, given...
Article
Full-text available
Significant gaps remain in understanding the response of plant reproduction to environmental change. This is partly because measuring reproduction in long-lived plants requires direct observation over many years and such datasets have rarely been made publicly available. Here we introduce MASTREE+, a dataset that collates reproductive time-series d...
Article
Full-text available
The energetic consequences of body size, behaviour, and fine-scale environmental variation remain understudied, particularly among free-ranging carnivores, due to logistical and methodological challenges of studying them in the field. Here, we present novel activity, heart rate, and metabolic data on free-ranging Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis Kerr,...
Data
The data, meta-data, and code for how selective disappearance and fluctuating selection maintain animal personality in North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) in Yukon, Canada. Data obtained with funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Northern Scientific Training Program, and the National Science Foundat...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate age estimates of wildlife are important for both research and management purposes. Despite the value of determining the age of individuals, cost effective and minimally-invasive approaches are lacking for most species. Assessment of gum-line recession is a minimally invasive, cost-effective method used for aging some felids; however, its r...
Preprint
Full-text available
While cooperative interactions among kin are a key building block in the societies of group-living mammals, their importance for species with more variable social environments is unclear. North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) defend individual territories in dynamic neighbourhoods and are known to benefit from living among familiar...
Article
Estimates of demographic parameters based on capture-mark-recapture (CMR) methods may be biased when some individuals in the population are temporarily unavailable for capture (temporary emigration). We estimated snowshoe hare abundance, apparent survival, and probability of temporary emigration in a population of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus E...
Article
Full-text available
Unbiased population density estimates are critical for ecological research and wildlife management but are often difficult to obtain. Researchers use a variety of sampling and statistical methods to generate estimates of density, but few studies have compared estimates across methods. During 2016–2017, we surveyed Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) in s...
Preprint
Sleep is appreciated as a behavior critical to homeostasis, performance, and fitness. Yet, most of what we know about sleep comes from humans or controlled laboratory experiments. Assessing sleep in wild animals is challenging, as it is often hidden from view, and electrophysiological recordings that define sleep states are difficult to obtain. Acc...
Article
Full-text available
As global climate change progresses, wildlife management will benefit from knowledge of demographic responses to climatic variation, particularly for species already endangered by other stressors. In Canada, climate change is expected to increasingly impact populations of threatened woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) and much focus has be...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate warming is causing asynchronies between animal phenology and environments. Mismatched traits, like coat color change mismatched with snow, can decrease survival. However, coat change does not serve a singular adaptive benefit of camouflage, and alternate coat change functions may confer advantages that supersede mismatch costs. We found tha...
Preprint
Gut microbiome diversity plays an important role in host health and fitness, in part through the diversification of gut metabolic function and pathogen protection. Elevations in glucocorticoids (GCs) appear to reduce gut microbiome diversity in experimental studies, suggesting that a loss of microbial diversity may be a negative consequence of incr...
Article
Full-text available
The boreal forest is one of the world’s ecosystems most affected by global climate warming. The snowshoe hare, its predators, and their population dynamics dominate the mammalian component of the North American boreal forest. Our past research has shown the 9–11-year hare cycle to be predator driven, both directly as virtually all hares that die ar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Estimating animal abundance and density are fundamental goals of many wildlife monitoring programs. Camera trapping has become an increasingly popular tool to achieve these monitoring goals due to recent advances in modeling approaches and the capacity to simultaneously collect data on multiple species. However, estimating the density of unmarked p...
Article
Full-text available
Canada's federal recovery strategy for boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) classifies areas burned by forest fire as disturbed habitat. This assignment of fire as a disturbance has potential economic and social implications across Canada, and influences plans and actions to achieve caribou conservation and recovery. Previous researc...
Article
Full-text available
Vertebrate scavenging can impact food web dynamics, but our understanding of this process stems predominantly from monitoring herbivore carrion and extrapolating results across carcass types. Recent evidence suggests carnivores may avoid intraguild scavenging to reduce parasite transmission. If this behavior is widespread across diverse ecosystems,...
Article
A wide range of species have been found to differentiate kin from nonkin. However, the ability to recognize kin, or the costs and benefits of discriminating kin from nonkin may depend on particular extrinsic environmental or intrinsic physiological conditions, resulting in context-dependent kin discrimination. North American red squirrels, Tamiasci...
Article
Food availability and temporal variation in predation risk are both important determinants of the magnitude of antipredator responses, but their effects have rarely been examined simultaneously, particularly in wild prey. Here, we determine how food availability and long‐term predation risk affect antipredator responses to acute predation risk by m...
Article
Characterizing variation in predator behaviour and, specifically, quantifying kill rates is fundamental for parameterizing predator–prey and food web models. Yet, current methods for recording kill rates of free‐ranging predators, particularly those that consume small‐bodied (<2 kg) prey, present a number of associated challenges. In this paper, we...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the factors driving cyclic dynamics in species has been a primary focus of ecology. For snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), explanations of their 10-year population cycles most commonly feature direct predation during the peak and decline, in combination with their curtailment in reproduction. Hares are thought to stop producing third an...
