CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Wildlife Research   
Wildlife Research
Journal Banner
  Ecology, Management and Conservation in Natural and Modified Habitats
 
blank image Search
 
blank image blank image
blank image
 
  Advanced Search
   

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Notice to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube

 

Open Access Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 40(7)

Variance component analysis of body mass in a wild population of deer (Odocoileus virginianus): results from two decades of research

Stephen L. Webb A D , Kenneth L. Gee A , Randy W. DeYoung B and Seth M. Harju C

A The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA.
B Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, MSC 218, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA.
C Heron Ecological, LLC, PO Box 235, Kingston, ID 83839, USA.
D Corresponding author. Email: slwebb@noble.org

Wildlife Research 40(7) 588-598 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR12224
Submitted: 21 December 2012  Accepted: 18 December 2013   Published: 30 January 2014


 
 Full Text
 PDF (381 KB)
 Export Citation
 Print
  
Abstract

Context: Long-term studies of large, vertebrate mammals using capture–recapture data are scarce, even though long-term ecological studies are requisite to understanding quantitative genetics and evolutionary processes that can be applied as part of management programs.

Aims: Objectives were to (1) partition components of variation in body mass to understand the differential effects of environmental variation on the sexes during ontogeny, to better prescribe habitat-improvement projects, and (2) estimate repeatability to assess potential for selection on body mass.

Methods: We used a 23-year dataset (1983–2005) of capture–recapture records of wild white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to estimate components of variance and repeatability of body mass. We used an animal-model approach that employed the use of general linear mixed models and restricted maximum likelihood to adjust for the effects of age (i.e. fixed effect), and to partition the total phenotypic variance into among-individual (i.e. the deer), permanent environmental (i.e. year of birth) and temporary environmental (i.e. year of measurement and residual) effects (all modelled as random effects).

Key results: We found that body mass increased with age in both sexes, repeatability of body mass was 0.595 for females and 0.716 for males, and among-individual variation was more influential on body mass than were permanent and temporary environmental effects combined. Year of birth was more important in males than females, but changed during the course of ontogeny for both sexes. Year of measurement did not influence post-rut body mass in males, but did contribute to variation in body mass of females.

Conclusions: These long-term data offer insights into the sources of variation that influence body mass of deer, which can be used to understand how environmental sources of variation influence phenotypic traits, and for developing management plans and making selection decisions.

Implications: Knowledge of repeatability (as an upper limit to heritability) can be used to make management decisions related to selection, culling and breeding, whereas understanding environmental effects can lead to better management recommendations (e.g. habitat-improvement projects).

Additional keywords: age, environment, individual variation, mixed model, phenotype, repeatability, white-tailed deer.


References

Clutton-Brock, T. H., and Sheldon, B. C. (2010). Individuals and populations: the role of long-term, individual-based studies of animals in ecology and evolutionary biology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25, 562–573.
CrossRef |

Clutton-Brock, T. H., Guinness, F. E., and Albon, S. D. (1982). ‘Red Deer: Behavior and Ecology of Two Sexes.’ (University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL.)

Clutton-Brock, T. H., Albon, S. D., and Guinness, F. E. (1989). Fitness costs of gestation and lactation in wild mammals. Nature 337, 260–262.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Clutton-Brock, T. H., Stevenson, I. R., Marrow, P., MacColl, A. D., Houston, A. I., and McNamara, J. M. (1996). Population fluctuations, reproductive costs and life-history tactics in female soay sheep. Journal of Animal Ecology 65, 675–689.
CrossRef |

Coulson, T., Catchpole, E. A., Albon, S. D., Morgan, B. J. T., Pemberton, J. M., Clutton-Brock, T. H., Crawley, M. J., and Grenfell, B. T. (2001). Age, sex, density, winter weather, and population crashes in soay sheep. Science 292, 1528–1531.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Cramér, H. (1999). ‘Mathematical Methods of Statistics.’ (Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ.)

Demarais, S., and Strickland, B. K. (2011). Antlers. In ‘Biology and Management of White-tailed Deer’. (Ed. D. G. Hewitt.) pp. 107–145. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.)

DeYoung, C. A. (2011). Population dynamics. In ‘Biology and Management of White-tailed Deer’. (Ed. D. G. Hewitt.) pp. 147–180. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.)

