, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 189–190 | Cite as

Food preferences by Octodon degus (Rodentia caviomorpha): Their role in the chilean matorral composition

  • Javier A. Simonetti
  • Gloria Montenegro


The food preferences of Octodon degus are examined in laboratory test. Results indicate that degus prefer new rather than mature leaves of Chilean matorral shrubs, and that degus do not discriminate between new leaves (equivalents of shrub seedlings) of different shrub species. The significance of degus preferences in relation to matorral composition is discussed.


Laboratory Test Mature Leaf Food Preference Shrub Species Degus Preference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Fuentes ER, Etchegaray J (1981) Defoliation patterns in matorral ecosystems. In: F Kruger, F Siegfried (eds), Proceedings Third International Conference on Mediterranean Type Ecosystems, in pressGoogle Scholar
  2. Fuentes ER, Jaksić FM (1981) The role of European rabbit (Oryctologus cuniculus) in the Chilean matorral: shrub species and refuge effects. J Appl Ecol: acceptedGoogle Scholar
  3. Fuentes ER, Le Boulenge P (1977) Predation et competition dans la structure d'une communauté herbacee secondaire du Chili central. Terre et Vie 31:313–326Google Scholar
  4. Fuentes ER, Simonetti JA (1981) Plant patterning in the Chilean matorral: are the roles of native and exotic mammals different? In: Dinamics and Management of Mediterranean Type Ecosystems: An International SumposiumGoogle Scholar
  5. Fulk GW (1976) Notes on the activity, reproduction and social behaviour of Octodon degus. J Mamm 57:495–505Google Scholar
  6. Glanz WE (1977) Comparative ecology of small mammal communities in California and Chile. Unpublished Ph D Thesis, University of California, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  7. Giliberto J, Gutiérrez JR, Hajek ER (1980) Temperature effect on autochory in Colliguaya odorifera (Euphorbiaceae). Int J Biometeor 24:199–202Google Scholar
  8. Harper JL (1969) The role of predation in vegetational diversity. Brookhaven Symp Biol 22:48–62Google Scholar
  9. Harper JL (1977) The population biology of plants. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Jaksić FM, Fuentes ER, Yáñez JL (1979) Spatial distribution of the Old World rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in central Chile. J Mamm 60:207–209Google Scholar
  11. Montenegro G, Jordan M, Aljaro ME (1980) Interactions between Chilean matorral shrubs and phytophagous insects. Oecologia 45:346–349Google Scholar
  12. Mooney HA (ed) (1977) Convergent evolution in Chile and California Mediterran climate ecosystems. Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, PennsylvaniaGoogle Scholar
  13. Simonetti JA, Fuentes ER (1981) Microhabit at release by European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in central Chile: adult vs juvenile patterns. Oecologia (Berl): submittedGoogle Scholar
  14. Simonetti JA, Montenegro G (1980) Preferencias por arbustos de Octodon degus (Rodentia: Octodontidae). Arch Biol Med Exper 13:112Google Scholar
  15. Yáñez J, Jaksié F (1978) Historia natural de Octodon degus (Molina) (Rodentia, Octodontidae). Publ Ocas Mus Nac Hist Nat (Chile) 27:3–11Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier A. Simonetti
    • 1
  • Gloria Montenegro
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Ciencias BiológicasPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile

Personalised recommendations