Sica, Nicoletta (2015) Dealing with stress: responses for a good fitness on Alpine ibex. Doctoral Thesis.
A disturbance that elicits allostatic individual responses in addition to that imposed by life cycle, is defined as stress. This thesis integrated behaviour and endocrinology (using fecal cortisol and testosterone metabolites) to analyse how Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) deals with environmental pressure. The level of cortisol was directly correlated with maximum temperature in summer, showing the sensitiveness of ibex to thermal stress. I demonstrated that the selective pressures have favoured a definition of the social status in advance respect to the mating season. It remained stable and affected male reproductive success. Testosterone and cortisol are correlated and they jointly reinforced the initial impulse to compete, potentiated pre-existing pattern of aggression, but they have no effects on dominance.
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