Science.gov

Sample records for adult prairie vole

  1. Neonatal exposure to amphetamine alters social affiliation and central dopamine activity in adult male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Fukushiro, D F; Olivera, A; Liu, Y; Wang, Z

    2015-10-29

    The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a socially monogamous rodent species that forms pair bonds after mating. Recent data have shown that amphetamine (AMPH) is rewarding to prairie voles as it induces conditioned place preferences. Further, repeated treatment with AMPH impairs social bonding in adult prairie voles through a central dopamine (DA)-dependent mechanism. The present study examined the effects of neonatal exposure to AMPH on behavior and central DA activity in adult male prairie voles. Our data show that neonatal exposure to AMPH makes voles less social in an affiliation test during adulthood, but does not affect animals' locomotor activity and anxiety-like behavior. Neonatal exposure to AMPH also increases the levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and DA transporter (DAT) mRNA expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in the brain, indicating an increase in central DA activity. As DA has been implicated in AMPH effects on behavioral and cognitive functions, altered DA activity in the vole brain may contribute to the observed changes in social behavior. PMID:26321240

  2. Species differences in behavior and cell proliferation/survival in the adult brains of female meadow and prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Pan, Y; Liu, Y; Lieberwirth, C; Zhang, Z; Wang, Z

    2016-02-19

    Microtine rodents display diverse patterns of social organization and behaviors, and thus provide a useful model for studying the effects of the social environment on physiology and behavior. The current study compared the species differences and the effects of oxytocin (OT) on anxiety-like, social affiliation, and social recognition behaviors in female meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Furthermore, cell proliferation and survival in the brains of adult female meadow and prairie voles were compared. We found that female meadow voles displayed a higher level of anxiety-like behavior but lower levels of social affiliation and social recognition compared to female prairie voles. In addition, meadow voles showed lower levels of cell proliferation (measured by Ki67 staining) and cell survival (measured by BrdU staining) in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) and amygdala (AMY), but not the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus (DG), than prairie voles. Interestingly, the numbers of new cells in the VMH and AMY, but not DG, also correlated with anxiety-like, social affiliation, and social recognition behaviors in a brain region-specific manner. Finally, central OT treatment (200 ng/kg, icv) did not lead to changes in behavior or cell proliferation/survival in the brain. Together, these data indicate a potential role of cell proliferation/survival in selected brain areas on different behaviors between vole species with distinct life strategies. PMID:26708743

  3. Does paedomorphosis contribute to prairie vole monogamy?

    PubMed Central

    Bushyhead, Timothy; Curtis, J. Thomas

    2015-01-01

    We examined skull morphology in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and meadow voles (M. pennsylvanicus), two closely related species with fundamentally different mating systems, to test the hypothesis that paedomorphosis contributes to the evolution of monogamous mating systems. Using several skull measurements, we found that the overall length:width ratio of meadow vole skulls was greater than that of prairie voles suggesting that meadow vole have longer narrower skulls. We then examined which aspects of skull morphology differed between the species and found that the ratio difference was attributable primarily to longer snout length in meadow voles. Finally, we compared adult morphology in both species to that of pups and found the prairie vole, a monogamous species, displays a more juvenile-like skull morphology than does the meadow vole, a promiscuous species. These results suggest that monogamous vole species retain more juvenile-like morphology than do promiscuous species, and thus possibly retain juvenile-like behaviors that may contribute to a monogamous mating system. PMID:26594100

  4. Neonatal exposure to the D1 agonist SKF38393 inhibits pair bonding in the adult prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Caroline M; Harkey, Shanna L; Krzywosinski, Tarin B; Aragona, Brandon J; Bales, Karen L

    2011-10-01

    The monogamous prairie vole displays developmental sensitivity to early pharmacological manipulation in a number of species-typical social behaviors. The long-term consequences of altering the neonatal dopamine system are not well characterized. This study examined whether early manipulation of the dopamine system, a known mediator of adult prairie vole social behavior, during neonatal development would affect adult aggressive and attachment behaviors. Eight-day-old pups were given a single treatment with either 1 mg/kg of SKF38393 (D1 agonist), quinpirole (D2 agonist), SCH23390 (D1 antagonist), eticlopride (D2 antagonist), or saline vehicle. As adults, animals received tests for intrasexual aggression and partner preference. Activation of D1-like receptors in pups impaired partner preference formation, but had no effect on aggression. Other neonatal treatments had no effect on their behavior as adults. To determine whether D1 activation in pups induced changes in dopamine receptor expression, we performed autoradiography on striatal tissue from a second cohort of saline-treated and SKF38393-treated animals. Although sex differences were observed, we found no treatment differences in D1 or D2 receptor binding in any striatal subregion. This study shows that exposure to a single early pharmacological alteration of dopamine receptor activity may have long-term effects on the social behavior of prairie voles. PMID:21918384

