shock disease

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A response to overcrowding in which physiological changes in the endocrine system lead to physical deterioration, reduced reproductive success, and fighting, which may be followed by a catastrophic decline in numbers. Shock disease has been observed in many small mammals (e.g. field vole, Microtus agrestis), but is believed to be rare among invertebrates.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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