Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) are thought to exhibit harem defense polygyny because adult females that are relatively aggregated are thought to receive increased rates of mating visits by large, dominant males relative to females that are more isolated. To examine this expected pattern, we regressed rates of social behaviors on (1) degree of isolation of burrows occupied by female tortoises and (2) degree of isolation of female tortoises. The rate at which other tortoises visited a female was negatively associated with degree of isolation of burrows and females. However, we found no relationship between rates of behaviors associated with reproduction (interactions, courts, and mounts) and degree of isolation of burrows or females. Additionally, there was no association between degree of isolation of females and the number or body mass of males that mounted them. These results indicate that, for large, contiguous populations of Gopher Tortoises in high-quality habitat, such as our study site, distance from neighboring tortoises does not affect mating opportunities of reproductive females. Our findings suggest that patterns of reproduction of Gopher Tortoises conform more closely to expectations of scramble-competition polygyny than to harem defense polygyny.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 2003 • No. 4