Original Papers

Oecologia

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 47-53

Demography of a mediterranean microtine: the Mediterranean pine vole,Microtus duodecimcostatus

  • E. ParadisAffiliated withLaboratoire d'Eco-éthologie, Institute des Sciences de l'Evolution, Université Montpellier II
  • , G. GuédonAffiliated withLaboratoire d'Eco-éthologie, Institute des Sciences de l'Evolution, Université Montpellier II

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Abstract

Microtus duodecimcostatus in a mediterranean vole which is not known to display spectacular increases in population numbers as in some microtine species. A population was studied in southern France with a capture-recapture method. The population included resident adults which have a high and constant survival rate (monthly estimate: 0.879), erratic adults (those caught once only), and juveniles which have a lower and constant survival rate. The adult survival rate was not sexbiased but the juvenile survival rate was higher in males (monthly estimates: 0.710 and 0.596 for males and females, respectively). Adult body weight did not vary seasonally. Residents had a higher mean body weight than erratics. Reproduction occurred all the year round. The proportion of reproductive females was higher among residents than among erratics. Population numbers varied seasonally. Our study points out thatM. duodecimcostatus is very different from microtine species which display cyclic fluctuations. Population studies on the subgenusPitymys (which containsM. duodecimcostatus and its closest related species) suggest that they are typically non-cyclic. The importance of social factors in the control of reproduction and maturation was evidenced inM. pinetorum. The role of such factors in the population regulation ofM. duodecimcostatus is discussed.

Key words

Capture-recapture Mediterranean Microtines Microtus duodecimcostatus Population fluctuations