Chapter

The Relative Importance of Predation, Food, and Interspecific Competition for Growth of Prairie Vole (<i>Microtus Ochrogaster</i>) Populations

George O. Batzli, Steven J. Harper and Yu-teh K. Lin

in The Quintessential Naturalist

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780520098596
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916159 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520098596.003.0003
The Relative Importance of Predation, Food, and Interspecific Competition for Growth of Prairie Vole (Microtus Ochrogaster) Populations

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This chapter presents a new analysis of experimental data that examines the relative effects of three factors—predation, food supply, and interspecific competition—on the population growth of voles. It aims to test the proposition that predation is an important factor which reduces population growth of small mammals during population increases as well as declines, an idea called Pearson's hypothesis. The chapter quantifies the relative impact on growth of prairie vole populations during the growing season of manipulating access by predators, food supply, and presence of a competing species (the meadow vole, M. ochrogaster). It finds that all three factors had substantial effects on population growth, but that predation had two–three times greater impact than did food supply or competition, using analysis of variance and linear modeling.

Keywords: food supply; interspecific competition; M. ochrogaster; prairie vole; predation; population growth; analysis of variance; linear modeling

Chapter.  7083 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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