  5. D2 antagonist during development decreases anxiety and infanticidal behavior in adult female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Caroline M; Harkey, Shanna L; Bales, Karen L

    2010-06-26

    On postnatal day 8, prairie vole pups were randomly assigned a treatment of 1mg/kg SKF38393 (D1 agonist), quinpirole (D2 agonist), SCH23390 (D1 antagonist), eticlopride (D2 antagonist), or saline vehicle. As adults, females treated with eticlopride exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior in an elevated plus maze and a reduction in infanticidal behavior. These behavioral effects were not seen in males. These data demonstrate that a single exposure to a D2 antagonist during development can have persistent, sex-specific effects on behavior into adulthood. PMID:20152865

  6. The oxytocin system promotes resilience to the effects of neonatal isolation on adult social attachment in female prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Barrett, C E; Arambula, S E; Young, L J

    2015-01-01

    Genes and social experiences interact to create variation in social behavior and vulnerability to develop disorders of the social domain. Socially monogamous prairie voles display remarkable diversity in neuropeptide receptor systems and social behavior. Here, we examine the interaction of early-life adversity and brain oxytocin receptor (OTR) density on adult social attachment in female prairie voles. First, pups were isolated for 3 h per day, or unmanipulated, from postnatal day 1-14. Adult subjects were tested on the partner preference (PP) test to assess social attachment and OTR density in the brain was quantified. Neonatal social isolation impaired female PP formation, without affecting OTR density. Accumbal OTR density was, however, positively correlated with the percent of time spent huddling with the partner in neonatally isolated females. Females with high accumbal OTR binding were resilient to neonatal isolation. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that parental nurturing shapes neural systems underlying social relationships by enhancing striatal OTR signaling. Thus, we next determined whether early touch, mimicking parental licking and grooming, stimulates hypothalamic OT neuron activity. Tactile stimulation induced immediate-early gene activity in OT neurons in neonates. Finally, we investigated whether pharmacologically potentiating OT release using a melanocortin 3/4 agonist, melanotan-II (10 mg kg(-1) subcutaneously), would mitigate the social isolation-induced impairments in attachment behavior. Neonatal melanotan-II administration buffered against the effects of early isolation on partner preference formation. Thus, variation in accumbal OTR density and early OT release induced by parental nurturing may moderate susceptibility to early adverse experiences, including neglect. PMID:26196439

  7. Neonatal melanocortin receptor agonist treatment reduces play fighting and promotes adult attachment in prairie voles in a sex-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Catherine E; Modi, Meera E; Zhang, Billy C; Walum, Hasse; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Young, Larry J

    2014-10-01

    The melanocortin receptor (MCR) system has been studied extensively for its role in feeding and sexual behavior, but effects on social behavior have received little attention. α-MSH interacts with neural systems involved in sociality, including oxytocin, dopamine, and opioid systems. Acute melanotan-II (MTII), an MC3/4R agonist, potentiates brain oxytocin (OT) release and facilitates OT-dependent partner preference formation in socially monogamous prairie voles. Here we examined the long-term impact of early-life MCR stimulation on hypothalamic neuronal activity and social development in prairie voles. Male and female voles were given daily subcutaneous injections of 10 mg/kg MTII or saline between postnatal days (PND) 1-7. Neonatally-treated males displayed a reduction in initiated play fighting bouts as juveniles compared to control males. Neonatal exposure to MTII facilitated partner preference formation in adult females, but not males, after a brief cohabitation with an opposite-sex partner. Acute MTII injection elicited a significant burst of the immediate early gene EGR-1 immunoreactivity in hypothalamic OT, vasopressin, and corticotrophin releasing factor neurons, when tested in PND 6-7 animals. Daily neonatal treatment with 1 mg/kg of a more selective, brain penetrant MC4R agonist, PF44687, promoted adult partner preferences in both females and males compared with vehicle controls. Thus, developmental exposure to MCR agonists lead to a persistent change in social behavior, suggestive of structural or functional changes in the neural circuits involved in the formation of social relationships. PMID:24923239

  8. Urocortin II increases spontaneous parental behavior in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Samuel, Peter A; Hostetler, Caroline M; Bales, Karen L

    2008-01-25

    Stress and anxiety play a role in many psychological processes including social behavior. The present study examines the effects of urocortin II (UCN II) on spontaneous parental behavior in adult prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). UCN II was found to increase passive parental behavior in voles while not affecting any stress-related measures. Delineating the mechanism of this change will aid in our understanding of the regulation of parenting. PMID:17888526

  9. Urocortin II increases spontaneous parental behavior in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Samuel, Peter A.; Hostetler, Caroline M.; Bales, Karen L.

