Steeve D Côté

Steeve D Côté
Laval University | ULAVAL · Department of Biology

About

280
Publications
76,212
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
10,479
Citations
Additional affiliations
May 2001 - present
Laval University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (280)
Article
The exclusion of herbivores in forest areas is a strategy used to reduce the impact of selective browsing and increase the regeneration of desired plant species. On Anticosti Island (Québec, Canada), selective browsing by white‐tailed deer prevents the regeneration of balsam fir – white birch forests leading to their conversion into white spruce fo...
Article
Full-text available
Several caribou (Rangifer tarandus) populations have been declining concurrently with increases in infectious diseases in the Arctic. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, a zoonotic bacterium, was first described in 2015 as a notable cause of illness and death among several Arctic wildlife species. We investigated epidemiologic and environmental factors a...
Article
Full-text available
Large herbivores can exert top‐down control on terrestrial plant communities, but the magnitude, direction, and scale‐dependency of their impacts remain equivocal, especially in temperate and boreal forests, where multiple disturbances often interact. Using a unique, long‐term and replicated landscape experiment, we assessed the influence of a high...
Article
Full-text available
Rangifer tarandus has experienced recent drastic population size reductions throughout its circumpolar distribution and preserving the species implies genetic diversity conservation. To facilitate genomic studies of the species populations, we improved the genome assembly by combining long read and linked read and obtained a new highly accurate and...
Article
Alpine mammals are highly vulnerable to current and projected climate change because they are confined to a certain elevation range. Physiological and behavioural adaptations in burrowing species, such as finding shelter in burrows when the summer conditions are unfavorable and hibernating in winter during the stressful period of resource shortage,...
Article
Full-text available
Deer are key components of many ecosystems and estimating deer abundance or density is critical to understanding these roles. Many field methods have been used to estimate deer abundance and density, but the factors determining where, when, and why a method was used, and its usefulness, have not been investigated. We systematically reviewed journal...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the genes underlying fitness-related traits such as body size and male ornamentation can provide tools for conservation and management and are often subject to various selective pressures. Here we performed high-depth whole genome re-sequencing of pools of individuals representing the phenotypic extremes for antler and body size in whit...
Article
Full-text available
Caribou and reindeer, Rangifer tarandus , are the most numerous and socio-ecologically important terrestrial species in the Arctic. Their migrations are directly and indirectly affected by the seasonal nature of the northernmost regions, human development and population size; all of which are impacted by climate change. We review the most critical...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review: Climate change is modifying the dynamics of forests and threatens the supply of ecosystem services from managed forests. In response, managers are developing climate-adapted strategies, mostly focusing on changes in abiotic conditions. Ungulate populations, however, also impact forest integrity and productivity, and the effects o...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Mushrooms are a little known source of food for large herbivores, but are of high quality because of their high protein content and digestibility. Approximately 50 epigeous and hypogeous mushroom and lichen species have been identified in the diet of cervids so far using macro remains. Our main objective was to determine which mushroom species are...
Article
Animal migrations occur in many taxa and are considered an adaptive response to spatial or temporal variations in resources. Human activities can influence the cost-benefit trade-offs of animal migrations, but evaluating the determinants of migration trajectory and movement rate in declining populations facing relatively low levels of human disturb...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Rangifer tarandus (caribou and reindeer) has experienced recent drastic population size reductions throughout its circumpolar distribution. In efforts aimed at preserving caribou in North America and reindeer in Eurasia, genetic diversity conservation is of utmost importance, particularly the adaptive genetic diversity. To facilitate ge...
Article
Monitoring survival of juveniles in wild populations of vertebrates is challenging because capture and marking of neonates may influence survival and induce biases. Camera collars have proven effective in resource and habitat selection studies, but their effectiveness to assess offspring survival is unknown. Our objective was to monitor the surviva...
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
Full-text available
Increased snow cover and attenuation of light due to shrub expansion can lead to changes in the quantity and nutritional quality of food resources for migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus). To determine how vegetation is affected by snow accumulation and shade, we conducted an experiment that simulated the light and snow conditions created by incre...
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
Estimating heritability (h2) is required to predict the response to selection and is useful in species that are managed or farmed using trait information. Estimating h2 in free-ranging populations is challenging due to the need for pedigrees; genomic-relatedness matrices (GRMs) circumvent this need and can be implemented in nearly any system where...
Article
Full-text available
Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are involved in acquired immunity in vertebrates. Only a few studies have investigated the fitness consequences of MHC gene diversity in wild populations. Here, we looked at the association between annual survival and body mass and MHC–DRB exon 2 (MHC–DRB) genetic diversity, obtained from high-thr...
Article
Aims When deciding whether or not to eat a plant, herbivores are influenced by the nutritional value of potential foods, but also indirectly by neighbouring plants (associational effects). We aimed to investigate how the abundance and nutritional quality of neighbours of balsam firs (Abies balsamea ) affects browsing on balsam firs by white‐tailed...
