Energetics and over-winter survival of the short-tailed field vole (Microtus agrestis)

D. M. Jackson, P. Trayhurn, John Roger Speakman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

1. Over-winter mortality in small mammals is influenced strongly by low ambient temperatures. Individuals with greater thermogenic capacities might then be expected to survive better than those with lower thermogenic capacities. 2. To test this hypothesis, short-tailed field voles Microtus agrestis (Linnaeus) were captured during the winters of 1995/96 and 1996/97 at two field sites near Aberdeen 57¿N. The captured animals were tagged and taken back to the laboratory, where their resting metabolism (RMR), thermogenic capacity (NA induced metabolism excluding RMR) and body mass were measured. 3. Body mass, RMR and thermogenic capacity did not differ significantly between the start and end of winter in voles that were captured at both times. 4. Body mass varied significantly over the winter months, being lowest in January and highest in March. Thermogenic capacity also varied over the winter and the variation was linked significantly with changes in ambient temperature, suggesting that either voles with greater thermogenic capacity were more likely to be active on cold nights, or voles were flexible in their thermogenic capacities. RMR did not vary significantly over the winter. 5. Animals that survived the winter had a significantly higher residual RMR than those that died (or permanently emigrated) but the survivors did not have significantly greater body masses, RMRs, thermogenic capacities or residual thermogenic capacities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-640
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Ecology
Volume70
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Microtus agrestis
overwintering
energetics
winter
body mass
ambient temperature
metabolism
animal
small mammal
small mammals
animals
temperature
mortality

Keywords

  • microtus agrestis
  • non-shivering thermogenesis(NST)
  • resting metabolic rate (RMR)
  • survival

Cite this

Energetics and over-winter survival of the short-tailed field vole (Microtus agrestis). / Jackson, D. M.; Trayhurn, P.; Speakman, John Roger.

In: Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 70, 2001, p. 633-640.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a1f2adad814048e99669d78d77c18adc,
title = "Energetics and over-winter survival of the short-tailed field vole (Microtus agrestis)",
abstract = "1. Over-winter mortality in small mammals is influenced strongly by low ambient temperatures. Individuals with greater thermogenic capacities might then be expected to survive better than those with lower thermogenic capacities. 2. To test this hypothesis, short-tailed field voles Microtus agrestis (Linnaeus) were captured during the winters of 1995/96 and 1996/97 at two field sites near Aberdeen 57¿N. The captured animals were tagged and taken back to the laboratory, where their resting metabolism (RMR), thermogenic capacity (NA induced metabolism excluding RMR) and body mass were measured. 3. Body mass, RMR and thermogenic capacity did not differ significantly between the start and end of winter in voles that were captured at both times. 4. Body mass varied significantly over the winter months, being lowest in January and highest in March. Thermogenic capacity also varied over the winter and the variation was linked significantly with changes in ambient temperature, suggesting that either voles with greater thermogenic capacity were more likely to be active on cold nights, or voles were flexible in their thermogenic capacities. RMR did not vary significantly over the winter. 5. Animals that survived the winter had a significantly higher residual RMR than those that died (or permanently emigrated) but the survivors did not have significantly greater body masses, RMRs, thermogenic capacities or residual thermogenic capacities.",
keywords = "microtus agrestis, non-shivering thermogenesis(NST), resting metabolic rate (RMR), survival",
author = "Jackson, {D. M.} and P. Trayhurn and Speakman, {John Roger}",
year = "2001",
language = "English",
volume = "70",
pages = "633--640",
journal = "Journal of Animal Ecology",
issn = "0021-8790",
publisher = "BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Energetics and over-winter survival of the short-tailed field vole (Microtus agrestis)

AU - Jackson, D. M.

AU - Trayhurn, P.

AU - Speakman, John Roger

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - 1. Over-winter mortality in small mammals is influenced strongly by low ambient temperatures. Individuals with greater thermogenic capacities might then be expected to survive better than those with lower thermogenic capacities. 2. To test this hypothesis, short-tailed field voles Microtus agrestis (Linnaeus) were captured during the winters of 1995/96 and 1996/97 at two field sites near Aberdeen 57¿N. The captured animals were tagged and taken back to the laboratory, where their resting metabolism (RMR), thermogenic capacity (NA induced metabolism excluding RMR) and body mass were measured. 3. Body mass, RMR and thermogenic capacity did not differ significantly between the start and end of winter in voles that were captured at both times. 4. Body mass varied significantly over the winter months, being lowest in January and highest in March. Thermogenic capacity also varied over the winter and the variation was linked significantly with changes in ambient temperature, suggesting that either voles with greater thermogenic capacity were more likely to be active on cold nights, or voles were flexible in their thermogenic capacities. RMR did not vary significantly over the winter. 5. Animals that survived the winter had a significantly higher residual RMR than those that died (or permanently emigrated) but the survivors did not have significantly greater body masses, RMRs, thermogenic capacities or residual thermogenic capacities.

AB - 1. Over-winter mortality in small mammals is influenced strongly by low ambient temperatures. Individuals with greater thermogenic capacities might then be expected to survive better than those with lower thermogenic capacities. 2. To test this hypothesis, short-tailed field voles Microtus agrestis (Linnaeus) were captured during the winters of 1995/96 and 1996/97 at two field sites near Aberdeen 57¿N. The captured animals were tagged and taken back to the laboratory, where their resting metabolism (RMR), thermogenic capacity (NA induced metabolism excluding RMR) and body mass were measured. 3. Body mass, RMR and thermogenic capacity did not differ significantly between the start and end of winter in voles that were captured at both times. 4. Body mass varied significantly over the winter months, being lowest in January and highest in March. Thermogenic capacity also varied over the winter and the variation was linked significantly with changes in ambient temperature, suggesting that either voles with greater thermogenic capacity were more likely to be active on cold nights, or voles were flexible in their thermogenic capacities. RMR did not vary significantly over the winter. 5. Animals that survived the winter had a significantly higher residual RMR than those that died (or permanently emigrated) but the survivors did not have significantly greater body masses, RMRs, thermogenic capacities or residual thermogenic capacities.

KW - microtus agrestis

KW - non-shivering thermogenesis(NST)

KW - resting metabolic rate (RMR)

KW - survival

M3 - Article

VL - 70

SP - 633

EP - 640

JO - Journal of Animal Ecology

JF - Journal of Animal Ecology

SN - 0021-8790

ER -