Understanding regulation of wild animal populations is important in ecological investigations and applied wildlife management. Progress in understanding regulatory processes has been hindered by a long-running debate over the role of density-dependent and density-independent variables in population regulation. Population regulation of exploited species is of particular interest because harvest theory is predicated on assumptions of density-dependent feedback. However, for many exploited species, the functional relationships and mechanisms of population regulation via density dependence are not quantified (e.g., Northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). Compounding this task is the lack of a mechanistic understanding of the influence of density-independent factors in population regulation. The overall goal of this dissertation is to investigate the roles of density-dependent and density-independent processes in bobwhite populations. Bobwhites are an excellent species to investigate the role and influence of density-dependent and density-independent factors due to their unique life history, wherein they can exhibit density dependence in survival, reproduction, or both. I provide support for the concomitant influence of density-dependent and density-independent processes operating to regulate bobwhite populations. My results support the importance of food and cover and the additive influence of density-dependent and density-independent factors on bobwhite annual survival. I also report evidence for the differential effects of covariates on survival phases. My results represent the first evidence of support for the Tub and Tap hypotheses on bobwhite survival. I also quantify a density-dependent effect on bobwhite recruitment. Collectively, these results provide new evidence for understanding the role of internal and external factors in bobwhite populations.
|Advisor:||Burger, L. Wes|
|Commitee:||Leopold, Bruce D., Martin, James A., Palmer, William E., Wang, Guiming|
|School:||Mississippi State University|
|Department:||Wildlife and Fisheries|
|School Location:||United States -- Mississippi|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Management, Ecology|
|Keywords:||Density dependence, Density independence, Ecology, Northern bobwhite, Population dynamics, Weather|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be