Soay Sheep: Dynamics and Selection in an Island Population

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Unlike most other large mammals, the Soay sheep population of Hirta in the St. Kilda archipelago show persistent oscillations, sometimes increasing or declining by more than 60% in a year. This study explores the causes of these oscillations and their consequences for selection on genetic and phenotypic variation within the population, drawing on studies over the past twenty years of the life-histories and reproductive careers of many sheep. It will be essential reading for vertebrate ecologists, demographers, evolutionary biologists and behavioral ecologists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Soay Sheep was produced by a team of researchers who have accumulated a wealth of excellent, long-term data. It provides a superb demonstration of the importance of accumulating such data on populations, on the performances of their constituent members, and on the environments in which the animals are living. I wholeheartedly recommend the book to a wide range of readers...Soay Sheep will surely become a key reference on the causes and consequences of population fluctuations in large herbivores." Science

"This book teaches an important lesson that a broad view with a single species may yield as much, if not more, information than a narrow view with many species. On this basis alone, this book is highly worth reading." Ecology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521823005
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2003
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Clutton-Brock is Professor of Animal Ecology at the University of Cambridge.

Josephine Pemberton is Reader in Molecular Ecology at the University of Edinburgh.

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Table of Contents

1. Individuals and populations T. H. Clutton-Brock and J. M. Pemberton; 2. The sheep of St Kilda T. H. Clutton-Brock, J. M. Pemberton, T. N. Coulson, I.R. Stevenson and A. D. C. MacColl; 3. Population dynamics in Soay sheep T. H. Clutton-Brock, T. N. Coulson, A. D. C. MacColl, A. Illius; M. Forchhammer. K. Wilson, J. Lindström, M. J. Crawley and S. D. Albon; 4. Vegetation and sheep population dynamics M. J. Crawley, S. D. Albon, D. R. Bazely, J. Milner, J. G. Pilkington and A. L. Tuke; 5. Parasites and their impact K. Wilson, B. T. Grenfell, J. G. Pilkington, H. E. G. Boyd and F. M. D. Gulland; 6. Mating patterns and male breeding success J. M. Pemberton, D. W. Coltman, J. A. Smith and D. A. Bancroft; 7. Selection on phenotype J. M. Milner, S. D. Albon, L. E. B. Kruuk and J. M. Pemberton; 8. Molecular genetic variation and selection on genotype J. M. Pemberton, D. W. Coltman, D. R. Bancroft, J. A. Smith and S. Paterson; 9. Adaptive reproductive strategies I. R. Stevenson, P. Marrow, B. T. Preston, J. M. Pemberton and K. Wilson; 10. The causes and consequences of instability T. H. Clutton-Brock; Appendix 1. The flora of St Kilda M. J. Crawley ; Appendix 2. Inheritance of coat colour and horn type in Hirta Soay sheep D. W. Coltman and J. M. Pemberton; References.

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