Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 337–345 | Cite as

Dynamics of space use and male vigour amongst wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus, in the cereal ecosystem

  • T.E. Tew
  • D.W. Macdonald
Article

Abstract

The spatial organisation of male and female wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus, was investigated in a large-scale radio-tracking study on arable farmland near Oxford, United Kingdom, during the breeding season. Both sexes had significantly larger home ranges in the breeding season than at other times, and the breeding season home ranges of male (X = 1.44 ha) were significantly larger than those of females (X = 0.49 ha). Home range overlap was significantly greater between males, and between males and females, than it was between females. Overlap between males tended to be greatest in heavily utilised areas. Except during sexual consortship, there was minimal evidence of dynamic interaction among individuals. Home range sizes of breeding males varied widely, as did their body weights. There was no relationship between male body weight and home range size or any other movement parameter. However, males with the largest home ranges had the highest scores on all other movement parameters, indicating that they expended more energy in movement. These more ‘vigorous’ males had access to the home ranges of more females than did males with small home ranges.

Key words

Wood mouse Apodemus Mating system Territoriality 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Armitage KB (1988) Resources and social organisation of ground-dwelling squirrels. In: Slobodchikoff CN (ed) The ecology of social behaviour. Academic Press, London, pp131–156Google Scholar
  2. Attuquayeflo DK, Gorman ML, Wolton RJ (1986) Home range sizes in the wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus: habitat, sex and seasonal differences. J Zool London 210:45–53Google Scholar
  3. Bondrup-Nielson S, Karlsson F (1985) Movements and spatial patterns in populations of Clethrionomys species: a review. Ann Zool Fenn 22:385–392Google Scholar
  4. Bovet J (1972) On the social behaviour in a stable group of long-tailed field mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). I. An interpretation of defensive postures. Behaviour 41:43–54Google Scholar
  5. Brown RE, Macdonald DW (1985) Social odours in mammals, vols 1 and 2. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown ED, Macdonald DW, Tew TE, Todd IA (in press) Apodemus sylvaticus with Heligmosoides polygyrus (Nematoda) in the arable ecosystem: epidemiology and effects of infection on the movements of male mice. J Zool LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Calhoun JB (1963) The ecology and sociobiology of the Norway rat. US Public Health Serv Publ 891:1–288Google Scholar
  8. Clutton-Brock TH (1974) Primate social organisation and ecology. Nature 250:539–54Google Scholar
  9. Clutton-Brock TH (1989) Mammalian mating systems. Proc R Soc London Ser B 236:339–372Google Scholar
  10. Dewsbury DA (1982) Pregnancy blockage following multiple male copulation or exposure at the time of mating in deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 11:37–42Google Scholar
  11. Dewsbury DA (1984) Aggression, copulation and differential reproduction of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) in a semi-natural enviroment. Behaviour 88:191–199Google Scholar
  12. Dewsbury DA (1988) Sperm competition in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii). Effects of cycling versus postpartum oestrous and delays between matings. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 22:251–256Google Scholar
  13. Dewsbury DA, Baumgardner DJ (1981) Studies of sperm competition in two species of muroid rodents. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 9:121–133Google Scholar
  14. Dewsbury DA, Hartung TG (1980) Copulatory behaviour and differential reproduction of laboratory in a two-male, one-female competitive situation. Anim Behav 28:95–102Google Scholar
  15. Doncaster CP (1990) Non-parametric estimates of interaction from radio-tracking data. J Theor Biol 143:431–443Google Scholar
  16. Doncaster CP, Macdonald DW (1992) Optimum group size for defending heterogeneous distributions of resources: a model applied to red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, in Oxford City. J Theor Biol 159:189–198Google Scholar
