Ecological Patterns of Variability in Demographic Rates

Phyllis C. Lee, W. Keith Lindsay and Cynthia J. Moss

in The Amboseli Elephants

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780226542232
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226542263 | DOI:
Ecological Patterns of Variability in Demographic Rates

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  • Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology


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This chapter, which aims to examine some of the ecological factors affecting the birth and death rates of elephants, investigates seasonal and annual variation in rates of conception and calf mortality using 30 years of demographic data for the Amboseli population. It attempts to link these demographic rates to the underlying factors of food abundance and quality, using a proxy measure of rainfall and its distribution over an annual cycle and between years. The chapter assesses the long-term consequences of ecological impacts on individuals and the population.

Keywords: ecological pattern; demographic rates; calf mortality; Amboseli elephants; elephant population; food quality

Chapter.  7487 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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