Effect of food availability on the reproduction in edible dormice (Glis glis L., 1766) on the eastern periphery of the range
- 20 Downloads
The edible dormouse (Glis glis) is an example of a mammal with anticipatory reproduction, the mechanism by which animals increase reproductive output before pulsing resources become available, to provide offspring with the maximum abundance of food. In Central Europe, the main pulsing food resources for the edible dormouse are seeds of the European beech and oak. In this location, spermatogenesis occurs only in mast years and most probably depends on the number of beech flowers and buds. The purpose of the study was to determine the mechanism of reproductive regulation of the dormouse in the Zhiguli Mountains (Russia), which are on the eastern periphery of the dormouse range and outside that of beech trees. The main food of dormice here are acorns, hazelnuts, birch seeds and mushrooms, rather than beech seeds. In years, when there is a shortage of acorns, these are replaced by birch seeds and mass resorption of edible dormouse embryos also occurs. Analyses of diet, environmental condition and reproductive success demonstrated that in unfavourable years, the overwhelming majority of females resorb embryos. In consequence, juveniles are born only once in every 2 to 3 years, despite annual mating and pregnancy of most females. Resorption of embryos is observed in most species of mammals under the influence of strong negative factors and usually affects only some of the embryos, whereas in this dormouse population the process exhibits a regular, synchronous pattern and becomes the primary factor of natality regulation. These findings suggest that mass resorption of embryos might be a common regulatory mechanism of reproduction under pulsing food resources.
KeywordsEdible dormouse Glis glis Mass embryonic resorption Anticipatory reproduction Estrous cycle Quercus robur The Zhiguli Mountains
The author is grateful to Roger Trout and Anna Ayrapetyants for editing, Svetlana Stepanova for help with fieldwork, Irina Dyuzhaeva and Lyudmila Kavelenova for help in the nutrition analysis, Tatyana Chap for the data on fructification of trees, Varvara Egorova for the preparing of maps and Vladimir Vekhnik for help in all stages of work. The author is grateful to the Editor-in-chef Dr. Karol Zub for his inestimable help in statistical analysis and preparing the manuscript and Jerry Hermann for improving the English. The author also thanks the anonymous reviewers for their considerable help in improving the manuscript.
This study was funded by the Russian Foundation for basic researches and Samara Oblast according to the research projects nos. 09-04-09387 and 17-44-630288.
- Airapetyants AE (1983) Dormice. Leningrad University Press, Leningrad (in Russian)Google Scholar
- Bieber C (1997) Sexual activity and reproduction in three feral subpopulations of the fat dormouse. Nat Croatica 6:205–216Google Scholar
- Bogdziewicz M, Szymkowiak J, Kasprzyk I, Grewling Ł, Borowski Z, Borycka K, Kantorowicz W, Myszkowska D, Piotrowicz K, Ziemianin M, Pesendorfer MB (2017) Masting in wind-pollinated trees: system-specific roles of weather and pollination dynamics in driving seed production. Ecology 98:2615–2625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Burgess M, Morris P, Bright P (2003) Population dynamics of the edible dormouse (Glis glis) in England. Acta Zool Acad Sci Hung 49:27–31Google Scholar
- Donaurov SS, Popov VC, Khonjakina ZP (1938) The dormouse (Glis glis caspicus (sat.)) in the Caucasian reserve. Trudy Kavkazkogo Gosudarstvennogo Zapovednika 1:227–280 (in Russian with English summary)Google Scholar
- Firth D (1993). Bias reduction of maximum likelihood estimates. Biometrika 80:27–38Google Scholar
- Gigirey A, Rey JM (1999) Faecal analysis of the edible dormouse (Glis glis) in the Northwest Iberian Peninsula. Z Saugetierk 64:376–379Google Scholar
- Holisova V (1968) Notes on the food of dormice (Gliridae). Zoologické Listy 17:109–114Google Scholar
- Ivashkina VA (2006) Abundance and activity of the edible dormouse (Glis glis L. 1766) in the Zhiguli Mountains (Russia, Middle Volga Region). Pol J Ecol 54:337–344Google Scholar
- Lozan M, Belik L, Samarskij S (1990) Dormice (Gliridae) of southwest of USSR. Shtinitza, Kishinev (in Russian)Google Scholar
- Ochiogu IS, Uchendu CN, Ikechukwu J (2006) A new and simple method of confirmatory detection of mating in albino rats (Rattus norvegicus). Anim Res Int 3:527–530Google Scholar
- Ognev SI (1947) The mammals of Russia (USSR) and adjacent countries, vol 5. Moskow-LeningradGoogle Scholar
- Omar SMM, El Samad AAA (2007) Modified vaginal smear cytology for the determination of the rat estrous cycle phases, versus ordinary Papanicolaou technique, verified by light and scanning microscopic examination of the endometrium. Egypt J Histol 30:397–408Google Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2016) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
- Rossolimo OL, Potapova EG, IYa P, Kruskop SV, Voltzit OV (2001) Dormice (Myoxidae) of the world. Moscow University Publisher, Moscow (in Russian)Google Scholar
- Snigirevskaya EM (1953) Ecology and economic importance of murine rodents in broad-leaved forests of the Zhiguli Elevation. Dissertation, Leningrad State UniversityGoogle Scholar
- Šсiński M, Borowski Z (2005) Influence of oak and hornbeam mast fruiting on reproduction and foraging of the fat dormouse Glis glis in north-eastern Poland. In: Abstracts of the 6th International Dormouse Conference. Siedlce, Poland, p 22Google Scholar