Article
As a response to environmental cues, maternal glucocorticoids (GCs) may trigger adaptive developmental plasticity in the physiology and behavior of offspring. In North American red squirrels ( Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ), mothers exhibit increased GCs when conspecific density is elevated, and selection favors more aggressive and perhaps more active m...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat loss is often the ultimate cause of species endangerment and is also a leading factor inhibiting species recovery. For this reason, species‐at‐risk legislation, policies and plans typically focus on habitat conservation and restoration as mechanisms for recovery. To assess the effectiveness of these instruments in decelerating habitat loss,...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the causes and consequences of repeatable among-individual differences in behavior (i.e., animal personality) is a major area of research in behavioral and evolutionary ecology. Recently, attention has turned to understanding the processes behind changes in repeatability through ontogeny because of their implications for populations....
Article
Full-text available
Changes in primary productivity have the potential to substantially alter food webs, with positive outcomes for some species and negative outcomes for others. Understanding the environmental context and species traits that give rise to these divergent outcomes is a major challenge to the generality of both theoretical and applied ecology. In aquati...
Preprint
Full-text available
One of the outstanding questions in evolutionary biology is the extent to which mutually beneficial interactions and kin-selection can facilitate the evolution of cooperation by mitigating conflict between interacting organisms. The indirect fitness benefits gained from associating with kin are an important pathway to conflict resolution [1], but c...
Article
Full-text available
Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) and snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) form a keystone predator–prey cycle that has large impacts on the North American boreal forest vertebrate community. Snowshoe hares and lynx are both well-suited for snowy winters, but climate change-associated shifts in snow conditions could lower hare survival and alter cyclic dy...
Article
One of the outstanding questions in evolutionary biology is the extent to which mutually beneficial interactions and kin selection can facilitate the evolution of cooperation by mitigating conflict between interacting organisms. The indirect fitness benefits gained from associating with kin are an important pathway to conflict resolution,¹ but conf...
Article
Understanding how landscape change influences the distribution and densities of species, and the consequences of these changes, is a central question in modern ecology. The distribution of white‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is expanding across North America, and in some areas, this pattern has led to an increase in predators and consequentl...
Article
Full-text available
A recurring challenge for resource managers and decision makers is quantifying the trade-offs associated with alternative recovery actions for threatened species. Structured decision-making approaches can help evaluate such complex problems by formalizing objectives and constraints into functions that quantify the benefits and costs associated with...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme weather events (EWEs) are expected to increase in stochasticity, frequency, and intensity due to climate change. Documented effects of EWEs, such as droughts, hurricanes, and temperature extremes, range from shifting community stable states to species extirpations. To date, little attention has been paid to how populations resist and/or rec...
Article
Long-term studies of wild animals provide the opportunity to investigate how phenotypic plasticity is used to cope with environmental fluctuations, and how the relationships between phenotypes and fitness can be dependent upon the ecological context. Most previous studies have only investigated life history plasticity in response to changes in temp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Environmental factors experienced during development can affect the physiology and behavior of offspring. Maternal glucocorticoids (GCs) may convert environmental cues experienced by the mother into a cue triggering adaptive developmental plasticity in offspring. In North American red squirrels ( Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ), females exhibit increases...
Article
Full-text available
The pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis posits that personality traits (i.e. consistent individual differences in behaviour) are linked to life history and fitness. Specifically, fast-paced individuals are predicted to be proactive (i.e. active and aggressive) with an earlier age at first reproduction, a shorter life span and higher fecundity than slo...
Article
Organisms survive environmental variation by combining homeostatic regulation of critical states with allostatic variation of other traits, and species differences in these responses can contribute to coexistence in temporally‐variable environments. In this paper, we simultaneously record variation in three functional traits – body temperature (Tb)...
Article
Full-text available
With a shrinking supply of wilderness and growing recognition that top predators can have a profound influence on ecosystems, the persistence of large carnivores in human-dominated landscapes has emerged as one of the greatest conservation challenges of our time. Carnivores fascinate society, yet these animals pose threats to people living near the...
Article
Scavenging by vertebrates can have important impacts on food web stability and persistence, and can alter the distribution of nutrients throughout the landscape. However, scavenging communities have been understudied in most regions around the globe, and we lack understanding of the biotic drivers of vertebrate scavenging dynamics. In this paper, w...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring trends in the abundance of furbearers may be challenging, particularly at the spatio-temporal scales relevant for management. As such, wildlife managers often rely on harvest records to identify broad-scale harvest patterns and trends. Yet, the reliability of harvest records is often unknown. Analyses of harvest records to determine quot...
