The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 06. The comparative population ecology of Hermanns tortoise Testudo hermanni in Croatia and Montenegro, Yugoslavia

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Open Access

pp.404-414

Authors: R. Meek

Abstract:Following initiaI studies on the population ecology of Testudo hermanni in Montenegro. Yugoslavia ( Meek . 1984: 1985: I 988a) new demographic observations have been made on additional populations of these tortoises in Croatia and Montenegro. Results indicate that Montenegren males attain a greater size than Croatian males. but there were no significant differences between the sizes of females. Adult sex ratios were in good agreement with equal numbers of males and females in Croatia; in montenegro the ratio was 1.33:1. A large proportion of individuals in both populations exceeded 19 years although the proportion was higher in Montenegro as a result of Montenegren males attaining greater age than Croatian males. Equations to describe growth trends indicate that in general females grow faster than m ales and that Montenegren females grow faster than Croatian females. Population and biomass densities. biomass production and relative biomass turnover were higher in Croatia. Survivorship was higher and mean annual recruitment lower in Montenegro but males have a higher survivorship than fem ales in both regions. Females sustained greater shell damage and physical injuries than males although generally Croatian tortoises of either sex sustained injuries at earlier ages . Sexually active males were smaller than their female partners and there were no inter-population differenccs between the sizes of males or females. AIlometric equations describe morphometric characters. confirming sexual dimorphic trends found earlier in Yugoslavia and additionally show that males have longer tails. Only male plastron length which was relatively greater in Croatian males showed inter-population differences.

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