    2008-01-01

    Stress and anxiety play a role in many psychological processes including social behavior. The present study examines the effects of urocortin II (UCN II) on spontaneous parental behavior in adult prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). UCN II was found to increase passive parental behavior in voles while not affecting any stress-related measures. Delineating the mechanism of this change will aid in our understanding of the regulation of parenting. PMID:17888526

  10. Prairie voles as a novel model of socially-facilitated excessive drinking

    PubMed Central

    Anacker, Allison M.J.; Loftis, Jennifer M.; Kaur, Simranjit; Ryabinin, Andrey E.

    2010-01-01

    Social relationships strongly affect alcohol drinking in humans. Traditional laboratory rodents do not exhibit social affiliations with specific peers, and cannot adequately model how such relationships impact drinking. The prairie vole is a socially monogamous rodent used to study social bonds. The present study tested the prairie vole as a potential model for the effects of social affiliations on alcohol drinking. Same-sex adult sibling prairie voles were paired for five days, and then either separated into individual cages, or housed in pairs. Starting at the time of separation, the voles received unlimited access to alcohol in a two-bottle choice test versus water. Pair-housed siblings exhibited higher preference for alcohol, but not saccharin, than singly-housed voles. There was a significant correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed by each member of a pair when they were housed together (r = 0.79), but not when housed apart (r = 0.20). Following automated analysis of circadian patterns of fluid consumption indicating peak fluid intake before and after the dark phase, a limited access two-hour two-bottle choice procedure was established. Drinking in this procedure resulted in physiologically relevant blood ethanol concentrations (BECs) and increased Fos immunoreactivity in perioculomotor urocortin containing neurons (but not in nucleus accumbens or central nucleus of the amygdala). The high ethanol preference and sensitivity to social manipulation indicate that prairie voles can serve to model social influences on excessive drinking. PMID:20579002

  11. CART peptide following social novelty in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Caroline M; Kowalczyk, Alex S; Griffin, Luana L; Bales, Karen L

    2011-09-26

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous rodents that display high levels of affiliative behaviors, including pair-bonding, biparental care, and cooperative breeding. Species differences in basal cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) mRNA and peptide expression have been found between prairie voles and polygamous meadow voles. Therefore, we hypothesized that the CART system may play a role in the regulation of social behavior in this species. Male and female adult prairie voles were placed in a cage either alone, or with a novel social partner of the same or opposite sex. After 45 min, subjects were sacrificed and CART peptide expression was examined using immunohistochemistry. We examined fifteen hypothalamic, limbic, and hindbrain regions of interest, focusing on areas that show species-specific patterns of expression. We found that subjects paired with a novel conspecific had lower levels of peptide in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) than isolated animals. This may reflect increased peptide release following increased dopaminergic activity in animals exposed to a novel conspecific. Additionally, CART peptide was higher in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of subjects paired with an opposite sex partner compared to those paired with a same-sex conspecific, although there was no difference between isolated subjects and either socially housed group. These findings suggest that CART in the NAc is differentially responsive to the sex of adult conspecifics and that the social environment influences CART expression in the prairie vole in a region- and stimulus-specific manner. PMID:21871610

  12. CART peptide following social novelty in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Hostetler, Caroline M.; Kowalczyk, Alex S.; Griffin, Luana L.; Bales, Karen L.

    2011-01-01

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous rodents that display high levels of affiliative behaviors, including pair-bonding, biparental care, and cooperative breeding. Species differences in basal cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) mRNA and peptide expression have been found between prairie voles and polygamous meadow voles. Therefore, we hypothesized that the CART system may play a role in the regulation of social behavior in this species. Male and female adult prairie voles were placed in a cage either alone, or with a novel social partner of the same or opposite sex. After 45 minutes, subjects were sacrificed and CART peptide expression was examined using immunohistochemistry. We examined fifteen hypothalamic, limbic, and hindbrain regions of interest, focusing on areas that show species-specific patterns of expression. We found that subjects paired with a novel conspecific had lower levels of peptide in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) than isolated animals. This may reflect increased peptide release following increased dopaminergic activity in animals exposed to a novel conspecific. Additionally, CART peptide was higher in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of subjects paired with an opposite sex partner compared to those paired with a same-sex conspecific, although there was no difference between isolated subjects and either socially housed group. These findings suggest that CART in the NAc is differentially responsive to the sex of adult conspecifics and that the social environment influences CART expression in the prairie vole in a region- and stimulus-specific manner. PMID:21871610

  13. Immunoglobulin genomics in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Qin, Tong; Zhao, Huijing; Zhu, Huabin; Wang, Dong; Du, Weihua; Hao, Haisheng