Article
Full-text available
Parental investment theory predicts that observed levels of parental care afforded to offspring are set by the benefits (to offspring quality and survival) relative to the costs (to parental survival or future reproduction). Although difficult to document in mammals, there is often substantial individual variation in the amount of parental care wit...
Data
R code, dataset, and supplementary material used in publication. Peers, M. J. L, S. M. Konkolics, C. T. Lamb, Y. N. Majchrzak, A. K. Menzies, E. K. Studd, R. Boonstra, A. J. Kenney, C. J. Krebs, A. R. Martinig, B. McCulloch, J. Silva, L. Garland, and S. Boutin. 2020. Prey availability and ambient temperature drive carrion persistence in the boreal...
Article
Full-text available
Animals switch between inactive and active states, simultaneously impacting their energy intake, energy expenditure and predation risk, and collectively defining how they engage with environmental variation and trophic interactions. We assess daily activity responses to long‐term variation in temperature, resources and mating opportunities to exami...
Article
Full-text available
Ecology and management programs designed to track population trends over time increasingly are using passive monitoring methods to estimate terrestrial mammal densities. Researchers use motion‐sensing cameras in mammal studies because they are cost‐effective and advances in statistical methods incorporate motion‐sensing camera data to estimate mamm...
Data
R code and supplementary material used in publication. Hendrix, J. G., D. N. Fisher, A. R. Martinig, S. Boutin, B. Dantzer, J. E. Lane, and A. G. McAdam. 2020. Territory acquisition mediates the influence of predators and climate on juvenile red squirrel survival. Journal of Animal Ecology 89:1408-1418. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.13209
Article
Full-text available
Juvenile survival to first breeding is a key life-history stage for all taxa. Survival through this period can be particularly challenging when it coincides with harsh environmental conditions such as a winter climate or food scarcity, leading to highly variable cohort survival. However, the small size and dispersive nature of juveniles generally m...
Data
Infographic for "Territory acquisition mediates the influence of predators and climate on juvenile red squirrel survival"
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Cyclic fluctuations in abundance exhibited by some mammalian populations in northern habitats (“population cycles”) are key processes in the functioning of many boreal and tundra ecosystems. Understanding population cycles, essentially demographic processes, necessitates discerning the demographic mechanisms that underlie numerical change...
Article
Full-text available
Dispersal is nearly universal; yet, which sex tends to disperse more and their success thereafter depends on the fitness consequences of dispersal. We asked if lifetime fitness differed between residents and immigrants (successful between-population dispersers) and their offspring using 29 years of monitoring from North American red squirrels (Tami...
Article
Hair cortisol concentration is increasingly used as a convenient, non-invasive, and integrative measure of physiology and health in natural populations of mammals. However, the use of this index is potentially confounded by individual variation in body region-specific differences in cortisol deposition rates. Here we examine correlations in cortiso...
Article
Cyclic fluctuations in abundance exhibited by some mammalian populations in northern habitats (“population cycles”) are key processes in the functioning of many boreal and tundra ecosystems. Understanding population cycles, essentially demographic processes, necessitates discerning the demographic mechanisms that underlie numerical changes. Using m...
Data
Infographic: The new kid on the block: immigrant males win big whereas females pay fitness cost after dispersal
Article
Elevations in glucocorticoid levels (GCs) in breeding females may induce adaptive shifts in offspring life histories. Offspring produced by mothers with elevated GCs may be better prepared to face harsh environments where a faster pace of life is beneficial. We examined how experimentally elevated GCs in pregnant or lactating North American red squ...
Article
Predator-prey dynamics are increasingly being modified by the alteration of natural habitats. Such alteration has led to increased predation rates and local extirpation of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in western Canada. Linear features such as roads or seismic lines (narrow corridors used for petroleum exploration that are cleared o...
Preprint
Full-text available
The pace of life syndrome hypothesis posits that personality traits (i.e., consistent individual differences in behaviour) are linked to life history and fitness. Specifically, fast-paced individuals are predicted to be proactive (i.e., active and aggressive) with an earlier age at first reproduction, a shorter lifespan, and a higher fecundity than...
Article
Full-text available
Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are reliant on Cladonia spp. ground lichens as a major component of their diet and lichen abundance could be an important indicator of habitat quality, particularly in winter. The boreal forest is typified by large, stand-replacing forest fires that consume ground lichens, which take decades to recover....
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps (CTs) are an increasingly popular tool for wildlife survey and monitoring. Estimating relative abundance in unmarked species is often done using detection rate as an index of relative abundance, which assumes that detection rate has a positive linear relationship with true abundance. This assumption may be violated if movement behavior...
Article
Natural disturbance plays a key role in shaping community dynamics. Within Canadian boreal forests, the dominant form of natural disturbance is fire, and its effects are thought to influence the dynamics between moose (Alces alces (Linnaeus, 1758)) and the boreal ecotype of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou (Gmelin, 1788)). Boreal caribou...