Spatial variation in phenotype of coyotes (Canis latrans) withing Nova Scotia
LE3 .A278 2019
Bachelor of Science
An organism’s phenotype is determined by both genes and environment. I tested if phenotype (morphological body measurements and reproductive measurements) varied spatially among coyotes in Nova Scotia. The province’s Ecological Land Classification was used; it divides the province into 9 ecoregions based on differences in climate and vegetation. Phenotypes were analyzed separately for each age-sex category of juvenile female, juvenile male, adult female, and adult male. Significant variation was found for at least one phenotypic variable in each age-sex category. There were more differences in juvenile than adult measurements. Reasons for significant variation among ecoregions could be restricted gene flow, environmental influences, and biased sampling. Gene flow of coyotes in Nova Scotia can be limited because of physical barriers such as separation of land. Environment factors including density of resources and weather also influence phenotype. Finally, biased sampling because of time of year when collection occurred may be other reasons for variation in measurements.
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