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Habitat selection and group formation pattern of fallow deer Dama dama in a submediterranean environment

Apollonio, Marco and Focardi, Stefano and Toso, Silvano and Nacci, Laura (1998) Habitat selection and group formation pattern of fallow deer Dama dama in a submediterranean environment. Ecography, Vol. 21 (3), p. 225-234. eISSN 1600-0587. Article.

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.1998.tb00560.x

Abstract

We analyzed the patterns of association between sex and age classes of fallow deer Dama dama in addition to the modification of aggregation patterns as a function or the degree of cover in different habitats in a coastal submediterranean environment in Italy. Deer preferred large open grasslands, small clearings, woods and marshes. Habitat selection varied strongly according to sex, and there were also ecological differences among males of different age classes. Adult females were mostly in family groups, with subadults and fawns. These groups were very stable in time and space. On the contrary bachelor herds were unstable social associations, adapting their size to the local degree of cover. In open grasslands males and females sometimes formed mixed groups with group size similarly being adapted to degree of cover. The possibility that random events fully explained fallow deer aggregation patterns was excluded, while the existence of non-linear mechanisms of aggregation was shown. The persistence of antipredator strategies in this managed population may account for these findings.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:335
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cervids, habitat selection, social organization
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/05 Zoologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Zoologia e genetica evoluzionistica
Publisher:Oikos Editorial Office
eISSN:1600-0587
Additional Information:Pubblicato online il 30 giugno 2006.
Deposited On:18 Aug 2009 10:02

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