Ditchkoff, S. S. (2011). Anatomy and physiology. In ‘Biology and Management of White-tailed Deer’. (Ed. D. G. Hewitt.) pp. 43–73. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.)

Ditchkoff, S. S., Welch, E. R., Lochmiller, R. L., Masters, R. E., and Starry, W. R. (2001). Age-specific causes of mortality among white-tailed deer support mate-competition theory. The Journal of Wildlife Management 65, 552–559.
CrossRef |

Falconer, D. S., and Mackay, T. F. C. (1996). ‘Introduction to Quantitative Genetics.’ 4th edn. (Pearson Prentice Hall: Harlow, UK.)

Foley, A. M., DeYoung, R. W., Lukefahr, S. D., Lewis, J. S., Hewitt, D. G., Hellickson, M. W., Draeger, D. A., and DeYoung, C. A. (2012). Repeatability of antler characteristics in mature white-tailed deer in south Texas: consequences of environmental effects. Journal of Mammalogy 93, 1149–1157.
CrossRef |

Gannon, W. L., Sikes, R. S., Animal Care and Use Committee of the American Society of Mammalogists (2007). Guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the use of wild mammals in research. Journal of Mammalogy 88, 809–823.
CrossRef |

Gavin, T. A., Suring, L. H., Vohs, P. A., and Meslow, E. C. (1984). Population characteristics, spatial organization, and natural mortality in the Columbian white-tailed deer. Wildlife Monographs 91, 1–41.

Gee, K. L., Holman, J. H., Causey, M. K., Rossi, A. N., and Armstrong, J. B. (2002). Aging white-tailed deer by tooth replacement and wear: a critical evaluation of a time-honored technique. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30, 387–393.

Gee, K. L., Porter, M. D., Demarais, S., and Bryant, F. C. (2011). ‘White-tailed Deer: their Foods and Management in the Cross Timbers.’ 3rd edn. Publication NF-WF-11-02. (The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation: Ardmore, OK.)

Gray, W. N., Ditchkoff, S. S., Causey, M. K., and Cook, C. W. (2002). The yearling disadvantage in Alabama deer: effect of birth date on development. Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 56, 255–264.

Hewitt, D. G. (2011). Nutrition. In ‘Biology and Management of White-tailed Deer’. (Ed. D. G. Hewitt.) pp. 75–105. (CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL.)

Jorgenson, J. T., Festa-Bianchet, M., Gaillard, J.-M., and Wishart, W. D. (1997). Effects of age, sex, disease, and density on survival of bighorn sheep. Ecology 78, 1019–1032.
CrossRef |

Kenward, M. G., and Roger, J. H. (1997). Small sample inference for fixed effects from restricted maximum likelihood. Biometrics 53, 983–997.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Kirkpatrick, M., and Lande, R. (1989). The evolution of maternal characters. Evolution 43, 485–503.
CrossRef |

Knox, W. M., Bara, M. O., and Miller, K. V. (1991). Effects of fawning date on physical development in yearling male white-tailed deer. Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 45, 30–36.

Koerth, B. H., and Kroll, J. C. (2008). Juvenile-to-adult antler development in white-tailed deer in south Texas. The Journal of Wildlife Management 72, 1109–1113.
CrossRef |

Kruuk, L. E. B., and Hadfield, J. D. (2007). How to separate genetic and environmental causes of similarity between relatives. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20, 1890–1903.
CrossRef | CAS |

Kruuk, L. E. B., Slate, J., Pemberton, J. M., Brotherstone, S., Guinness, F., and Clutton-Brock, T. H. (2002). Antler size in red deer: heritability and selection but no evolution. Evolution 56, 1683–1695.
| CAS |

Langvatn, R., Albon, S. D., Burkey, T., and Clutton-Brock, T. H. (1996). Climate, plant phenology and variation in age of first reproduction in a temperate herbivore. Journal of Animal Ecology 65, 653–670.
CrossRef |

Lewis, J. S. (2010). Factors influencing antler size in free-ranging white-tailed deer and mark/recapture estimates of demographic traits. Ph.D. Dissertation. Texas A&M University – Kingsville: Kingsville, TX.

Littell, R. C., Milliken, G. A., Stroup, W. W., Wolfinger, R. D., and Schabenberger, O. (2006). ‘SAS for Mixed Models.’ 2nd edn. (SAS Institute: Cary, NC.)

