Environmental change influences fitness-related traits and demographic rates, which in herbivores are often linked to resource-driven variation in body condition. Coupled body condition-demographic responses may therefore be important for herbivore population dynamics in fluctuating environments, such as the Arctic. We applied a transient Life-Table Response Experiment ('transient-LTRE') to demographic data from Svalbard barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis), to quantify their population-dynamic responses to changes in body mass. We partitioned contributions from direct and delayed demographic and body condition-mediated processes to variation in population growth. Declines in body condition (1980-2017), which positively affected reproduction and fledgling survival, had negligible consequences for population growth. Instead, population growth rates were largely reproduction-driven, in part through positive responses to rapidly advancing spring phenology. The virtual lack of body condition-mediated effects indicates that herbivore population dynamics may be more resilient to changing body condition than previously expected, with implications for their persistence under environmental change.

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