The influence of rainfall on diet and reproduction in four African rodent species

The influence of rainfall on diet and reproduction in four African rodent species Arvicanthis nitoticus was found, during two seasons of the study, to begin breeding some two to three months after the start of the rains; at this time weed seeds first appeared in the stomach contents. Breeding continued during the rains and into the early part of the dry season while weed seeds and cereals formed the major part of the diet. Breeding declined during the early part of the dry season, and fat was laid down while weed seeds and cereals were still present but less abundant in the diet. Later in the dry season, breeding ceased and the diet was switched dramatically, first to the leaves and stems of dicotyledonous plants then almost exclusively to grass, and fat deposits were rapidly utilized. Arvicanthis living in an area where cereals were artifically supplied bred almost continuously. Mastomys natalensis also bred when seeds and cereals were most plentiful, but, by ranging widely over open ground, often managed to continue to find these foods, and insects, during the dry season. Supplied cereals failed to produce a reproductive response in Mastomys–instead, unprecedented fat deposits developed. Unseasonal reproduction in this species was, however, observed in an unseasonal wheat crop. Rhabdomys pumilio bred when cereals were plentiful but was also found breeding when its diet was mainly clover–a crop that is noted for its high crude protein content. The herbivorous Otomys angoniensis bred throughout the year and was unaffected by supplied cereals. It seems clear that the food supply of grani‐vorous species is dependent on rainfall, and that prolongation of the normal rainy season may generate excess food and cover, resulting in and extended breeding season and unusually large numbers of these rodents. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Zoology Wiley

The influence of rainfall on diet and reproduction in four African rodent species

Journal of Zoology, Volume 180 (3) – Nov 1, 1976

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/the-influence-of-rainfall-on-diet-and-reproduction-in-four-african-QQmb2U9So8
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1976 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0952-8369
eISSN
1469-7998
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1469-7998.1976.tb04683.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Arvicanthis nitoticus was found, during two seasons of the study, to begin breeding some two to three months after the start of the rains; at this time weed seeds first appeared in the stomach contents. Breeding continued during the rains and into the early part of the dry season while weed seeds and cereals formed the major part of the diet. Breeding declined during the early part of the dry season, and fat was laid down while weed seeds and cereals were still present but less abundant in the diet. Later in the dry season, breeding ceased and the diet was switched dramatically, first to the leaves and stems of dicotyledonous plants then almost exclusively to grass, and fat deposits were rapidly utilized. Arvicanthis living in an area where cereals were artifically supplied bred almost continuously. Mastomys natalensis also bred when seeds and cereals were most plentiful, but, by ranging widely over open ground, often managed to continue to find these foods, and insects, during the dry season. Supplied cereals failed to produce a reproductive response in Mastomys–instead, unprecedented fat deposits developed. Unseasonal reproduction in this species was, however, observed in an unseasonal wheat crop. Rhabdomys pumilio bred when cereals were plentiful but was also found breeding when its diet was mainly clover–a crop that is noted for its high crude protein content. The herbivorous Otomys angoniensis bred throughout the year and was unaffected by supplied cereals. It seems clear that the food supply of grani‐vorous species is dependent on rainfall, and that prolongation of the normal rainy season may generate excess food and cover, resulting in and extended breeding season and unusually large numbers of these rodents.

Journal

Journal of ZoologyWiley

Published: Nov 1, 1976

References

  • The biology of small rodents in Mayanja Forest, Uganda
    Delany, Delany

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off