Lockwood, M. A., Frels, D. B., Armstrong, W. E., Fuchs, E., and Harmel, D. E. (2007). Genetic and environmental interaction in white-tailed deer. The Journal of Wildlife Management 71, 2732–2735.
CrossRef |

Lukefahr, S. D., and Jacobson, H. A. (1998). Variance component analysis and heritability of antler traits in white-tailed deer. The Journal of Wildlife Management 62, 262–268.
CrossRef |

Lynch, M., and Walsh, B. (1998). ‘Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits.’ (Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.)

Marshal, J. P., Krausman, P. R., Bleich, V. C., Ballard, W. B., and McKeever, J. S. (2002). Rainfall, El Nino, and dynamics of mule deer in the Sonoran Desert, California. The Journal of Wildlife Management 66, 1283–1289.
CrossRef |

McCullough, D. R. (1979). ‘The George Reserve Deer Herd: Population Ecology of a K-selected Species.’ (University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, MI.)

McCullough, D. R. (1999). Density dependence and life-history strategies of ungulates. Journal of Mammalogy 80, 1130–1146.
CrossRef |

McManus, C. (1993). Within-farm estimates of genetic and phenotypic parameters for growth and reproductive traits for red deer. Animal Production 57, 153–159.
CrossRef |

Mech, L. D., Nelson, M. E., and McRoberts, R. E. (1991). Effects of maternal and grandmaternal nutrition on deer mass and vulnerability to wolf predation. Journal of Mammalogy 72, 146–151.
CrossRef |

Milner, J. M., Albon, S. D., Illius, A. W., Pemberton, J. M., and Clutton-Brock, T. H. (1999). Repeated selection of morphometric traits in the soay sheep on St Kilda. Journal of Animal Ecology 68, 472–488.
CrossRef |

Milner, J. M., Pemberton, J. M., Brotherstone, S., and Albon, S. D. (2000). Estimating variance components and heritabilities in the wild: a case study using the ‘animal model’ approach. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 13, 804–813.
CrossRef |

Morris, C. A., McCall, J. E., Baker, R. L., and Southey, B. R. (1992). Genetic parameters for live weights in fallow deer (Dama dama L.). Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 52, 133–135.

Mysterud, A., Bonenfant, C., Loe, L. E., Langvatn, R., Yoccoz, N. G., and Stenseth, N. C. (2008). Age-specific feeding cessation in male red deer during rut. Journal of Zoology 275, 407–412.
CrossRef |

Nussey, D. H., Clutton-Brock, T. H., Albon, S. D., Pemberton, J., and Kruuk, L. E. B. (2005). Constraints on plastic responses to climate variation in red deer. Biology Letters 1, 457–460.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Nussey, D. H., Wilson, A. J., and Brommer, J. E. (2007). The evolutionary ecology of individual phenotypic plasticity in wild populations. European Society for Evolutionary Biology 20, 831–844.
| CAS |

Owen-Smith, N. (Ed.) (2010). ‘Dynamics of Large Herbivore Populations in Changing Environments: Toward Appropriate Models.’ (Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, UK.)

Pelletier, F., Réale, D., Garant, D., Coltman, D. W., and Festa-Bianchet, M. (2007). Selection on heritable seasonal phenotypic plasticity of body mass. Evolution 61, 1969–1979.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Peters, D. P. C. (2010). Accessible ecology: synthesis of the long, deep, and broad. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25, 592–601.
CrossRef |

Ramsey, C. W. (1968). A drop-net deer trap. The Journal of Wildlife Management 32, 187–190.
CrossRef |

Réale, D., Festa-Bianchet, M., and Jorgenson, J. T. (1999). Heritability of body mass varies with age and season in wild bighorn sheep. Heredity 83, 526–532.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Rodriguez-Hidalgo, P., Gortazar, C., Tortosa, F. S., Rodriquez-Vigal, C., Fierro, Y., and Vicente, J. (2010). Effects of density, climate, and supplementary forage on body mass and pregnancy rates of female red deer in Spain. Oecologia 164, 389–398.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Schmidt, K. T., and Hoi, H. (2002). Supplemental feeding reduces natural selection in juvenile red deer. Ecography 25, 265–272.
CrossRef |

Severinghaus, C. W. (1949). Tooth development and wear as criteria of age in white-tailed deer. The Journal of Wildlife Management 13, 195–216.
CrossRef |

Shea, S. M., Breault, T. A., and Richardson, M. L. (1992). Relationship of birth date and physical development of yearling white-tailed deer in Florida. Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 46, 159–166.

