Population dynamics of the Smith's red-backed vole in highlands of Shikoku
Summary and Conclusion
Population dynamics of theSmith's red-backed vole predominantly common through uplands of Shikoku have been in some degree disclosed by the use of my own and Government Forest Station's samples collected since 1955 onward.
It has proved that the upper-range population reaches its density peak possibly in late summer or early fall, but the lower-range one does probably in October–November as the seasonal trend in usual years. The upper one produced a peak three times at 3–4 year intervals, the first peak being an outbreak followed by a crash, during the last decade. It seems likely that all the populations through the range have, in the gross, fluctuated in phase after 1959 at least. The cyclic fluctuation may readily be explained by the theory of intrinsic mechanism, because no external factors are considered to have exerted a conclusive effect.
Except what was concerned in the outbreak, the role of the social stress could be set at naught.
The regulation of fecundiy by density was expressed more markedly in litter size and less in active reproductivity rate and incidence of pregnancy.
The mean litter size at term as small as 2.00 is contrary to our expectation in view of the supposed prolific potential, nevertheless the observed frequency of litter poduction and intra-uterine survival rate has proved not to be so high as to make up for the small litter size. The problem in the postnatal mortality has remained to be solved.
KeywordsLitter Size Seasonal Trend Social Stress Vole Population Adrenal Weight
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