TITLE

Is Fear a Factor in Voles? Short Term Physiological and Behavioural Response to Predation Stress

AUTHOR(S)
Trebatická, Lenka; Ketola, Tarmo; Haapakoski, Marko; Opperbeck, Annika; Ylönen, Hannu
PUB. DATE
January 2010
SOURCE
Open Ecology Journal;2010 Special Issue 2, p16
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
A predator has a large impact on its prey. Besides a direct lethal effect, mere predator presence can increase stress and vigilance reflecting on prey behaviour and physiology. Such an effect should be stronger in more vulnerable prey individuals, depending e.g. on sex and reproductive status. We studied the short-term physiological response, the change in CO2 production as a measure of metabolism, and the behavioural response in non-pregnant and pregnant bank vole Myodes glareolus females. The bank vole is a common small mammal in boreal forest environments and one of the major prey species for predators, especially small mustelids. The least weasel Mustela nivalis nivalis is a vole specialist and the only predator which can enter the tunnels of voles and their nests. Furthermore, weasels, like all mustelids, have strong scents used in social communication, and weasel odour may be used as a cue of increased risk by prey individuals. We simulated an increase in predation risk by the injection of least weasel odour into an open-flow respirometry system housing either a pregnant or non-pregnant female bank vole. We focused on immediate and post-stress response in CO2 production and changes in female behaviour. We found that injections of pure air ("disturbance") or of weasel odour ("threat") similarly increased CO2 production. Surprisingly, non-pregnant females responded to stress more strongly than pregnant ones, i.e. the increase in CO2 was higher. Weasel odour increased female activity more than the injection of air. According to our prediction, after the disappearance of weasel odour there were no differences in physiological or behavioural parameters between pregnant and non-pregnant females. Contrary to our prediction, our results showed quite similar response to harmless air disturbance and the risky weasel cue. However, it may be that in a situation of sudden change in environment, regardless of its nature, a short-term vigilance response is a better response than more costly antipredatory behaviours.
ACCESSION #
58601245

 

Related Articles

  • Large body and small brain and group sizes are associated with predator preferences for mammalian prey. Shultz, Susanne; Finlayson, Laura V. // Behavioral Ecology;Sep2010, Vol. 21 Issue 5, p1073 

    Predation is a major force in shaping biological communities, both over ecological and evolutionary timescales. In response to predation pressure, prey have evolved characteristics designed to mitigate predation pressure. We evaluated predator foraging biases in relation to prey characteristics...

  • Changing winter conditions in the boreal forest: the effects of fluctuating temperature and predation risk on activity and physiological stress level in bank voles. Sipari, Saana; Haapakoski, Marko; Klemme, Ines; Palme, Rupert; Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu // Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology;Sep2016, Vol. 70 Issue 9, p1571 

    Due to global climate change, the winter conditions in the North are predicted to change, as the time with an intact insulating snow cover gets shorter or disappears altogether. For small mammals, this could cause exposure to strong temperature fluctuations and increased predation risk, inducing...

  • INFLUENCE OF SIZE, LOSS OF TAIL, AND BURST SPEED ON RISK OF PREDATION IN THE BANDED GECKO (COLEONYX VARIEGATUS). BURKE, RUSSELL L.; YUREWICZ, KERRY L. // Southwestern Naturalist;Mar2012, Vol. 57 Issue 1, p87 

    We investigated the importance of size, loss of tail, and running speed of banded geckos (Coleonyx variegatus) in encounters with a predatory snake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea) in experimental arenas. We discovered, contrary to previously reported results and our own hypotheses based on observations...

  • BANK VOLE Myodes glareolus. Griss, Don // Northumbrian Naturalist: Transactions of the Natural History Soc;2012, Vol. 73, p117 

    The article offers information on Bank Vole (Myodes glareolus) which is a mammal found in Great Britain ad mentions its behavior and anatomy. Topics discussed include habitats which include woodland, hedgerows and gardens; diet of Bank Vole which include shoots, leaves and berries; and breeding...

  • Feeding under high risk of intraguild predation: vigilance patterns of two medium-sized generalist predators. Wikenros, Camilla; Ståhlberg, Sophie; Sand, Håkan // Journal of Mammalogy;Aug2014, Vol. 95 Issue 4, p862 

    To balance conflicting demands for food and safety from predation, foraging individuals trade off time between feeding and safety by vigilant behavior. We studied the behavior of red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes) and pine martens ( Martes martes) scavenging at carcasses of moose ( Alces alces) killed...

  • The evolution of female social relationships in nonhuman primates. Sterck, Elisabeth H. M.; Watts, David P.; van Schaik, Carel P. // Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology;Nov1997, Vol. 41 Issue 5, p291 

    Considerable interspecific variation in female social relationships occurs in gregarious primates, particularly with regard to agonism and cooperation between females and to the quality of female relationships with males. This variation exists alongside variation in female philopatry and...

  • Comparing body condition of moose ( Alces alces) selected by wolves ( Canis lupus) and human hunters: consequences for the extent of compensatory mortality. Sand, H.; Wikenros, C.; Ahlqvist, P.; Strømseth, T.H.; Wabakken, P. // Canadian Journal of Zoology;Mar2012, Vol. 90 Issue 3, p403 

    Predators commonly select prey of inferior quality compared with the average animals found in the population. Consequently, predation may often be compensatory to other sources of mortality. We tested whether wolves ( L., 1758) in Scandinavia selected moose in poor body condition by comparing...

  • Changes in the Escape Responses of the Lizard Acanthodactylus erythrurus under Persistent Predatory Attacks. Martín, José; López, Pilar // Copeia;2003, Vol. 2003 Issue 2, p408 

    We hypothesized that, through persistent predatory attacks, lizards should increase progressively the magnitude of their escape response. We simulated in the field a continuous attack by a persistent predator on Acanthodactylus erythrurus lizards and examined the characteristics of successive...

  • Differential predation by coyotes on snowshoe hares. Hodges, Karen E. // Canadian Journal of Zoology;Oct2001, Vol. 79 Issue 10, p1878 

    Differential predation on particular sex or age classes of a population can arise as a result of predator preferences or prey attributes. I examined the impacts of age, size, and body mass of snowshoe hares, Lepus americanus, on their susceptibility to predation by coyotes, Canis latrans. I...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics