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Population dynamics of Microtus townsendii in a linear habitat Calvert, Mary Frances Wargo

Abstract

The population dynamics of Microtus townsendii in a linear habitat were monitored weekly for one year (June, 1971-August, 1972). Demographic characteristics such as location on study area, sex, weight (age), reproductive condition, and survival were recorded weekly. An Intensive study of early Juvenile survival was also undertaken. The population was observed to decline in the spring of 1972 from peak densities the previous summer and early spring. The decline did not appear to result from decreased reproductive effort or dispersal, but could be explained solely on the basis of mortality. Several observations were made which did not follow the usual demographic trends in microtine population biology. Extremely high densities with small home ranges for individuals were found on the linear study area as compared with areas of continuous habitat. This population became sexually mature at much lower body weights than other populations of Microtus townsendii in the area and average body weights were lower, although growth rates were comparable.

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