Winter Reproduction of Cyclomorphic Mammals: From a Case to the Phenomenon
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In 2010 (a year of drought), the true winter breeding (TWB) of the pygmy wood mouse (S. uralensis) was first recorded in the Southern Urals and confirmed by the morphological parameters and age markers. The young born in winter fulfilled successfully their reproductive potential under favorable climatic conditions. The true winter breeding and the age cross of animals during the year of drought promoted the maximum population growth and enhanced population genetic heterogeneity. In subsequent years, TWB of S. uralensis became common, which is regarded as a climatic pattern. Extreme drought rearranged the rodent community and caused TWB of S. uralensis, which resulted in a higher abundance of the species.
This study was performed in the framework of the State Contract with the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, and was supported by the Integrated Program of the Ural Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences (project nos. 18-4-4-9, 18-4-4-28).
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Conflict of interests. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statement on the welfare of animals. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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