Article
Full-text available
Human disturbances are rapidly increasing in northern and Arctic regions, raising concerns about the recovery and persistence of declining caribou (Rangifer tarandus) populations. Yet, the consequences of behavioral responses toward human disturbances on vital rates rarely have been investigated. Herein, we assessed the cumulative and instantaneous...
Article
Full-text available
A tradeoff between forage acquisition and predation avoidance contributes to shape space use by herbivores. The manipulation of structural components of the habitat, such as forage and forest cover may alter this tradeoff. The idea of influencing space use of herbivores is appealing for wildlife managers that aim to locally modify herbivore densiti...
Article
Full-text available
• Accurate estimates of animal diet composition are essential to untangle complex interactions in food webs. Biomarkers and molecular tools are increasingly used to estimate diet, sometimes alongside traditional dietary tracing methods. Yet only a few empirical studies have compared the outcomes and potential gains of using a combination of these m...
Preprint
Estimating heritability (h2) is required to predict the response to selection and is useful in species that are managed or farmed using trait information. Estimating h2 in free-ranging populations is challenging due to the need for pedigrees; genomic-relatedness matrices (GRMs) circumvent this need and can be implemented in nearly any system where...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to predict energy and protein allocation to different body condition parameters according to environmental constraints is a key component in understanding the processes underlying population dynamics. We investigated the influence of a proxy of population density and environmental factors on individual body condition parameters of femal...
Article
Full-text available
Islands are generally colonized by few individuals which could lead to a founder effect causing loss of genetic diversity and rapid divergence by strong genetic drift. Insular conditions can also induce new selective pressures on populations. Here, we investigated the extent of genetic differentiation within a white‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginia...
Article
Full-text available
Non‐consumptive effects of predation can strongly impact reproduction and demography of prey species. Still, the underlying mechanisms that drive non‐consumptive effects are not fully understood, and the circumstances under which chronic physiological stress may mediate these effects remain unclear. Benefiting from over 23 years of environmental, p...
Article
Depicted as predictable movements, migrations can, however, show important interannual variations, making the conservation of migratory species particularly challenging. Plasticity in migratory behaviour allows individuals to adjust their migratory tactics to maximize their fitness. Destination of migration, and therefore migration patterns, may va...
Article
Studies describing the diet of omnivorous species are abundant, but the drivers affecting the balance between animal and plant resources remain unclear. Among those drivers, latitude has been reported to positively correlate with the trophic position of consumers. Using stable isotope analysis, we tested the hypothesis that trophic position of blac...
Preprint
Full-text available
Characterization of the complex genomic architecture underlying quantitative traits can provide valuable insights into the study, conservation, and management of natural populations. This is particularly true for fitness-related traits such as body size and male ornamentation in mammals because as indicators of quality and health, these traits are...
Article
Identifying inbreeding depression early in small and declining populations is essential for management and conservation decisions. Correlations between heterozygosity and fitness (HFCs) provide a way to identify inbreeding depression without prior knowledge of kinship among individuals. In Northern Quebec and Labrador, the size of two herds of migr...
Article
Full-text available
At high population size, migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are regulated by forage abundance in their summer range. Climate warming likely affects forage availability by increasing productivity and advancing phenology of vegetation. Our objective was to investigate the combined effects of browsing and climate warming on the availability of dwar...
Article
Full-text available
Pathogens can impact host survival, fecundity, and population dynamics even when no obvious disease is observed. Few baseline data on pathogen prevalence and diversity of caribou are available, which hampers our ability to track changes over time and evaluate impacts on caribou health. Archived blood samples collected from ten migratory caribou her...
Article
Full-text available
The community of microorganisms in the gut is affected by host species, diet, and environment and is linked to normal functioning of the host organism. Although the microbiome fluctuates in response to host demands and environmental changes, there are core groups of microorganisms that remain relatively constant throughout the hosts lifetime. Rumin...
Article
Full-text available
Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) are an integral component of Arctic biodiversity. Given low genetic diversity, their ability to respond to future and rapid Arctic change is unknown, although paleontological history demonstrates adaptability within limits. We discuss status and limitations of current monitoring, and summarize circumpolar status and rece...
Article
Full-text available
At high herbivore density, herbivory can reduce forage abundance, potentially contributing to habitat degradation and driving changes in herbivore population size or range use, in accordance with the exploitation ecosystem hypothesis. The migratory Rivière-George caribou herd (RGH, Rangifer tarandus) of the Quebec-Labrador Peninsula (Canada) has ex...
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
Monitoring glucocorticoids in faeces and hair is increasingly used in ecological studies and provides a powerful and minimally intrusive mean to identify physiological challenges faced by wild animals. Using a cortisol and a corticosterone immunoassays, we conducted an adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) challenge with five weekly repeated injections to val...
Article
Full-text available
Life-history strategies of female ungulates usually depend on density-dependent and independent processes affecting body condition. Using a long-term data set on life-history traits of female white-tailed deer (2002–2014), we investigated the influence of population density and environmental factors on the reproductive effort of females. We also ev...
Poster
Full-text available
This infographic is linked to the following paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.4970
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...
