Basic climatic parameters (annual average air temperature and annual amount of precipitation) over 12–25 years have been analyzed with regard to their values corresponding to different levels of abundance in three species of forest voles: Clethrionomys glareolus (in 11 areas of the species range), Cl. rutilus, and Cl. rufocanus (in three areas each). The results show that the abundance of all these species correlates significantly with fluctuations of annual average temperature, with the correlation being negative in Cl. glareolus and Cl. rufocanus but positive in Cl. rutilus. In addition, the abundance of Cl. rufocanus shows a significant correlation with annual precipitation. Voles inhabiting different geographic regions may reach high abundance under different conditions. As for the species range as a whole, however, Cl. glareolus is more ecologically flexible than the other two voles. This species is also more warmth- and moisture-loving, while Cl. rufocanus is more cold-loving and xerophilous, with Cl. rutilus occupying an intermediate position between them. Clethrionomys rutilus is most temperature-dependent and stenothermic among them, whereas Cl. glareolus is indifferent to the factors studied.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 19, 2009
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