    2015-08-01

    In science, the prairie voles are ideal models for studying the regulatory mechanisms of social behavior in humans. The utility of the prairie vole as a biology model can be further enhanced by characterization of the genes encoding components of the immune system. Here, we report the genomic organization of the prairie vole immunoglobulin heavy and light chain genes. The prairie vole IgH locus on chromosome 1 spans over 1600kb, and consists of at least 79 VH segments (28 potentially functional genes, 2 ORFs and 49 pseudogenes), 7 DH segments, 4 JH segments, four constant region genes (μ, γ, ɛ, and α), and two transmembrane regions of δ gene. The Igκ locus, found on three scaffolds (JH996430, JH996605 and JH996566), contains a totle of 124 Vκ segments (47 potentially functional genes, 1 ORF and 76 pseudogenes), 5 Jκ segments and a single Cκ gene. Two different transcriptional orientations were determined for these Vκ gene segments. In contrast, the Igλ locus on scaffold JH996473 and JH996489 includes 21 Vλ gene segments (14 potentially functional genes, 1 ORF and 6 pseudogenes), all with the same transcriptional polarity as the downstream Jλ-Cλ cluster. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignments suggested the prairie vole's large germline VH, Vκ and Vλ gene segments appear to form limited gene families. Therefore, this species may generate antibody diversity via a gene conversion-like mechanism associated with its pseudogene reserves. PMID:26073565

  14. Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from the prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Manoli, Devanand S; Subramanyam, Deepa; Carey, Catriona; Sudin, Erik; Van Westerhuyzen, Julie A; Bales, Karen L; Blelloch, Robert; Shah, Nirao M

    2012-01-01

    The vast majority of animals mate more or less promiscuously. A few mammals, including humans, utilize more restrained mating strategies that entail a longer term affiliation with a single mating partner. Such pair bonding mating strategies have been resistant to genetic analysis because of a lack of suitable model organisms. Prairie voles are small mouse-like rodents that form enduring pair bonds in the wild as well as in the laboratory, and consequently they have been used widely to study social bonding behavior. The lack of targeted genetic approaches in this species however has restricted the study of the molecular and neural circuit basis of pair bonds. As a first step in rendering the prairie vole amenable to reverse genetics, we have generated induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) lines from prairie vole fibroblasts using retroviral transduction of reprogramming factors. These IPSC lines display the cellular and molecular hallmarks of IPSC cells from other organisms, including mice and humans. Moreover, the prairie vole IPSC lines have pluripotent differentiation potential since they can give rise to all three germ layers in tissue culture and in vivo. These IPSC lines can now be used to develop conditions that facilitate homologous recombination and eventually the generation of prairie voles bearing targeted genetic modifications to study the molecular and neural basis of pair bond formation. PMID:22675440

  15. Prairie Voles as a Model to Screen Medications for the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addictions.

    PubMed

    Ryabinin, A E; Hostetler, C M

    2016-01-01

    Most preclinical studies of medications to treat addictions are performed in mice and rats. These two rodent species belong to one phylogenetic subfamily, which narrows the likelihood of identifying potential mechanisms regulating addictions in other species, ie, humans. Expanding the genetic diversity of organisms modeling alcohol and drug abuse enhances our ability to screen for medications to treat addiction. Recently, research laboratories adapted the prairie vole model to study mechanisms of alcohol and drugs of abuse. This development not only expanded the diversity of genotypes used to screen medications, but also enhanced capabilities of such screens. Prairie voles belong to 3-5% of mammalian species exhibiting social monogamy. This unusual trait is reflected in their ability to form lasting long-term affiliations between adult individuals. The prairie vole animal model has high predictive validity for mechanisms regulating human social behaviors. In addition, these animals exhibit high alcohol intake and preference. In laboratory settings, prairie voles are used to model social influences on drug reward and alcohol consumption as well as effects of addictive substances on social bonding. As a result, this species can be adapted to screen medications whose effectiveness could be (a) resistant to social influences promoting excessive drug taking, (b) dependent on the presence of social support, and (c) medications affecting harmful social consequences of alcohol and drug abuse. This report reviews the literature on studies of alcohol and psychostimulants in prairie voles and discusses capabilities of this animal model as a screen for novel medications to treat alcoholism and addictions. PMID:27055620

  16. Cardioacceleration in Alloparents in Response to Stimuli from Prairie Vole Pups: the Significance of Thermoregulation

    PubMed Central

    Kenkel, William M.; Yee, Jason R.; Porges, Stephen W.; Ferris, Craig F.; Carter, C. Sue