  17. Emlen ST, Oring LW (1977) Ecology, sexual selection and the evolution of mating systems. Science 197:215–222PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Fenn MGP, Macdonald DW (1987) The contribution of field studies to stored product rodent control. In: Stored products pest control. Brit Crop Protect Council Monog 37:107–113Google Scholar
  19. Flowerdew JR (1974) Field and laboratory experiments on the social behaviour and population dynamics of the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). J Anim Ecol 43:499–511Google Scholar
  20. Flowerdew JR (1985) The population dynamics of wood mice and yellow-necked mice. Symp Zool Soc London 55:315–338Google Scholar
  21. Frank DH, Heske EJ (1992) Seasonal changes in space use patterns in the southern grasshopper mouse Onychomys torridus torridus. J Mammal 73:292–298Google Scholar
  22. Garson PJ (1975) Social interactions of wood mice studied by direct observation in the wild. J Zool London 177:496–500Google Scholar
  23. Gaulin SIC, Fitzgerald RW (1988) Home range size as a prediction of mating systems in Microtus. J Mammal 69:311–319Google Scholar
  24. Ginsberg JR, Huck UW (1989) Sperm competition in mammals. Trends Ecol Evol 4:74–79Google Scholar
  25. Gipps JHW, Flynn MP, Gurnell J, Healing TD (1985) The spring decline in populations of the bank vole, Clethrionomys Glareolus, and the role of female density. J Anim Ecol 54:351–358Google Scholar
  26. Gurnell J (1972) Studies on the behaviour of wild wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus. Ph. D. thesis, University of ExeterGoogle Scholar
  27. Gurnell J (1977) Neutral cage behavioural interaction in wild wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus. Säugertierk Mitt 25:57–66Google Scholar
  28. Gurnell J (1978) Seasonal changes in numbers and male behavioural interaction in a population of wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus. J Anim Ecol 47:741–755Google Scholar
  29. Gurnell J (1985) Woodland rodent communities. Symp Zool Soc London 55:377–411Google Scholar
  30. Gurnell J, Little J (1992) The influence of trap residual odour on catching woodland rodents. Anim Behav 42:623–632Google Scholar
  31. Hanski I, Peltonen A, Kaski L (1991) Natal dispersal and social dominance in the common shrew, Sorex araneus. Oikos 62:48–58Google Scholar
  32. Hansson L (1992) Fitness and life history correlation of weight variations in small mammals. Oikos 64:479–484Google Scholar
  33. Herrera EA, Macdonald DW (1989) Resource utilisation and territoriality in group-living capybaras (Hydochoerus hydrochoerus). J Anim Ecol 58:667–679Google Scholar
  34. Heske EJ, Ostfeld RS (1990) Sexual dimorphism in size, relative size of testes and mating systems of North American voles. J Mammal 71:510–519Google Scholar
  35. Hoffmeyer I (1983) Interspecific behavioural niche separation in woodmice (Apodemus flavicollis and Apodemus sylvaticus) and scent marking relative to social dominance in bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus). Ph D thesis, University of LundGoogle Scholar
  36. Hoogland JL, Foltz DW (1982) Variance in male and female reproductive success in a harem polygymous mammal, the black-tailed prarie dog (Sciuridae: Cynomys loudovicianus) Behav Ecol Sociobiol 11:155–163Google Scholar
  37. Hosier DW, Durning JP (1975) Involvement of sex hormones in the resistance of ICR mice to Nematospiroides dabias. J Parasitol 63:564–566Google Scholar
  38. Hurst JL (1990) The network of olfactory communication operating in populations of wild house mice. In: Macdonald DW, Muller-Schwarze D, Natynzuk SE (eds) Chemical signals in vertebrates 5. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 401–414Google Scholar
  39. Ims RA (1987) Male spacing systems in microtine rodents. Am Nat 130:475–484Google Scholar
  40. Jarman PJ (1974) The social organisation of antelope in relation to their ecology. Behaviour 48:215–267Google Scholar
  41. Kawata M (1988) Mating sucess, spatial organisation and male characteristics in experimental field populations of red-backed voles, Clethrionomys focanus bedfordiae. J Anim Ecol 57:217–235Google Scholar
  42. Kenagy GJ, Trombulak SC (1986) Size and function of mammalian testes in relation to body size. J Mammal 67:1–22Google Scholar
  43. Kikkawa J (1964) Movement, activity and distribution of the small rodents Clethrionomys glareolus and Apodemus sylvaticus in woodland. J Anim Ecol 33:259–299Google Scholar
