Supplementary Materials from Range expansion is associated with increased survival and fecundity in a long-lived bat species

The speed and dynamics of range expansions shape species distributions and community composition. Despite the critical impact of population growth rates for range expansion, they are neglected in existing empirical studies, which focus on the investigation of selected life-history traits. Here, we present an approach based on non-invasive genetic capture–mark–recapture data for the estimation of adult survival, fecundity and juvenile survival, which determine population growth. We demonstrate the reliability of our method with simulated data, and use it to investigate life-history changes associated with range expansion in 35 colonies of the bat species Rhinolophus hipposideros. Comparing the demographic parameters inferred for 19 of those colonies which belong to an expanding population with those inferred for the remaining 16 colonies from a non-expanding population reveals that range expansion is associated with higher net reproduction. Juvenile survival was the main driver of the observed reproduction increase in this long-lived bat species with low per capita annual reproductive output. The higher average growth rate in the expanding population was not associated with a trade-off between increased reproduction and survival, suggesting that the observed increase in reproduction stems from a higher resource acquisition in the expanding population. Environmental conditions in the novel habitat hence seem to have an important influence on range expansion dynamics, and warrant further investigation for the management of range expansion in both native and invasive species.