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The Gas Molecule Theory: Dispersal and Management of White-Tailed Deer

  • William F. Porter
  • Nancy E. Mathews
  • H. Brian Underwood
  • Richard W. Sage
  • Donald F. Behrend
Conference paper

Abstract

While the notion is pervasive, that vertebrate populations behave like systems of gas molecules, we contend it is an inaccurate metaphor for how deer populations expand. The mechanism by which white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations spread to fill available habitat is hypothesized to be rapid, density-related dispersal. We have tested this hypothesis using data from seven radiotelemetry studies. No trend is evident between the proportion of marked individuals dispersing and population density in populations ranging from 1/km2 to 70/km2; the probability of a female dispersing is 2% to 5% Data from our own studies in the central Adirondack Mountains of New York, involving > 200 marked females, suggest an alternative metaphor. Analyses show that a population expands slowly as a series overlapping home ranges because female offspring remain near their dams for life.

Keywords

Home Range Suburban Area Female Offspring Marked Individual Cumulative Summer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • William F. Porter
    • 1
  • Nancy E. Mathews
    • 1
  • H. Brian Underwood
    • 1
  • Richard W. Sage
    • 1
  • Donald F. Behrend
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and ForestryAdirondack Ecological Center, State University of New YorkNewcombUSA
  2. 2.University of AlaskaAnchorageUSA

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