The influence of intra- and interspecific competition of common and East European voles on their daily activity was studied in 34-m2 enclosures at the Chernogolovka Experimental Research Station (Moscow Region). Family groups of animals captured in the same biotopes were placed in enclosures and, 25 day later, their daily activity was observed. Thereafter, the animals were pooled and observations were repeated 25 days later. The experiment consisted of three stages. At the first stage, the daily activity, time budget, and social behavior of common voles were studied before and after pooling different family groups; at the second stage, the same was performed with East European voles; and at the third stage, with both species. The species proved to use different strategies for alleviating intraspecific competition: in common voles, this was segregation of ecological niches via desynchronization of daily activity; in East European voles, conversely, aggregation in groups and synchronization of activity. Under experimental cohabitation, the strategy of the common vole, a more aggressive species, was to force out the other species, ecologically similar but less competitive; the strategy of the East European vole was aimed at avoidance via segregation of ecological niches in time.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 8, 2009
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