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Breeding on a roller coaster: reproduction patterns in fluctuating populations of common voles (Microtus arvalis) from southern Europe

AutorLuque-Larena, Juan José; Mougeot, François ; Rodríguez-Pastor, Ruth; Guzmán, José Luis ; Lambin, Xavier
Fecha de publicación2015
Citación10th EVPMC (2015)
ResumenReproduction is the most fundamental mechanism for maintaining life over time. In Rodents reproduction rates are typically high, although temporal changes in the reproductive output of individuals are an important component of population change. In populations that periodically experience strong fluctuations in abundance, reproductive strategies and performance can change dramatically when populations are rising as compared with when are dropping down. Across the northern hemisphere, arvicoline rodents (i.e., voles and lemmings) typically show strong irruptive (often cyclic) fluctuations in abundance, which ultimately determine the maintenance of biodiversity at several trophic levels. Besides their key ecological role, some species are also considered as agricultural pests in farming environments when their numbers exceed certain abundance thresholds; such is the case of the common vole in Europe. This species has recently colonized the extensive semi-arid agricultural plains of NW Spain (Castilla-y-León region), and periodic outbreaks have followed ever since in the region. Ecological knowledge of these novel populations of farmland voles still is scarce, which jeopardizes effective sustainable management. Quantifying the temporal variation of significant biological processes, such as reproduction, is paramount in order to progress with the practical knowledge that can be use to manage vole populations. Here, we describe basic phenotypical parameters (body mass), reproductive condition (descended testes or pregnancy) and relative proportions (sex ratios) of both male and female common voles during a 6-year study (2009-2015) in intensive farmland from NW Spain. We discuss the patterns of variation found across several vole populations and contextualize their usefulness in management terms.
DescripciónResumen del trabajo presentado a la 10th European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference, celebrada en Sevilla (España) del 21 al 25 de septiembre de 2015.
Aparece en las colecciones: (IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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