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Title: Inbreeding and fitness in wild ungulates
Author: Marshall, Tristan C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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In this thesis I examine inbreeding and its fitness consequences in two species of wild ungulates, red deer (Cervus elaphus) and Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx). The long term study of red deer on the Isle of Rum has included profiling of individuals at polymorphic protein and microsatellite loci. I developed a likelihood- based method for large-scale paternity inference and implemented it via the computer program CERVUS. The system allowed genetic inference of paternity with 80% confidence for 536 red deer calves. I used these data to construct pedigrees and found that 11% of calves were the offspring of matings between paternal half sibs; however most inbreeding coefficients were zero. Microsatellite-based measures of inbreeding and outbreeding, individual heterozygosity and mean d2, were calculated using data from nine microsatellite loci. Among stags born 1982-1986, neither individual heterozygosity nor mean d2 influenced survival to reproductive age, while mean d2 but not individual heterozygosity positively influenced stag lifetime mating success among males which reproduced. Arabian oryx went extinct in the wild in 1972 and were reintroduced to Oman and Saudi Arabia after several generations of breeding in captivity. In reintroduced Arabian oryx in Oman no relationship was found between inbreeding coefficient and juvenile survival. However individual heterozygosity was positively related to juvenile survival while mean d2 was negatively related to juvenile survival, implying simultaneous inbreeding and outbreeding depression. Genetic, environmental and anthropogenic factors all influence the survival of reintroduced Arabian oryx, but despite the joint influence of these factors, the Omani population is growing rapidly.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available