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Effect of Extrinsic Factors on Activity of Root Voles, Microtus oeconomus

Stefan Halle
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 76, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 88-99
DOI: 10.2307/1382318
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1382318
Page Count: 12
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Effect of Extrinsic Factors on Activity of Root Voles, Microtus oeconomus
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Abstract

The effects of disturbances, weather, and moonlight on surface activity in root voles, Microtus oeconomus, were studied in six 0.5-ha enclosures during summer and early autumn of 2 years. Disturbances caused by management of plots and trapping did not cause any statistically significant changes in behavior. Weather conditions affected activity only little, which probably was due to damping of daily amplitudes in temperature and humidity by dense vegetation. Voles were more active during cold days on most plots. Occasional opposite responses strongly suggest caution in interpreting results from single case studies. Full moon slightly decreased the overall level of activity both night and day, suggesting possible lunar periodicity in behavior of root voles.

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