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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/454

Title: Aggressive behavior of adult meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) towards young
Authors: Boonstra, Rudy
Issue Date: 1984
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Citation: Oecologia (Berlin) (1984) 62: 126-131
Abstract: Field evidence indicates that adult microtines, especially females, may be a major cause of poor juvenile survival and this may be instrumental in their population regulation. This suggests that males and females behave differently towards young animals. To examine how adult males, nonlactating females, and lactating females behave towards strange young, I introduced young animals into the home cage of the adults. Lactating females were most aggressive towards young; most males investigated them; most nonlactating females ignored them. However, discriminant function analysis indicated a great deal of overlap in the behavior of the classes. None of the classes behaved differently towards young of either sex. Females did not vary their behavior during lactation. Behavior varied among lactating females, with 55% showing little aggression and 20% showing a great deal. Most lactating females showed similar behavior in each of their bouts: docile females remained docile, aggressive females remained aggressive. I conclude that lactating females are most aggressive towards strange young. These results are consistent with the field evidence, which suggests that adult females depress juvenile survival and recruitment and that the main culprits are breeding females.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/454
Appears in Collections:Biology

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