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Tuesday, August 7 • 8:00am - 9:00am
PLENARY SESSION III - Soil, Land Use, and Genetic Potential – Connecting the Dots of Deer Ecology and Management

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Soil, Land Use, and Genetic Potential – Connecting the Dots of Deer Ecology and Management
Steve Demarais, Mississippi State University

Body mass and antler development of white-tailed deer vary by soil resource region in Mississippi, and these differences have been associated with historical subspecies designations and landowner concern over “genetic limitations.” Regional soil characteristics and associated impacts on plant productivity explain large-scale morphological patterns, while additional within-region variation is associated with local land use patterns. In controlled studies over two generations, nutritional improvement allowed bucks from lower soil quality regions to compensate to the size of deer harvested in higher quality regions, indicating a lack of genetic limitation. Bucks originating in the better quality soil region exhibited further growth enhancement under optimum nutrition, indicating genetic potential is not fulfilled by current land management.  Regional morphological variation should not guide taxonomic designations unless it can be shown to be caused by what Geist called “meaningful genetic variation.”

Plenary Presenters
avatar for Steve Demarais

Steve Demarais

Mississippi State University



Tuesday August 7, 2018 8:00am - 9:00am
Assembly Hall C

Attendees (4)