Adaptive Strategies and Population Ecology of Northern by Arthur T. Bergerud, Michael W. Gratson

By Arthur T. Bergerud, Michael W. Gratson

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Sample text

Regulation of numbers solely AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR OF BLUE GROUSE 23 Fig. 14. Comparison among study populations of the number of aggressive acts performed by males in the test arena, 1967-68. through mortality by environmental variables is such a hypothesis. Models of regulation through competition for some commodity (Nicholson 1933, Lack 1954), or through mortality by such environmental hazards as weather and disease, must at a minimum be modified to accept the possibility that significant variations may occur between different breeding stocks.

In general, the high population retained numbers in broods better during summer than did the declining population, and the stable area showed an intermediate loss (Fig. 3). The pattern of chick disappearance on these areas was basically the sameā€”an initial high mortality until 10 days of age was followed by a slower, more constant loss. The difference in chick survival between the increasing CC and the declining MQL populations at 50-70 days was significant in both years. Moreover, within populations there was no significant difference in brood size between years.

At that time, many of the hens had not nested, suggesting a female- DEMOGRAPHY AND BEHAVIOR OF BLUE GROUSE 35 dominated, monogamous system. To test this hypothesis, 20 males and five replacement yearlings were removed from their territories for the Moresby population in 1976. I predicted that a decrease in the male population of a femaleenforced, monogamous system would result in a decrease in the number of females nesting in 1977. I also hoped to test the hypothesis that so-called silent males on Moresby were prevented from holding a territory by more aggressive males.

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