    2015-01-01

    Autonomic responses, including changes in heart rate and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) can provide indications of emotional reactivity to social stimuli in mammals. We have previously reported that male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) spontaneously care for unfamiliar infants, showing a robust and sustained increase in heart rate in the presence of a pup, thus providing an opportunity to examine the physiology of care-giving in reproductively naïve animals. However, the purpose of such heart rate increases has not been explained by previous efforts. In the present study, we first compared male and female prairie vole cardiac responses in the presence of a pup and found no evidence of sex differences in heart rate or RSA. Using male prairie voles, we then examined the characteristics of pups that were capable of eliciting physiological responses, including age of the pup and pup odors. As prairie vole pups increased in age they vocalized less and there was an associated decline in alloparental cardioacceleration. Exposure to pup-related odors induced cardioacceleration in adult males and this effect also diminished with increasing pup age. Finally, we were able to block the cardioacceleratory effect when the testing environment was warmed to a temperature of 36° C [versus ambient room temperature (approximately 22° C)]. These findings suggest that pup-induced cardioacceleration is a robust phenomenon across alloparental prairie voles of both sexes, and depends on multi-modal processing of different stimuli from the pups. Young pups require care-giving behavior, which appears to drive cardioacceleration in the alloparent. This study also supports the usefulness of autonomic measures in the evaluation of social experiences. PMID:25721742

  17. Cardioacceleration in alloparents in response to stimuli from prairie vole pups: the significance of thermoregulation.

    PubMed

    Kenkel, William M; Yee, Jason R; Porges, Stephen W; Ferris, Craig F; Carter, C Sue

    2015-06-01

    Autonomic responses, including changes in heart rate and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) can provide indications of emotional reactivity to social stimuli in mammals. We have previously reported that male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) spontaneously care for unfamiliar infants, showing a robust and sustained increase in heart rate in the presence of a pup, thus providing an opportunity to examine the physiology of care-giving in reproductively naïve animals. However, the purpose of such heart rate increases has not been explained by previous efforts. In the present study, we first compared male and female prairie vole cardiac responses in the presence of a pup and found no evidence of sex differences in heart rate or RSA. Using male prairie voles, we then examined the characteristics of pups that were capable of eliciting physiological responses, including age of the pup and pup odors. As prairie vole pups increased in age they vocalized less and there was an associated decline in alloparental cardioacceleration. Exposure to pup-related odors induced cardioacceleration in adult males, and this effect also diminished with increasing pup age. Finally, we were able to block the cardioacceleratory effect when the testing environment was warmed to a temperature of 36°C [vs ambient room temperature (approximately 22°C)]. These findings suggest that pup-induced cardioacceleration is a robust phenomenon across alloparental prairie voles of both sexes, and depends on multi-modal processing of different stimuli from the pups. Young pups require care-giving behavior, which appears to drive cardioacceleration in the alloparents. This study also supports the usefulness of autonomic measures in the evaluation of social experiences. PMID:25721742

  18. Organization of sensory neocortex in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Campi, Katharine L; Karlen, Sarah J; Bales, Karen L; Krubitzer, Leah

    2007-05-20

    In the current investigation, the functional organization of visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortex was examined in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) by using electrophysiological recording techniques. Functional boundaries of cortical fields were directly related to myeloarchitectonic boundaries. Our results demonstrated that most of the neocortex is occupied by the visual, auditory, and somatosensory areas. Specifically, a small area 17, or primary visual area (V1), was located on the caudomedial pole of the neocortex; a large auditory cortex (AC), which contains the primary auditory area (A1) and other auditory fields, encompassed almost the entire temporal pole; and a large area 3b, or primary somatosensory area (S1), contained a complete representation of the contralateral body surface. Furthermore, these areas were coextensive with distinct myeloarchitectonic appearances. We also observed that the AC appeared to be disproportionately large in the prairie vole compared with other rodents. In addition, we found that both primary and nonprimary areas contained neurons that responded to auditory stimulation. Finally, we observed within S1 a disproportionate amount of cortex that was devoted to representing the perioral hairs and the snout and also that neurons within this representation had very small receptive fields. We discuss the expanded auditory domain and the enlarged representation of perioral hairs as they relate to the specialized life style of the prairie vole. PMID:17366609

  19. Sexual dimorphism and hormone responsiveness in the spinal cord of the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Holmes, Melissa M; Musa, Mutaz; Lonstein, Joseph S; Monks, D Ashley

    2009-09-10

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are exceptional among rodents in that many aspects of their brain and behavior are not masculinized by exogenous aromatizable androgens. However, the sexually differentiated endpoints studied to date rely on estrogenic mechanisms in other mammals. We examined whether sexual differentiation of an androgen receptor-dependent sex difference would be similarly distinct in prairie voles. Male mammals have more and larger motoneurons projecting to perineal muscles than do females. This sex difference normally arises from males' perinatal androgen exposure and can be eliminated by treating developing females with androgens. Gross dissection revealed bulbospongiosus muscles in adult male, but not female, prairie voles. Retrograde tracing from males' bulbocavernosus muscles and the external anal sphincter from both sexes revealed sexually dimorphic populations of labeled motoneurons in the ventral horn of the lumbar spinal cord. Similar to other rodents, males had twice as many motoneurons as females, although no sex difference in motoneuron size was detected. Unexpectedly, prenatal or early postnatal exposure to testosterone propionate had no effect on adult females' motoneuron number or size. In adulthood, gonadectomy alone or followed by chronic testosterone treatment also had no effect on females' motoneuron size or number, although castration reduced motoneuron size in males. Comparing gonadally intact weanlings confirmed that the sex difference in motoneuron number exists before adulthood. As with some other sexually dimorphic traits, and perhaps related to their unique social organization, sexual differentiation of the prairie vole spinal cord differs from that found in most other laboratory rodents. PMID:19575447

