Energetics and water economy of common spiny mice Acomys cahirinus from north- and south-facing slopes of a Mediterranean valley

M Scantlebury, U Shanas, J R Speakman, H Kupshtein, D Afik, A Haim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. A comparison was made of the daily energy expenditure (DEE), resting metabolic rate (RMR) and water turnover (WTO) of two populations of Common Spiny Mice Acomys cahirinus from north- and south-facing slopes (NFS and SFS) of the same valley, which represented 'Mediterranean' and 'desert' habitats, respectively.

2. An examination was made as to whether these physiological characteristics differed between mice that had been in the laboratory (outdoor conditions) for 2 months compared with mice captured from the field.

3. Mice from the field had greater RMR values than mice in the laboratory and NFS mice had greater RMR values than SFS mice. In the field, NFS individuals had greater DEE values than SFS individuals. Mass-specific RMR values of SFS mice were 20% less than the allometrically predicted value, whereas those of NFS were not. WTO and sustained metabolic scope (DEE/RMR) were lower in the field than in the laboratory.

4. The results indicate that physiological capabilities are phenotypically plastic, as differences exist between the field and laboratory and between NFS and SFS mice. Furthermore, they highlight the importance of using field studies for understanding the link between energetics and physiological adjustment to environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalFunctional Ecology
Volume17
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • daily energy expenditure
  • doubly labelled water
  • ecological physiology
  • evolution
  • resting metabolic rate
  • BASAL METABOLIC-RATE
  • DAILY ENERGY-EXPENDITURE
  • MALE WOOD MICE
  • BODY-TEMPERATURE
  • DAILY RHYTHMS
  • NONSHIVERING THERMOGENESIS
  • APODEMUS-SYLVATICUS
  • OXYGEN-CONSUMPTION
  • DIFFERENT HABITATS
  • EVOLUTION-CANYON

Cite this