Iodine distribution in the environment as a limiting factor for roe deer antler development

Róbert Lehoczki, Károly Erdélyi, Krisztina Sonkoly, László Szemethy, Sándor Csányi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


The iodine-containing hormones produced by the thyroid gland play a role in the complex neuro-hormonal regulation of antler development. The proper function of the thyroid depends on the adequate iodine supply of the organism, which is directly related to the iodine content of food and drinking water. The purpose of this study was to explore the connection between the iodine content of the water base, which has a strong correlation with the iodine concentration of environmental components available to animals, and the antler weight of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) shot in Hungarian hunting areas. Using a general linear model, controlling for the collective effects of other environmental factors (deer population density, harvest rate, land use, and soil fertility information), the iodine content of the water base explained 51.4% of the total variance of antler weights. The results suggest that antler weights increase with increasing iodine concentration regardless of other factors; thus, the environmental iodine distribution can be a limiting factor suppressing roe deer performance assessed here as antler weight. Further experimental studies of controlled iodine uptake are needed to define the exact physiological iodine requirements of roe deer bucks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2011


  • Antler weight
  • Capreolus capreolus
  • Environmental effects
  • Iodine
  • Limiting factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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