Lagomorph Biology

pp 115-124

Weather Effects on Reproduction, Survival, and Body Mass of European Rabbits in a Temperate Zone Habitat

  • Heiko G. RödelAffiliated withDepartment of Animal Physiology, University of Bayreuth
  • , Dietrich Von HolstAffiliated withDepartment of Animal Physiology, University of Bayreuth

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Understanding the effects of environmental factors on the dynamics of animal populations is one of the major challenges for population biologists. In particular, the impact of climate and weather has been the focus of many studies during the last years (e.g., Lima and Jaksic 1998; Milner et al. 1999; Stenseth 1999; Yoccoz and Stenseth 2000; Aars and Ims 2002; Lande et al. 2003). However, data on specific effects of the weather on different vital rates are rare, because, in small mammals in particular, individually based studies are difficult to conduct, and long-term datasets are needed for obtaining reliable results.