|SREL Reprint #2303|
MULTILOCUS HETEROZYGOSITY AND REPRODUCTIVE CHARACTERISTICS IN MALE WHITE-TAILED DEER
JOHN D. PELES
KARL V. MILLER
MICHAEL H. SMITH
Abstract: We measured multilocus heterozygosity (H), serum testosterone concentrations, scrotal circumference, and testicle length in male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to examine the effects of genetic variability on reproductive characteristics. No differences were observed among H classes regarding mean values for reproductive characteristics in either yearlings or adults. Although results did not support our hypothesis that H would increase the expression of reproductive characteristics in males, additional research is necessary to determine the effects of H on temporal changes in characteristics related to fitness. Future investigations regarding the effects of H on fitness correlates should consider seasonal variation in the expression of fitness correlates, yearly changes in resource quality and availability, and breeding history of the population.
Key words: heterozygosity, reproductive characteristics, scrotal circumference, testicle length, testosterone, white-tailed deer.
SREL Reprint #2303Peles, J.D., K.V. Miller, and M. Smith. 1997. Multilocus heterozygosity and reproductive characteristics in male white-tailed deer. Journal Wildlife Research 2:149-153.