  20. A genetic linkage map and comparative mapping of the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) genome

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is an emerging rodent model for investigating the genetics, evolution and molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Though a karyotype for the prairie vole has been reported and low-resolution comparative cytogenetic analyses have been done in this species, other basic genetic resources for this species, such as a genetic linkage map, are lacking. Results Here we report the construction of a genome-wide linkage map of the prairie vole. The linkage map consists of 406 markers that are spaced on average every 7 Mb and span an estimated ~90% of the genome. The sex average length of the linkage map is 1707 cM, which, like other Muroid rodent linkage maps, is on the lower end of the length distribution of linkage maps reported to date for placental mammals. Linkage groups were assigned to 19 out of the 26 prairie vole autosomes as well as the X chromosome. Comparative analyses of the prairie vole linkage map based on the location of 387 Type I markers identified 61 large blocks of synteny with the mouse genome. In addition, the results of the comparative analyses revealed a potential elevated rate of inversions in the prairie vole lineage compared to the laboratory mouse and rat. Conclusions A genetic linkage map of the prairie vole has been constructed and represents the fourth genome-wide high-resolution linkage map reported for Muroid rodents and the first for a member of the Arvicolinae sub-family. This resource will advance studies designed to dissect the genetic basis of a variety of social behaviors and other traits in the prairie vole as well as our understanding of genome evolution in the genus Microtus. PMID:21736755

  1. Effects of population density on corticosterone levels of prairie voles in the field.

    PubMed

    Blondel, Dimitri V; Wallace, Gerard N; Calderone, Stefanie; Gorinshteyn, Marija; St Mary, Colette M; Phelps, Steven M

    2016-01-01

    High population density is often associated with increased levels of stress-related hormones, such as corticosterone (CORT). Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are a socially monogamous species known for their large population density fluctuations in the wild. Although CORT influences the social behavior of prairie voles in the lab, the effect of population density on CORT has not previously been quantified in this species in the field. We validated a non-invasive hormone assay for measuring CORT metabolites in prairie vole feces. We then used semi-natural enclosures to experimentally manipulate population density, and measured density effects on male space use and fecal CORT levels. Our enclosures generated patterns of space use and social interaction that were consistent with previous prairie vole field studies. Contrary to the positive relationship between CORT and density typical of other taxa, we found that lower population densities (80 animals/ha) produced higher fecal CORT than higher densities (240/ha). Combined with prior work in the lab and field, the data suggest that high prairie vole population densities indicate favorable environments, perhaps through reduced predation risk. Lastly, we found that field animals had lower fecal CORT levels than laboratory-living animals. The data emphasize the usefulness of prairie voles as models for integrating ecological, evolutionary, and mechanistic questions in social behavior. PMID:26342968

  2. Social isolation induces behavioral and neuroendocrine disturbances relevant to depression in female and male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Grippo, Angela J; Gerena, Davida; Huang, Jonathan; Kumar, Narmda; Shah, Maulin; Ughreja, Raj; Carter, C Sue

    2007-01-01

    Supportive social interactions may be protective against stressors and certain mental and physical illness, while social isolation may be a powerful stressor. Prairie voles are socially monogamous rodents that model some of the behavioral and physiological traits displayed by humans, including sensitivity to social isolation. Neuroendocrine and behavioral parameters, selected for their relevance to stress and depression, were measured in adult female and male prairie voles following 4 weeks of social isolation versus paired housing. In Experiment 1, oxytocin-immunoreactive cell density was higher in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and plasma oxytocin was elevated in isolated females, but not in males. In Experiment 2, sucrose intake, used as an operational definition of hedonia, was reduced in both sexes following 4 weeks of isolation. Animals then received a resident-intruder test, and were sacrificed either 10 min later for the analysis of circulating hormones and peptides, or 2h later to examine neural activation, indexed by c-Fos expression in PVN cells immunoreactive for oxytocin or corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). Compared to paired animals, plasma oxytocin, ACTH and corticosterone were elevated in isolated females and plasma oxytocin was elevated in isolated males, following the resident-intruder test. The proportion of cells double-labeled for c-Fos and oxytocin or c-Fos and CRF was elevated in isolated females, and the proportion of cells double-labeled for c-Fos and oxytocin was elevated in isolated males following this test. These findings suggest that social isolation induces behavioral and neuroendocrine responses relevant to depression in male and female prairie voles, although neuroendocrine responses in females may be especially sensitive to isolation. PMID:17825994

