The relationship between tooth wear, habitat quality and late-life reproduction in a wild red deer population

Nussey, D.H. and Metherell, B. and Moyes, K. and Donald, A. and Guinness, F.E. and Clutton-Brock, T.H. (2007) The relationship between tooth wear, habitat quality and late-life reproduction in a wild red deer population. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76 (2). pp. 402-412. ISSN 0021-8790. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

1. Molar tooth wear is considered an important proximate mechanism driving patterns of senescence in ungulates but few studies have investigated the causes of variation in molar wear or their consequences for reproductive success. 2. In this study, we assessed molar tooth wear at death among red deer Cervus elaphus of known age on the Isle of Rum, Scotland. 3. First molar height showed a decelerating decline with age. In females, the rates of molar wear with age varied with location of home range and individuals experiencing low resource competition showed reduced molar wear. We suggest that this spatial variation in molar wear is related to differences in the availability of high-quality grazing habitat and levels of resource competition. 4. There was no evidence that females with more heavily worn molars had reduced reproductive performance late in life or that first molar height was associated with reproductive senescence.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Cervus elaphus; habitat quality; local resource competition; molar tooth wear; senescence
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Mathematics Statistics and Actuarial Science
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2008 08:26
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:08
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/2685 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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