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1 October 2005 BREEDING BEHAVIOR UNDER TEMPORAL RISK OF PREDATION IN MALE ROOT VOLES (MICROTUS OECONOMUS)
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Abstract

We examined breeding behavior responses of male root voles (Microtus oeconomus) to temporal risk of predation by using acute and chronic exposure to predator odor. The 2 series of exposure experiments provided 2 types of temporal patterns of risk: continuous safety with a brief period of risk and sustained risk with a brief period of safety. Male root voles that were acutely exposed to predator odor for 1 h suppressed their breeding behavior, but bred immediately after exposure to control odor for 1 h. Those chronically exposed to predator odor for 20 days maintained behavioral suppression during the 1-h period of exposure to control odor. Acutely exposed males did not change their physiological patterns of breeding, but those chronically exposed to predator odor had reduced testosterone concentration and epididymis index. Our results indicate that breeding behavior in a given situation depends on the overall patterns of risk experienced by male root voles, and the acute and chronic stress responses that affect reproduction are responsible for different behavioral responses to the 2 types of temporal patterns of risk. We also discuss the reasons for conflicting results about breeding suppression of voles between previous studies in the laboratory and the field.

Jianghui Bian, Yan Wu, and Jike Liu "BREEDING BEHAVIOR UNDER TEMPORAL RISK OF PREDATION IN MALE ROOT VOLES (MICROTUS OECONOMUS)," Journal of Mammalogy 86(5), (1 October 2005). https://doi.org/10.1644/1545-1542(2005)86[953:BBUTRO]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 15 February 2005; Published: 1 October 2005
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