Article
Full-text available
Because growth of new hairs entails energetic costs, individual condition and access to food should determine the timing of molt. Previous studies on the timing of molt in ungulates have mostly focused on the influence of age class and reproductive status, but the effects of body condition and environmental phenology have not been evaluated. Our go...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat selection has received considerable attention from ecologists during the last decades, yet the underlying forces shaping individual differences in habitat selection are poorly documented. Some of these differences could be explained by the early experience of individuals in their natal habitat. By selecting habitat attributes like those enc...
Preprint
Full-text available
The community of microorganisms in the gut is affected by host species, diet, and environment and is linked to normal functioning of the host organism. Although the microbiome fluctuates in response to host demands and environmental changes, there are core groups of microorganisms that remain relatively constant throughout the hosts lifetime. Rumin...
Article
Full-text available
Widespread shrub expansion has been observed at the circumpolar scale in response to climate change. This phenomenon could be inhibited by large herbivores through selective browsing that reduces shrub growth. Our objective was to assess the dynamics of shrub species in the Deception Bay area, in Nunavik (Québec, Canada), a region in the summer ran...
Article
As human development intensifies in northern ecosystems, negative impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on wildlife could increase. Many caribou and reindeer populations are declining across the northern hemisphere, and human disturbances have been suggested as a potential cause for these declines. We evaluated the effects of human disturbances in...
Article
Peatlands could become important foraging habitats, and their plant communities threatened, in areas with an overabundance of large herbivores. Peatland response to herbivore exclusion may vary widely according to abiotic conditions and associated species, due to a strong minerotrophic gradient. We assessed the impact of white-tailed deer (Odocoile...
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands could become important foraging habitats, and their plant communities threatened, in areas with an overabundance of large herbivores. Peatland response to herbivore exclusion may vary widely according to abiotic conditions and associated species, due to a strong minerotrophic gradient. We assessed the impact of white-tailed deer (Odocoile...
Article
Questions The presence of a plant species can influence the selection of another plant species by herbivores. Natural communities encompass several plant species and in these multispecific environments, resource selection by herbivores could be partly explained by plant diversity. Our objective was to determine how winter consumption by a large her...
Article
Full-text available
To better understand the potential costs and benefits of prolonged parental care in gregarious species, we studied post-weaning associations in a marked population of mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) monitored for 22 years. We calculated the occurrence and frequency of associations involving 1- and 2-year-old juveniles. We investigated (1) the...
Article
Full-text available
Associational effects, that is, the influence of neighboring plants on herbivory suffered by a plant, are an outcome of forage selection. Although forage selection is a hierarchical process, few studies have investigated associational effects at multiple spatial scales. Because the nutritional quality of plants can be spatially structured, it might...
Article
Warmer summer temperatures and enhanced soil fertility increase shrub growth in tundra ecosystems, and these factors have likely contributed to shrub expansion at the circumpolar scale over the last decades. Conversely, large herbivores have the potential to counteract the positive impacts of climate change on shrub growth. Indeed, by stripping the...
Article
Full-text available
In their critique of our recent article in Oecologia (Pigeon et al. Oecologia 181:1101-1116, 2016a) investigating the influence of ambient temperature on brown bear habitat selection, Ordiz et al. (2017, current issue) argue that we downplay the role of human disturbance on bear behavior, and that we wrongly report on the findings of Ordiz et al. (...
Article
The presence of neighbouring plants and predation risk can affect trophic interactions between plants and herbivores. We hypothesized that the relative preference for neighbouring species would determine winter herbivory and that predation risk would modulate browsing pressure. We tested these hypotheses using feeding trials in two regions with hig...
Article
Full-text available
Global declines in caribou and reindeer (Rangifer) populations have drawn attention to the myriad of stressors that these arctic and boreal forest herbivores currently face. Arctic warming has resulted in increased tundra shrub growth and therefore Rangifer forage quantity. However, its effects on forage quality have not yet been addressed although...
Article
Full-text available
Few empirical studies on large herbivores considered how behavioral plasticity could enhance their capacity to cope with rapid and extreme changes in weather conditions at several spatiotemporal scales. During winter, large herbivores living under low predation pressure mainly trade-off benefits of forage acquisition with the costs of exposure to h...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic differentiation among populations may arise from the disruption of gene flow due to local adaptation to distinct environments and/or neutral accumulation of mutations and genetic drift resulted from geographical isolation. Quantifying the role of these processes in determining the genetic structure of natural populations remains challenging...
Article
Full-text available
Depuis son introduction, il y a plus d’une centaine d’années, le cerf de Virginie ( Odocoileus virginianus Zimm.) a fortement perturbé la flore de l’île d’Anticosti. Les communautés forestières sont sans contredit celles qui ont été les plus affectées. Toutefois, le cerf exploite et perturbe aussi d’autres écosystèmes, comme les tourbières. Dans ce...
Article
Full-text available
The life-history theories of aging predict lifetime trade-offs between early reproductive allocation and late-life survival, reproduction, or both components of fitness. Recent studies in wild populations have found evidence for these early-late life trade-offs, but rarely have they been found across multiple traits while exploring the additional e...