  3. Chemosensory cues affect amygdaloid neurogenesis and alter behaviors in the socially monogamous prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Liu, Y; Lieberwirth, C; Jia, X; Curtis, J T; Meredith, M; Wang, Z X

    2014-05-01

    The current study examined the effects of pheromonal exposure on adult neurogenesis and revealed the role of the olfactory pathways on adult neurogenesis and behavior in the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). Subjects were injected with a cell proliferation marker [5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU)] and then exposed to their own soiled bedding or bedding soiled by a same- or opposite-sex conspecific. Exposure to opposite-sex bedding increased BrdU labeling in the amygdala (AMY), but not the dentate gyrus (DG), of female, but not male, voles, indicating a sex-, stimulus-, and brain region-specific effect. The removal of the main olfactory bulbs or lesioning of the vomeronasal organ (VNOX) in females reduced BrdU labeling in the AMY and DG, and inhibited the male bedding-induced BrdU labeling in the AMY, revealing the importance of an intact olfactory pathway for amygdaloid neurogenesis. VNOX increased anxiety-like behavior and altered social preference, but it did not affect social recognition memory in female voles. VNOX also reduced the percentage of BrdU-labeled cells that co-expressed the neuronal marker TuJ1 in the AMY, but not the DG. Together, our data indicate the importance of the olfactory pathway in mediating brain plasticity in the limbic system as well as its role in behavior. PMID:24641515

  4. Parental Division of Labor, Coordination, and the Effects of Family Structure on Parenting in Monogamous Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Hammock, Elizabeth A.D.; Young, Larry J.

    2011-01-01

    Family relationships help shape species-typical social and emotional development, but our understanding of how this shaping occurs is still relatively limited. Prairie voles are a socially monogamous and biparental species that is well situated to complement traditional animal models, such as rats and mice, in investigating the effects of family experience. In this series of studies, we aimed to test hypotheses relating to how prairie vole families function under undisturbed, standard laboratory conditions. In the first study, we compared the parental behavior of primiparous biparental (BP) and single-mother (SM) prairie vole family units for 12 postnatal days and then tested for sex differences, behavioral coordination, and family structure effects. Under BP conditions, nest attendance was coordinated and shared equally by both sexes, while pup-directed and partner-directed licking and grooming (LG) were coordinated in a sex and social-context-dependent manner. Contrary to our expectations, SMs showed no evidence of strong parental compensation in response to the lack of the father, indicating a minimal effect of family structure on maternal behavior but a large effect on pup care. In the second study, we examined the effects of these BP and SM rearing conditions on family dynamics in the next generation and found that SM-reared adult parents exhibited lower rates of pup-directed LG in comparison to BP-reared counterparts. Situated in the context of human family dynamics and psychology, these results suggest that the study in prairie voles may help improve our understanding of family systems and how perturbations to these systems can affect adults and offspring. PMID:20945408

  5. Identification of subpopulations of prairie voles differentially susceptible to peer influence to decrease high alcohol intake.

    PubMed

    Anacker, Allison M J; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2013-01-01

    Peer influences are critical in the decrease of alcohol (ethanol) abuse and maintenance of abstinence. We previously developed an animal model of inhibitory peer influences on ethanol drinking using prairie voles and here sought to understand whether this influential behavior was due to specific changes in drinking patterns and to variation in a microsatellite sequence in the regulatory region of the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (avpr1a). Adult prairie voles' drinking patterns were monitored in a lickometer apparatus that recorded each lick a subject exhibited during continuous access to water and 10% ethanol during periods of isolation, pair housing of high and low drinkers, and subsequent isolation. Analysis of fluid consumption confirmed previous results that high drinkers typically decrease ethanol intake when paired with low drinkers, but that a subset of voles do not decrease. Analysis of bout structure revealed differences in the number of ethanol drinking bouts in the subpopulations of high drinkers when paired with low drinkers. Lickometer drinking patterns analyzed by visual and by cross-correlation analyses demonstrated that pair housing did not increase the rate of subjects drinking in bouts occurring at the same time. The length of the avpr1a microsatellite did not predict susceptibility to peer influence or any other drinking behaviors. In summary, subpopulations of high drinkers were identified, by fluid intake and number of drinking bouts, which did or did not lower their ethanol intake when paired with a low drinking peer, and these subpopulations should be explored for testing the efficacy of treatments to decrease ethanol use in groups that are likely to be responsive to different types of therapy. PMID:23847535

  6. Trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates formation of partner preference in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Duclot, F; Wang, H; Youssef, C; Liu, Y; Wang, Z; Kabbaj, M

