Chapter

Ratada 2001: A Rodent Outbreak Following the Flowering of Bamboo (Chusquea Culeou) in Southwestern Argentina

Richard D. Sage, Oliver P. Pearson, Javier Sanguinetti and Anita K. Pearson

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/9780520098596.003.0008
Ratada 2001: A Rodent Outbreak Following the Flowering of Bamboo (Chusquea Culeou) in Southwestern Argentina

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This chapter observes that in the spring of 2000, Chusquea culeou bamboo, the dominant understory plant in the Valdivian forest habitat in southwestern Argentina, flowered over a latitudinal range of 100km and produced a massive amount of seed. It notes that reproductive activity of rodents in the area continued into the subsequent autumn and winter, when rodent numbers reached peak levels and large numbers of drowned rodents appeared on beaches. The chapter further notes that owls and foxes reached high numbers, and that the mean age in populations of Oligoryzomys longicaudatus and Abrothrix longipilis declined. It also observes that in the following (second) spring, reproduction was delayed or suppressed, and by the following (second) autumn populations had declined to unusually low levels. The chapter notes that by the third year after flowering, rodent numbers had returned to levels characteristic of the population in this area.

Keywords: Chusquea culeou bamboo; Valdivian forest; southwestern Argentina; rodents; owls and foxes; Oligoryzomys longicaudatus; Abrothrix longipilis; reproduction; population

Chapter.  18996 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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