Factors associated with rank position are poorly understood whereas even fewer studies assessed if benefits were associated with increased rank position when resources were unlimited. I assessed whether age, body mass, size, and testosterone levels were important in rank establishment among 132 captive female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus. I also assessed if the benefit metrics of improved body condition, decreased stress level, and earlier parturition date were related to rank position. Deer in each of 9 study pens had a linear hierarchy with a mean h' of 0.39 (SD = 0.09). Rank position was moderately related to age (P < 0.1) and was strongly related to body mass and size (P < 0.01). There was no relationship between benefit metrics and rank position (P < 0.1). Although increased body mass, size, and age improved rank position there were no benefits associated with increased rank when resources were unlimited.
|Commitee:||Belant, Jerrold L., Strickland, Bronson K.|
|School:||Mississippi State University|
|Department:||Wildlife and Fisheries|
|School Location:||United States -- Mississippi|
|Source:||MAI 51/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Conservation, Behavioral Sciences|
|Keywords:||Body condition, Dominance hierarchy, Glucocorticoids, Parturition date, White-tailed deer|
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