SREL Reprint #2303

 

 

 

MULTILOCUS HETEROZYGOSITY AND REPRODUCTIVE CHARACTERISTICS IN MALE WHITE-TAILED DEER

JOHN D. PELES
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, SC, 29802, USA

KARL V. MILLER
School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA

MICHAEL H. SMITH
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, SC, 29802, USA

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 #2303

Peles, 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.

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