  44. Kruuk H (1975) Functional aspects of social hunting by carnivores. In: Baerends G, Beer C, Manning A (eds) Function and evolution in behaviour. Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp 119–141Google Scholar
  45. Lambin X (1988) Social relations in Apodemus sylvaticus as revealed by video-observation in the wild. J Zool London 216:587–593Google Scholar
  46. Lambin X, Krebs CJ (1991) Spatial organisation and mating system of Microtus townsendii. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 28:253–263Google Scholar
  47. Ludwig D (1984) Microtus richardsoni microhabitat and life history. In: Merritt JF (ed) Winter ecology of small mnammals. Spec Publ Carnegie Mus Nat Hist 10:319–331Google Scholar
  48. Macdonald DW (1983) The ecology of carnivore social behaviour. Nature 301:379–384Google Scholar
  49. Macdonald DW, Carr GM (1989) Food security and the rewards of tolerance. In: Standen V, Foley RA (eds) Comparitive socioecology: the behavioural ecology of humans and other mammals. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp 75–99Google Scholar
  50. Macdonald DW, Ball FG, Hough NG (1980) The evaluation of home range size and configuration using radiotracking data. In: Amlaner J Jr, Macdonald DW (eds) A handbook of biotelemetry and radiotracking. Pergamon, Oxford, pp 405–424Google Scholar
  51. Macdonald DW, Tew TE, Todd IA (1993) The arable mouse: lessons from the wood mouse for wildlife on farmland. NERC News, 26:16–19Google Scholar
  52. Madison DM (1985) Activity rhythms and spacing. In: Tamarin RH (ed) Biology of New World Microtus. Spec Publ Amer Soc Mamm 8:373–417Google Scholar
  53. McClintock MK (1984) Group mating in the domestic rat as a context for sexual selection: consequences for the analysis of sexual behaviour and neuroendocrine responses. Adv Study Behav 14:2–42Google Scholar
  54. Mohr CO (1947) Table of equivalent populations of North American small mammals. Am Midl Nat 37:223–249Google Scholar
  55. Møller AP, Birkhead TR (1989) Copulation behaviour in mammals: evidence that sperm competition is widespread. Biol J Linn Soc 38:119–131Google Scholar
  56. Montgomery WI (1977) Studies on the ecology of two sympatric species of Apodemus (Rodentia: Muridae). Ph. D. thesis, University of ManchesterGoogle Scholar
  57. Montgomery WI (1989a) Population regulation in the wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus I. Density dependence in the annual cycle of abundance. J Anim Ecol 58:465–477Google Scholar
  58. Montgomery WI (1989b) Population regualtion in the wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus II. Density dependence in spatial distribution and reproduction. J Anim Ecol 58:477–494Google Scholar
  59. Montgomery WI, Gurnell JR (1985) The behaviour of Apodemus. Symp Zool Soc London 55:89–115Google Scholar
  60. Montgomery WI, Wilson WL, Hamilton R, McCartney P (1991) Dispersion in the wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus, variable resources in space and time. J Anim Ecol 60:179–192Google Scholar
  61. Ostfeld RS (1985) Limiting resources and territoriality in microtine rodents. Am Nat 126:1–15Google Scholar
  62. Ostfeld RS (1986) Territoriality and mating system of Californian voles. J Anim Ecol 55:691–706Google Scholar
  63. Ostfeld RS (1987) On the distinction between female defense and resource defense polygyny. Oikos 48:238–240Google Scholar
  64. Ostfeld R S (1990) The ecology of territoriality in small mammals. Trends Ecol Evol 5:411–415Google Scholar
  65. Parker GA (1970) Sperm competition and its evolutionary consequences in the insects. Biol Rev 45:525–568Google Scholar
  66. Pouliquen O, Leishman M, Redhead TD (1990) Effects of radio-collars on wild mice, Mus domesticus. Can J Zool 68:1607–1609Google Scholar
  67. Randall JA (1991) Mating strategies of a nocturnal desert rodent (Dipodomys spectabilis). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 28:215–220Google Scholar
  68. Ribble DO, Salvioni M (1990) Social organisation and nest co-occupancy in Peromyscus californicus, a monogamous rodent. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 26:9–15Google Scholar
  69. Richard-Yris MA (1979) Experimental study of inter-individual relationships in small groups of males of long-tailed field mice, murid rodent. Biol Behav 3:278–304Google Scholar
  70. Schoener TW (1981) An emperical based estimate of home range. Theor Pop Biol 20:281–325Google Scholar
