This study investigates the impact of the common vole on cereal crops adjacent to winter rape in a rodent outbreak year. Significant damage was found at the margins of adjacent cereal fields, indicating direct colonisation by voles from the winter rape fields. The damage gradually decreased towards the centre of the fields. We suppose that the reduction of winter rape quality as food connected with plant phenophase (ripening phase) resulted in spill-over of the voles to an adjacent crops. We also observed that spring barley crops were damaged more than winter wheat. We assume that this happened due to the fact that there was no barrier between fields of spring barley and winter rape, while wheat and rape fields were separated by a road. The number of voles at the barley field margin was significantly lower than in the middle (significantly in barley, non-significantly in wheat), which may be related to the depletion of resources at the margins. The abundance of voles appearing in rape was significantly lower than in cereals; in its ripening phase winter rape has low habitat value for voles. This study indicates that voles can cause the same amount of damage to cereals adjacent to winter rape as to cereals adjacent to their primary habitats (e.g. grassland). This is especially evident in years of vole outbreak.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.
Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.
Data will be accessible on request on this email email@example.com.
Baláž I, Tulis F, Kovárová N, Šumichrast J (2019) Fluctuation of common vole abundance in western Slovakia and possibilities of its monitoring. Ekologické štúdie 10:25–40
Blitzer EJ, Dormann C, Holzschuh A, Klein AM, Rand T, Tscharntke T (2012) Spillover of functionally important organisms between managed and natural habitats. Agric Ecosyst Environ 146:34–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2011.09.005
Bonnet T, Crespin L, Pinot A, Bruneteau L, Bretagnolle V, Gauffre B (2013) How the common vole copes with modern farming: insights from a capture-mark-recapture experiment. Agric Ecosyst Environ 177:21–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2013.05.005
Boyce CCK, Boyce JL (1988) Population biology of Microtus arvalis. II. Natal and breeding dispersal of females. J Anim Ecol 57:723–736
Chitty H, Chitty D (1960) Body weight in relation to population phase in Microtus arvalis. Symposium on Theriology, Brno 1960:77–86
Czech Statistical Office (2020): Available at https://www.czso.cz/csu/czso/srovnani-kraju-v-ceske-republice-2019 Accessed 5. 4. 2020
Heroldová M, Tkadlec E (2011) Harvesting behaviour of three central European rodents: identifying the rodent pest in cereals. Crop Prot 29:82–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2010.09.002
Heroldová M, Zejda J, Zapletal M, Obdržálková D, Jánová E, Bryja J, Tkadlec E (2004) Importance of winter rape for small rodents. Plant Soil Environ 50:175–181 https://www.agriculturejournals.cz/publicFiles/52813.pdf
Heroldová M, Bryja J, Zejda J, Tkadlec E (2007) Structure and diversity of small mammal communities in agriculture landscape. Agric Ecosyst Environ 120:206–210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2006.09.007
Heroldová M, Tkadlec E, Bryja J, Zejda J (2008) Wheat or barley? Feeding preferences affect distribution of three rodent species in agricultural landscape. Appl Anim Behav Sci 110:354–362. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2007.05.008
Heroldová M, Šipoš J, Suchomel J, Zejda J (2020) Interactions between common vole and winter rape. Pest Manag Sci. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6050
Jacob J (2003) Short-term effects of farming practices on populations of common voles. Agric Ecosyst Environ 95:321–325. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(02)00084-1
Jacob J, Hempel N (2003) Effects of farming practices on spatial behaviour of common voles. J Ethol 21:45–50. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164-002-0073-8
Jacob J, Tkadlec E (2010) Rodent outbreaks in Europe: dynamics and damage. In: Singleton GR, Belmain S, Brown PR, Hardy B (eds) Rodent outbreaks— ecology and impacts. International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, pp 207–223
Jacob J, Manson P, Barfknecht R, Fredricks T (2014) Common vole (Microtus arvalis) ecology and management: implications for risk assessment of plant protection products. Pest Manag Sci 70:869–878. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.3695
Jacob J, Imholt C, Caminero-Saldana C, Couval G, Giraudoux P, Herrero-Cofreces S, Horváth G, Luque-Larena JJ, Tkadlec E, Wymenga E (2020) Europe-wide outbreaks of common voles in 2019. J Pest Sci 93:703–709. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-020-01200-2
Lambin X, Bretagnolle V, Yoccoz NG (2006) Vole population cycles in northern and southern Europe: is there a need for different explanations for single pattern? J Anim Ecol 75:340–349. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01051.x
Landis DA, Wratten SD, Gurr GM (2000) Habitat management to conserve natural enemies of arthropod pests in agriculture. Annu Rev Entomol 45:175–201. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ento.45.1.175
Mackin-Rogalska R (1981) Spatial structure of rodent populations co-occuring in different crop fields. Pol Ecol Stud 7:213–227
Pelikán J (1959) Common vole bionomy. In: Kratochvíl J, Balát F, Folk Č, Grulich I, Havlín J, Holišová V et al (eds) Common vole Microtus arvalis. ČSAV, Praque, pp 120–129 (In Czech with German summary)
R Core Development Team (2020) A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, R Foundation for Statistical Computing. https://www.r-project.org/
Redon L, Le Viol I, Jiguet F, Machon N, Scher O, Kerbiriou C (2015) Road network in an agrarian landscape: potential habitat, corridor or barrier for small mammals? Acta Oecol 62:58–65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2014.12.003
Rodríguez-Pastor R, Luque-Larena JJ, Lambin X, Mougeot F (2016) “Living on the edge”: the role of field margins for common vole (Microtus arvalis) populations in recently colonised Mediterranean farmland. Agric Ecosyst Environ 231:206–217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2016.06.041
Rytwinski T, Fahrig L (2012) Do species life history traits explain population responses to roads? A meta-analysis. Biol Conserv 147:87–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2011.11.023
Spitz F (1964) Étude desdensités de populationde Microtus arvalis Pall. a Saint-Michael en – L’Herm (Vendée). Mammalia 28:40–75. https://doi.org/10.1515/mamm.19188.8.131.527
Tattersall FH, Macdonald DW, Hart BJ, Johnson P, Manley WJ, Feber RE (2002) Is habitat linearity important for small mammal communities on farmland? J Appl Ecol 39:643–652. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2002.00741.x
Tkadlec E, Stenseth NC (2001) A new geographical gradient in vole population dynamics. P Roy Soc B-Biol Sci 268:1547–1552. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2001.1694
Truszkowski J (1982) The impact of the common vole on the vegetation of agrosystems. Acta Theriol 27:305–345 https://rcin.org.pl/dlibra/doccontent?id=10959
Tscharntke T, Tylianakis JM, Rand TA, Didham RK, Fahrig L, Batáry P, Bengtsson J, Clough Y, Crist TO, Dormann CF, Ewers RM, Fründ J, Holt RD, Holzschuh A, Klein AM, Kleijn D, Kremen C, Landis DA, Laurance W, Lindenmayer D, Scherber C, Sodhi N, Steffan-Dewenter I, Thies C, van der Putten WH, Westphal C (2012) Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes – eight hypotheses. Biol Rev 87:661–685. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-185X.2011.00216.x
Zejda J, Nesvadbová J (2000) Abundance and reproduction of the common vole, Microtus arvalis in crop rows and associated agricultural habitats. Folia Zool 49:261–268
Zeman L, Šimeček K, Krása A, Šimek M, Lossmann J, Třináctý J (1995) Katalog krmiv. VÚVZ, Pohořelice
We thank anonymous reviewers for useful comments and suggestions to an earlier version of the manuscript, Mrs. Eva Čepelková for improving the English language and native English speaking editors at Kontrolujeme s.r.o. for English language correction.
Conflicts of interest/competing interests
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
All aspects of trapping complied with EU Council directive 86/609/EEC on the experimental use of animals.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Suchomel, J., Šipoš, J., Dokulilová, M. et al. Spill over of the common voles from rape fields to adjacent crops. Biologia (2021). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-020-00675-9
- Microtus arvalis
- Brassica napus