Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Bark consumption by voles in relation to mineral contents.

Authors
  • Hansson, L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of chemical ecology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1991
Volume
17
Issue
4
Pages
735–743
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/BF00994196
PMID: 24258918
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Recent field experiments with impregnated wooden sticks have demonstrated a pronounced use by small rodents of mineral supplies, especially sodium, and such findings seemed related to vole damage to forestry seedlings. Consumption of the bark of experimentally introduced aspen twigs and of sodium-impregnated sticks by voles (mainly or onlyMicrotus agrestis) correlated significantly on clear-cuts but not on unmanipulated abandoned fields. Such a correlation appeared when abandoned fields were cut continuously in summer. At vole peak densities, bark of pine seedlings experimentally fertilized with sodium was consumed but not bark of seedlings fertilized with calcium or control seedlings. Field pine seedlings attacked by voles had significantly higher levels of calcium, sodium, and phosphorus than the nearest untouched seedling. However, sodium and phosphorus contents correlated strongly. Sodium and calcium supply to voles in laboratory feeding trials did not diminish the moderate interest in pine bark. Such conditions are, however, assumed to mimic a situation of bark sampling in low-density populations. Sodium, and possibly also calcium, requirements are concluded to be partial determinants of the destructive bark consumption by voles at the peaks of their multiannual population cycles.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times