2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Estimating Body Fat Content in Ctenosaura similis Using Body Condition Indices
Bradley A. Hart* and Harvir Grewal
Dr. Chad Montgomery and Dr. Phil Ryan, Faculty Mentors

Fitness of organisms is important to biologists because individuals with greater fitness are more likely to survive and reproduce. Organisms with greater energy reserves are typically more likely to survive and reproduce, so energy reserves can be used to indicate fitness. Body condition indices (BCIs) are a non-lethal method used to estimate relative health and energy reserves based on the relationship between mass and length. However, BCIs have not been validated in lizards. We investigated the use of BCI as a predictor of body fat content in Ctenosaura similis, the black spiny-tailed iguana. We calculated BCIs using ordinary least squares, major axis, and reduced major axis regression. We determined which model best fits our data and used that model as a predictor of body fat. If valid, the most favorable BCI can be applied and used for other populations of closely related species of iguana that are of conservation concern.

Keywords: BCI, Fitness, Ctenosaura similis

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 204-1
Location: MG 1098
Time: 9:30

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