Population ecology of the stinkpot turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) in Georgian Bay, Ontario

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Edmonds, Jonathan H.

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University of Guelph

Abstract

I studied a population of Sternotherus odoratus occupying fragmented habitat near the northern limit of the species' range. I compared the accuracy of home range size estimates from three estimators: minimum convex polygon, harmonic means, and cluster analysis. Cluster analysis provided the best estimate because it was most effective at disregarding unused area between habitat fragments. Different movement patterns, despite similar amounts of area actually used, resulted in different home range size estimates. The male-biased sex ratio and the sexual size dimorphism, with larger males, found in this population were not caused by sexual differences in ages at maturity or growth rates. However, there were insufficient recapture data to determine if biased hatchling sex ratios or sexual differences in immigration, emigration or mortality caused the ratio bias or the size dimorphism. In this species, I found no relationship between sexual size dimorphism and either body size or latitude.

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stinkpot turtle, Sternotherus odoratus, habitat fragmentation, home range, estimation, minimum convex polygon, harmonic means, cluster analysis

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