Effects of population density on static allometry between horn length and body mass in mountain ungulates

Christophe Pélabon*, Steeve D. Côté, Marco Festa-Bianchet, Jean Michel Gaillard, Mathieu Garel, Jean Francois Lemaître, Anne Loison, Morgane Tidière, Carole Toïgo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Little is known about the effects of environmental variation on allometric relationships of condition-dependent traits, especially in wild populations. We estimated sex-specific static allometry between horn length and body mass in four populations of mountain ungulates that experienced periods of contrasting density over the course of the study. These species displayed contrasting sexual dimorphism in horn size; high dimorphism in Capra ibex and Ovis canadensis and low dimorphism in Rupicapra rupicapra and Oreamnos americanus. The effects of density on static allometric slopes were weak and inconsistent while allometric intercepts were generally lower at high density, especially in males from species with high sexual dimorphism in horn length. These results confirm that static allometric slopes are more canalized than allometric intercepts against environmental variation induced by changes in population density.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOikos
Volume130
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2161-2169
ISSN0030-1299
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Oikos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos.

Keywords

  • allometry
  • bovids
  • condition dependence
  • density dependence
  • horns

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