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The influence of the quality of the habitat on sexual selection in red deer: a comparison between Rhum (Scotland) and Jaegersborg deerpark (Denmark)

Hoekstra, A. (1994) The influence of the quality of the habitat on sexual selection in red deer: a comparison between Rhum (Scotland) and Jaegersborg deerpark (Denmark). Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Abstract

The influence of the quality of the habitat on sexual selection in red deer was investigated by comparing the relationship between antler weight and estimated mating success of stags on Rhum, a poor habitat, and in Jægersborg, a rich habitat. Two methods were used for the estimation of mating success of the stags on Rhum, both based on the frequency distribution of the estimated date of conception, calculated by backdating the gestation length from the birth date of the calves. In one method (UK-field) the estimated date of conception was determined over a period of 20 years and used as an estimation for the distribution of the number of hinds served during the rutting season. This gave an estimation of the mating success of the stags when multiplied with their harem sizes. In the other method (UK-DNA) the estimated date of conception was used to determine the chance with which stags, in whose harem that particular hind was seen about his estimated date, served the mothers of the calves born in the spring of 1990. This method was corrected for the results which were found with DNA fingerprinting analysis. Because for Jægersborg the birth dates of the cales were unknown, UK-field was used for the translation to the situation in Jægersborg (UK-field), while UK-DNA was used as the best possible estimation for the distribution of the mating success among stags on Rhum. The results of this pilot study suggest that the distribution of mating success among stags is more skewed in a poor habitat when compared to a rich one, This suggests that the extremely skewed distribution of the mating success among stags on Rhum found in other studies, is likely to be valid for a poor habitat, but not for a rich one.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:47
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:47
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/10013

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