Apparent absorption efficiency and gut morphometry of wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus, from two distinct populations with different diets

N Corp, Martyn Lee Gorman, John Roger Speakman

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Interpopulation variation in the diet of the wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus, is well documented. In this study, we examined the gut morphology and apparent absorption efficiencies of two populations of wood mice whose diet in the field was known to differ. One population inhabited sand dunes, where food availability was relatively low and the diet was dominated by invertebrates. The other population lived in deciduous woodland, with greater food availability and a diet consisting primarily of seeds. Wood mice from the woodland had longer small intestines and total digestive tract lengths than mice from the sand dunes. However, these differences had no effect on the apparent absorption efficiencies of dry mass or energy when the mice were fed meal-worms. wheat grain, or All-Bran diets (apparent energy absorption efficiencies of 88%, 89%, and 65%, respectively). The population differences in gut morphometry may be linked to different resource availabilities at the two field sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-614
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiological and Biochemical Zoology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • microtus-ochrogaster
  • energy-expenditure
  • seasonal-changes
  • quality
  • ecology
  • requirements
  • capacity
  • mammals
  • tract
  • needs

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