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Diel activity and demography in an enclosed population of the vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreb.)

Hannu Ylönen
Annales Zoologici Fennici
Vol. 25, No. 3 (1988), pp. 221-228
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23734485
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Diel activity and demography in an enclosed population of the vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreb.)
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Abstract

Diel feeding activity in an enclosed cyclic population of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus was studied during an increase and peak year in 1983—85. An automatic camera at a feeding station was used. The population was also live trapped monthly to follow its demography. The individual voles visited the feeding station most often during spring and autumn, which was obviously due to nutritive reasons. On the population level a polyphasic and irregular activity rhythm was the main pattern observed. However, when all observations during both years were pooled a rather uniform activity pattern could be recognized over the whole 24-hour period during summer, a diurnal activity pattern during autumn and winter and a nocturnal pattern during spring. During the breeding season the activity of the juveniles and subadults was much higher than that of the adult individuals. The juveniles often moved in groups of two to four individuals — these groups obviously consisted of siblings. During spring, after the onset of reproduction, the feeding activity patterns of adult individuals seemed to differ from the patterns of juveniles and subadults. The feeding activity rhythm of young individuals may be more flexible than that of old ones and constitute one reason for the rather uniform activity pattern during summer. The results do not exclude the possibility that different social groups may have different diel feeding activity rhythms.

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