Date of Award

1991

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

M'Closkey, Robert T.,

Keywords

Biology, Ecology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The habitat patch in which an animal resides can have profound fitness consequences. I studied habitat selection in a population of Five-lined skinks at Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Canada. Skinks did not use the entire resource spectrum that was available. Preference was shown for larger, moderately decayed debris which provided a moist and relatively constant microclimate. Habitat selection was density-independent, suggesting that intraspecific competition does not structure the pattern of habitat use. A high level of parental care occurred, with females brooding and guarding clutches. Females varied their body contact with eggs and moved eggs vertically to control moisture. Human disturbance, centred at boardwalks, has a negative effect on skink abundance and distribution through reduction of debris. The incorporation of an Allee effect in habitat selection models is extended, and a new graphical model the "Ideal social distribution" is presented which may better explain patterns observed in Five-lined skinks or other social species. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Biological Sciences. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1992 .H435. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 31-03, page: 1138. Chairman: Robert T. M'Closkey. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1991.

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