  71. Schwagmeyer PL (1988) Scramble competitive polygyny in an asocial mammal: male mobility and mating success. Am Nat 131:885–892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Schwagmeyer PL, Parker GA (1987) Queing for mates in thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Anim Behav 35:1015–1025Google Scholar
  73. Schwagmeyer PL, Wootner SJ (1986) Scramble competition polygyny in thirteen-lined ground squirrels: The relative contributions of overt conflict and competitve mate searching. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 9:359–364Google Scholar
  74. Sherman PW (1989) Mate guarding as paternaty insurance in Idaho ground squirrels, Spaermophilus brunneus. Nature 338:418–420CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Smith RL (1984) Sperm competition and the evolution of animal mating systems. Academic Press, OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  76. Stockley P, Searle J, Macdonald DW (in press) Intraspecific variation in mating strategies of the common shrew (Sorex araneus): mobility and sperm competition. Behav Ecol SociobiolGoogle Scholar
  77. Stoddart DM, Smith PA (1984) Woodmice (Apodemus sylvaticus) can distinguish conspecific from heterospecific odours in the field. J Chem Ecol 10:923–928PubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. Stoddart DM, Smith PA (1986) Recognition of odour-induced bias in the live-trapping of Apodemus sylvaticus. Oikos 46:194–199Google Scholar
  79. Swihart RK, Slade NA (1985) Testing for independence of observations in animal movements. Ecology 66:1176–1184Google Scholar
  80. Taber AB, Macdonald DW (1992) Spatial organisation and monogamy in the mara, Dolichotis patagonium. J Zool London 227:417–438Google Scholar
  81. Tegelstrom H, Searle J, Brookfield J, Mercer S (1991) Multiple paternity in wild common shrews (Sorex araneus) is confirmed by genetic fingerprinting. Heredity 66:373–379PubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Tew TE (1989) The behavioural ecology of the wood mouse in the cereal field ecosystem. DPhil thesis, University of OxfordGoogle Scholar
  83. Tew TE (1992) Radio-tracking arable-dwelling wood mice. In: Priede IG, Swift SM, (eds) Wildlife Telemetry. Ellis Horwood, New York, pp 561–569Google Scholar
  84. Tew TE, Macdonald DW, Rands MRW (1992) Herbicide application affects microhabitat use by arable wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). J Appl Ecol 29:532–539Google Scholar
  85. Tew TE, Todd IA, Macdonald DW (in press a) The effect of trap spacing on population estimates of small mammals. J Zool London 233Google Scholar
  86. Tew TE, Todd IA, Macdonald DW (in press b) Sampling small mammal populations II: The effects of trap odour. J MammalGoogle Scholar
  87. Todd IA (1992) Wildtrak: Non-parametric home-range analysis. Department of Zoology, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  88. Trivers RL (1972) Parental investment and sexual selection. In: Campbell B (ed) Sexual selection and the descent of man. Aldine Press, Chicago, pp 136–179Google Scholar
  89. Viitala J, Hoffmeyer I (1985) Social organisation in Clethrionomys compared with Microtus and Apodemus: social odours, chemistry and biological effects. Ann Zool Fenn 22:359–371Google Scholar
  90. White GC, Garrott RA (1990) Analysis of wildlife radio-tracking data. Academic Press, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  91. Wilson WL, Montgomery WI, Elwood RW (1992) Range use in female wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) in deciduous woodland. In: Priede IG, Swift SM, (eds) Wildlife telemetry. Ellis Horwood, New York, pp 549–560Google Scholar
  92. Wolton RJ (1985) The ranging and nesting behaviour of wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus (Rodentia; Muridae), as revealed by radio-tracking. J Zool London 206:203–222PubMedGoogle Scholar
  93. Wolton RJ, Trowbridge BJ (1985) The effects of radio-collars on wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus. J Zool London 206:222–224Google Scholar
  94. Ylönen H, Kojola T, Viitala J (1988) Changing female spacing behaviour and demography in an enclosed breeding population of Clethrionomys glareolus. Holarct Ecol 11:284–292Google Scholar
  95. Ylönen H, Viitala J (1991) Social overwintering and food distribution in the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus. Holarct Ecol 14:131–137Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • T.E. Tew
    • 1
  • D.W. Macdonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations