The spatial structure of populations has been studied in two rodent species inhabiting the subzone of meadow steppes of the steppe zone of Omsk oblast: the narrow-sculled vole (Microtus gregalis Pall.) and steppe lemming (Lagurus lagurus Pall.). Their populations are represented by combinations of territorial family groups whose structure and spatial distribution vary by season depending on population density, the phase of the population cycle, and the status of their members in the population. In the areas cohabited by M. gregalis and L. lagurus, the pattern of territory use and the rhythm of animal activity during the day depend primarily on their total density: under conditions of low density, the population groups of both species are spatially separated; at increased density, they are distributed with respect to the pattern of daily activity. Both species jointly use part of the territory but at different times of day: M. gregalis, mainly at night and in the morning; L. lagurus, in the daytime.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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