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Morphological adaptation of an invasive American mink population in Mediterranean areas of Spain

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Abstract:

Abstract

Melero, Y., Palazón, S. and Gosàlbez, J. 2007. Morphological adaptation of an invasive American mink population in Mediterranean areas of Spain. — Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 88: 000–000

In this work we studied the morphology of an invasive population of American mink Mustela vison in Catalonia, Mediterranean Spain. Body weight, body length, tail length, hindfoot length and ear length were measured for four age–sex classes: subadult male (n = 17), subadult female (n = 16), adult male (n = 36) and adult female (n = 10). A General Linear Mixed Model was used to test the effect of year, sex, age and age–sex interaction, on each parameter. The morphological results differed from those of other introduced populations because of their different origin and their adaptation to different environments. Differences in sex and age were found, pointing to sexual dimorphism both in adults and subadults. The degree of dimorphism was lower than that of other populations, probably because of a lack of trophic niche separation between male and female mink because in the study area only small prey animals were available.

Keywords: Mediterranean areas; Mustela vison; environmental adaptation; morphology; sexual dimorphism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1463-6395.2007.00290.x

Affiliations: Department of Animal Biology (Vertebrates), University of Barcelona, Avenue Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain;

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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