Simard, M. A., Côté, S. D., Weladji, R. B., and Huot, J. (2008). Feedback effects of chronic browsing on life-history traits of a large herbivore. Journal of Animal Ecology 77, 678–686.
CrossRef |

Slate, J., Kruuk, L. E. B., Marshall, T. C., Pemberton, J. M., and Clutton-Brock, T. H. (2000). Inbreeding depression influences lifetime breeding success in a wild population of red deer (Cervus elaphus). Proceedings. Biological Sciences 267, 1657–1662.
CrossRef | CAS |

Stenseth, N. C., Ottersen, G., Hurrell, J. W., Mysterud, A., Lima, M., Chan, K., Yoccoz, N. G., and Adlandsvik, B. (2003). Studying climate effects on ecology through the use of climate indices: the North Atlantic Oscillation, El Nino Southern Oscillation and beyond. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 270, 2087–2096.
CrossRef |

Strickland, B. K., and Demarais, S. (2000). Age and regional differences in antlers and mass of white-tailed deer. The Journal of Wildlife Management 64, 903–911.
CrossRef |

van den Berg, G. H. J., and Garrick, D. J. (1997). Inheritance of adult velvet antler weights and live weights in farmed red deer. Livestock Production Science 49, 287–295.
CrossRef |

Webb, S. L., and Gee, K. L. (2014). Annual survival and site fidelity of free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann): comparative demography before (1983–1992) and after (1993–2005) spatial confinement. Integrative Zoology 9, 14–23.
CrossRef |

Webb, S. L., Hewitt, D. G., and Hellickson, M. W. (2007). Survival and cause-specific mortality of mature male white-tailed deer. The Journal of Wildlife Management 71, 555–558.
CrossRef |

Webb, S. L., Gee, K. L., Demarais, S., Strickland, B. K., and DeYoung, R. W. (2009a). Efficacy of a 15-strand high-tensile electric fence to control white-tailed deer movements. Wildlife Biology in Practice 5, 45–57.
CrossRef |

Webb, S. L., Riffell, S. K., Gee, K. L., and Demarais, S. (2009b). Using fractal analyses to characterize movement paths in white-tailed deer and response to spatial scale. Journal of Mammalogy 90, 1210–1217.
CrossRef |

Webb, S. L., Gee, K. L., and Wang, G. (2010a). Survival and fidelity of an enclosed white-tailed deer population using capture–recapture-reporting data. Population Ecology 52, 81–88.
CrossRef |

Webb, S. L., Gee, K. L., Strickland, B. K., Demarais, S., and DeYoung, R. W. (2010b). Measuring fine-scale white-tailed deer movements and environmental influences using GPS collars. International Journal of Ecology 2010, 1–12.
CrossRef |

Webb, S. L., Demarais, S., Strickland, B. K., DeYoung, R. W., Kinghorn, B. P., and Gee, K. L. (2012). Effects of selective harvest on antler size in white-tailed deer: a modeling approach. The Journal of Wildlife Management 76, 48–56.
CrossRef |

Williams, J. D., Krueger, W. F., and Harmel, D. H. (1994). Heritabilities for antler characteristics and body weight in yearling white-tailed deer. Heredity 73, 78–83.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Wilson, A. J., Kruuk, L. E. B., and Coltman, D. W. (2005). Ontogenetic patterns in heritable variation for body size: using random regression models in a wild ungulate population. American Naturalist 166, E177–E192.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Wilson, A. J., Pemberton, J. M., Pilkington, J. G., Coltman, D. W., Mifsud, D. V., Clutton-Brock, T. H., and Kruuk, L. E. B. (2006). Environmental coupling of selection and heritability limits evolution. PLoS Biology 4, 1270–1275.
CrossRef | CAS |

Wilson, A. J., Réale, D., Clements, M. N., Morrissey, M. M., Postma, E., Walling, C. A., Kruuk, L. E. B., and Nussey, D. H. (2010). An ecologist’s guide to the animal model. Journal of Animal Ecology 79, 13–26.
CrossRef | PubMed |


   
 
    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2014