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dc.contributor.authorGates, Heather River
dc.descriptionThesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2011en_US
dc.description.abstractThe Arctic region provides globally important breeding and migratory habitat for abundant wildlife populations including migratory shorebirds. Due to their remote breeding locations, basic information on breeding ecology, annual productivity, and factors that regulate their populations are poorly studied. Wildlife biologists managing migratory bird populations require detailed information on avian breeding biology, in addition to information on migration ecology including connectivity of migratory stopover and wintering locations. To address information gaps in fecundity, I conducted an experimental study investigating the renesting ecology of Dunlin (Calidris alpina arcticola) by removing clutches at two stages of incubation and by following adults marked with radio transmitters to their replacement clutch. In contrast to predictions for arctic-breeding species, Dunlin had high (82-95%) rates of clutch replacement during early incubation and moderate (35-50%) rates during late incubation. Female body condition and date of clutch loss were important variables explaining propensity for females to replace a clutch; larger females that lost their nest early in the season were more likely to renest than smaller females who lost their nest later in the season. To delineate Dunlin subspecies in areas where they overlap, I used morphological and molecular approaches to determine sex and subspecies of five subspecies of Dunlin breeding in Alaska and eastern Russia. This analysis yielded discriminant function models to correctly classify unknown individuals to sex (79-98%) and subspecies (7385%) via morphometric measures. Correct classification of mixed assemblages of subspecies improved when sex, determined though molecular techniques, was known. The equations I derived using discriminant function models can be used to identify the sex and subspecies of unknown Dunlin individuals for studies investigating breeding and migration ecology.en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents1. Introduction -- 2. Experimental clutch removal indicates high rate of renesting in an arctic-breeding shorebird. Abstract ; Introduction ; Methods ; Study area ; Nest and clutch studies ; Clutch and removals and characteristics ; Marking and resighting adults ; Renesting, clutch, and pair characteristics ; Correlates of renesting propensity ; Results ; Renesting, clutch, and pair characteristics ; Factors affecting replacement clutches ; Discussion ; Acknowledgments ; Literature cited -- 3. Morphometric techniques for differentiating subspecies and sex of Beringia dunlin. Abstract ; Introduction ; Methods ; Study areas ; Field methods ; Sexing of individual birds ; Data analysis ; Results ; DNA markers of sex ; Morphometric comparisons between subspecies and sex ; Discussion ; Acknowledgments ; Literature cited -- 4. Conclusions ; Literature cited.en_US
dc.titleReproductive ecology and morphometric subspecies comparisons of Dunlin (Calidris alpina), an arctic shorebirden_US
dc.identifier.departmentDepartment of Biology and Wildlifeen_US
dc.contributor.chairPowell, Abby N.
dc.contributor.committeeHunter, Christine M.
dc.contributor.committeeLanctot, Richard B.

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  • Biological Sciences
    Includes WIldlife Biology and other Biological Sciences. For Marine Biology see the Marine Sciences collection.

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