Little is known about spatial induced processes regulating population dynamics in capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), a social rodent from the lowlands of South America, an aspect that may explain the causative mechanism involved in a spatial densitydependent process like mortality and dispersal. We investigated and compared the spatial pattern of herds in a capybara population in the eastern savannas of Colombia. Herd locations were mapped during two contrasting periods of the year and changes in herd spatial distribution were measured using scale-dependent point pattern analyses, pair correlation function g(r) and the normalize K-function, (L(r)). Our results show that 1) herd size increases during the dry season; 2) herd spatial distribution followed a scale-dependent pattern; 3) regularity at small scales provides evidence of intra-specific competition between herds; and 4) clumped distribution was probably caused mainly by behavioral responses and habitat heterogeneity. This study highlights the importance of spatial statistics in the study of seasonal spatial distribution patterns of capybara herds, and their behavioral and ecological causes. It sheds light on ecological aspects such as space use and habitat influence.
|Translated title of the contribution||Seasonal spatial distribution patterns of a capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) population in the flooded savannas of Colombia|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Dec 2010|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology