Scent Over-Marking and Adjacent-Marking as Competitive Tactics Used During Chemical Communication in Voles
This chapter reviews studies on meadow voles and prairie voles that test the broad hypothesis that over-marking, a phenomenon in which an individual places its own scent on top of the scen mark of a conspecific, is a competitive tactic that provides advantages in the transfer of chemical information to the top-scent donor but not to the bottom-scent donor of an over-mark. To establish whether over-marking is a competitive tactic, four specific hypotheses were tested. One, voles over-mark the scent marks of same-sex conspecifics. Two, male voles over-mark the scent marks of same-sex conspecifìcs more than female voles do. Three, voles over-mark the scent marks of age-matched, unfamiliar, nonsiblings more than those of familiar siblings. Four, individuals investigating areas containing over-marks respond preferentially to the odor of the vole whose scent is on top, but not to that of the vole whose scent is on the bottom. The reviewed data support the first, third, and fourth hypotheses, but do not support the second hypothesis. Overall, the findings indicate that 1) investigating animals attach a greater value to the odor of the topscent donor than that of the bottom-scent donor and 2) over-marking and adjacent-marking may be used by voles as competitive tactics.
KeywordsLactate Cage Dition Arena Univer
Blaustein, A. R. 1981. Sexual selection and mammalian olfaction. Amer. Nat
, 1006–1010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boonstra R., Xia X. & Pavone, L. 1993. Mating system of the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus. Behav. Ecol.
, 83–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brown, R. E. & Macdonald, D. W. 1985 (eds). Social Odours In Mammals Vol 1
. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
Emlen, S. T. 1997. Predicting family dynamics in social vertebrates. In: Behavioural Ecology, An Evolutionary Approach, Fourth ed
. (Ed. by J. R. Krebs & N. B. Davies), pp. 228–253. Blackwell Science, MA.Google Scholar
Ewer, R. F. 1968. Ethology of Mammals
. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
Ferkin, M. H. & Johnston, R. E. 1995. Effects of pregnancy, lactation, and postpartum oestrus on odour signals and the attraction to odours in female meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus. Anim. Behav.
, 1211–1217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ferkin, M. H. & Seamon, J. O. 1987. Odor preferences and social behavior in meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus
: seasonal differences. Can. J. Zool.
, 2931–2937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ferkin M. H., Dunsavage J. & Johnston, R. E. 1999. What kind of information do meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus
, use to distinguish between the odors of the top and bottom-scent donors of an over-mark. J. Comp. Psych.
, 43–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hoffmeyer, I. 1982. Responses of female bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus
) to dominant versus subordinate conspecifíc males and to urine odors from dominant versus subordinate males. Behav. Neural Biol.
, 178–188.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holmes, W. G. 1994. The development of littermate preferences in juvenile Belding’s ground squirrels. Anim. Behav.
, 1071–1084.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holmes, W. G. 1995. The ontogeny of littermate preferences in juvenile golden-mantled ground squirrels. Anim. Behav.
, 309–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hurst, J. L. 1990. Urine marking in populations of wild house mice, Mus domesticus
Rutty. I. Communication between males. Anim. Behav.
, 209–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hurst, J. L. 1993. The priming effects of urine substrate marks on interactions between male house mice, Mus musculus domesticus
Schwarz & Schwarz. Anim. Behav.
, 55–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson, R. P. 1973. Scent marking in mammals. Anim. Behav.
, 521–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson, R. P. 1975. Scent marking with urine in two races of bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus
, 81–PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnston, R. E. & Bhorade, A. 1998. Perception of scent over-marks: novel mechanisms for determining which individual’s mark is on top. J. Comp. Psych
Johnston R. E., Chiang G. & Tung, C. 1994. The information in scent over-marks of golden hamsters. Anim. Behave 48
, 323–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnston R. E., Munver, R, & Tung, C. 1995. Scent counter marks: selective memory for the top scent by golden hamsters. Anim. Behav.
, 1435–1442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnston R. E., Sorokin, E. S. & Ferkin, M. H. 1997a. Scent counter-marking by male meadow voles: Females prefer the top-scent male. Ethology
, 443–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnston R. E., Sorokin, E. S. & Ferkin, M. H. 1997b. Female voles discriminate males’ over-marks and prefer top-scent males. Anim. Behav.
, 679–690.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keller, B. L. 1985. Reproductive patterns. In: Biology of New World Microtus
(Ed. by R. H. Tamarin), Amer. Soc. Mammal. Sp. Publ.
, 725–778.Google Scholar
Kohli, K. L. & Ferkin, M. H. in press. Over-marking and adjacent-marking are influenced by sibship in male prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster. Ethology
Madison, D. M. & McShea, W. J. 1987. Seasonal changes in reproductive tolerance, spacing, and social organization in meadow voles: a microtine model. Amer. Zool
, 899–908.Google Scholar
Macdonald, D. W. 1980. Patterns of scent marking with urine and feces among carnivore communities. Symp. Zool Soc. London
, 107–139.Google Scholar
Rozenfeld, F. M. & Rasmont, R. 1991. Odor cue recognition by dominant bank voles, Clethrionomys glareolus. Anim. Behav.
, 839–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rozenfeld F. M., LeBoulenge, E., & Rasmont, R. 1987. Urine marking by male bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus
Schreber, 1780; Microtidae, Rodentia) in relation to social rank. Can. J. Zool
, 2549–2601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ryan, M. J. 1994. Mechanisms underlying sexual selection. In: Behavioral Mechanisms in Evolutionary Ecology
. (Ed. by L. A. Real), pp. 190–215. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
Solomon, N. G. 1993. Current indirect fitness benefits associated with philopatry in juvenile prairie voles. Behav. Ecol. Sociobioi
, 277–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Solomon, N. G. & Getz, L. L. 1997. Examination of alternative hypotheses for cooperative breeding in rodents. In: Cooperative Breeding in Mammals
(Ed by. N. G. Solomon & J. French), pp. 199–230. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Viitala J. & Hoffmeyer, I. 1985. Social organization in Clethrionomys
compared with Microtus
social odours, chemistry and biological effects. Ann. Zool. Fennici
, 359–371.Google Scholar
Wilcox, R. M. & Johnston, R. E. 1995. Scent counter-marks: specialized mechanisms of perception and response to individual odors in golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus
). J. Comp. Psych.
, 349–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wolff, J. O. 1985. Behavior. In: Biology of New World Microtus
(Ed. by R. H. Tamarin), Amer. Soc. Mammal, Sp. Publ
, 340–372.Google Scholar
Wolff, J. O. 1993. Why are female small mammals territorial? Oikos
, 364–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999