Climatic Constraints on Energy Balance, Behaviour and Spatial Distribution of Grizzly Bears
Speaker: Savannah Rogers (University of Idaho )
Although the influence of environmental variation on energy balance of endotherms is well understood, the degree to which climate directly constrains energy available for reproduction in large mammals has received comparatively little attention. We used a combination of biophysical and algorithmic modelling to examine the impact of temperature variation on rates of metabolism and water loss of lactating and non-lactating female grizzly bears. Our results suggest that behavioural mechanisms for minimizing costs of thermoregulation are likely to play an important role in the ecology of grizzly bears at the southern extent of their range under current conditions, and that increasing temperatures have the potential to constrain energy allocated to reproduction by grizzly bears.