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Lekking in fallow deer (Dama dama): a long walk to territoriality

De Cena, Fabio (2011) Lekking in fallow deer (Dama dama): a long walk to territoriality. Doctoral Thesis.

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Abstract

Here I present results of a long-term study (1996-2010) performed in the lekking fallow deer population of San Rossore, Italy, where data were collected through radio-tracking and direct observations. New results on the behavioural ecology of the fallow deer, with special regard to mating strategies and success were reported. First, I showed that the actual position of the lek is handy with regards to female travel costs and predation risk avoidance, in accordance to the female preference and predator avoidance hypotheses. Second, I showed that males able to adopt risky but best foraging strategies are able to gain an optimal body condition before rut and thus to achieve a high mating success. Third, I showed that for all adult males, despite age and mating success, it is important to reach the lek well before the beginning of the rut to gain positions in the male hierarchy. However, I refused the hypothesis that that sooner a male arrives at the lek, higher will be its mating success. Finally, I refused the hypothesis that subadult males are supposed to leave the lek later than adult males in order to increase their possibility of mating when mating males are exhausted. For the first time, I showed the importance of experiences gained by subadult males in affecting the individual mating success, once they become adult males. The study of subadult males was possible due to the deploy of an hand-made expandable radiocollar created during this study.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis
ID Code:5064
Contributors:Apollonio, Marco and Ciuti, Simone
Publisher:Universita' degli studi di Sassari
Uncontrolled Keywords:Dama dama, fallow deer, Llk, mating success, territoriality
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/05 Zoologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Zoologia e genetica evoluzionistica
Cicli, scuole e corsi:Ciclo 23 > Scuole > Scienze della natura e delle sue risorse > Biologia ambientale
Deposited On:05 Apr 2011 12:49

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