    2016-05-01

    In the socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the development of a social bonding is indicated by the formation of partner preference, which involves a variety of environmental and neurochemical factors and brain structures. In a most recent study in female prairie voles, we found that treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates the formation of partner preference through up-regulation of oxytocin receptor (OTR) and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) genes expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TSA treatment also facilitates partner preference formation and alters OTR and V1aR genes expression in the NAcc in male prairie voles. We thus observed that central injection of TSA dose-dependently promoted the formation of partner preference in the absence of mating in male prairie voles. Interestingly, TSA treatment up-regulated OTR, but not V1aR, gene expression in the NAcc similarly as they were affected by mating - an essential process for naturally occurring partner preference. These data, together with others, not only indicate the involvement of epigenetic events but also the potential role of NAcc oxytocin in the regulation of partner preference in both male and female prairie voles. PMID:27074037

  7. RNAi knockdown of oxytocin receptor in the nucleus accumbens inhibits social attachment and parental care in monogamous female prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Keebaugh, Alaine C.; Barrett, Catherine E.; LaPrairie, Jamie L.; Jenkins, Jasmine J.; Young, Larry J.

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin modulates many aspects of social cognition and behaviors, including maternal nurturing, social recognition and bonding. Natural variation in oxytocin receptor (OXTR) density in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is associated with variation in alloparental behavior, and artificially enhancing OXTR expression in the NAcc enhances alloparental behavior and pair bonding in socially monogamous prairie voles. Furthermore, infusion of an OXTR antagonist into the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) inhibits alloparental behavior and partner preference formation. However, antagonists can promiscuously interact with other neuropeptide receptors. To directly examine the role of OXTR signaling in social bonding, we used RNA interference to selectively knockdown, but not eliminate, OXTR in the NAcc of female prairie voles and examined the impact on social behaviors. Using an adeno-associated viral vector expressing a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting Oxtr mRNA, we reduced accumbal OXTR density in female prairie voles from juvenile age through adulthood. Females receiving the shRNA vector displayed a significant reduction in alloparental behavior and disrupted partner preference formation. These are the first direct demonstrations that OXTR plays a critical role in alloparental behavior and adult social attachment, and suggest that natural variation in OXTR expression in this region alone can create variation in social behavior. PMID:25874849

  8. In vitro culture and in vitro fertilization techniques for prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Horie, Kengo; Hidema, Shizu; Hirayama, Takashi; Nishimori, Katsuhiko

    2015-08-01

    Prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a highly social animal and is a commonly used animal model for neuropsychopharmacological and psychiatric studies. To date, only a few reports on the development of transgenic prairie voles which was primarily due to the suboptimal development of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in prairie voles. Limitations in ART further hinder the development of genetically modified prairie voles such as the application of conventional gene targeting technologies using embryonic stem (ES) or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to generate chimeric prairie voles. Moreover, recent advancement in genome-editing tools such as transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) and clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas technology provide an unprecedented opportunity to create gene targeting animal model and the development of ART in prairie voles is necessary for future development of novel transgenic prairie vole model. We have established efficient method for in vitro embryo culture and sperm cryopreservation with high fertilization rate. In G-1 PLUS and G-2 PLUS sequential culture condition, 81.0% (# of Blastocysts/total n) of one-cell embryos developed to blastocysts. In contrary, no embryos were developed to blastocyst stage in KSOM medium (0/total # of embryos in culture). In vitro fertilization rate using fresh and frozen-thawed sperm was 32.6% and 29.3%, respectively. This is the first report of IVF using cryopreserved prairie vole sperm. We employed mouse IVF methods in prairie voles and optimize culture conditions using human G-1/G-2 PLUS sequential culture method that resulted in high embryonic development rate. The development in vole reproductive technology will facilitate the generation of transgenic voles in the future. PMID:26071353

  9. Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Da-Jiang; Foley, Lauren; Rehman, Asad; Ophir, Alexander G

    2013-11-01

    Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal's territory may be more salient than knowing the identity of individuals on whose territory an animal is trespassing. Hence, social and environmental context could affect social recognition in many ways. Here we test social recognition of socially monogamous single male prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster. In experiment 1 we tested recognition of male or female conspecifics and found that males discriminated between different males but not between different females. In experiment 2 we asked whether recognition of males is influenced when males are tested in their own cage (familiar), in a clean cage (neutral) or in the home cage of another male (unfamiliar). Although focal males discriminated between male conspecifics in all three contexts, individual variation in recognition was lower when males were tested in their home cage (in the presence of familiar social cues) compared to when the context lacked social cues (neutral). Experiment 1 indicates that selective pressures may have operated to enhance male territorial behaviour and indiscriminate mate selection. Experiment 2 suggests that the presence of a conspecific cue heightens social recognition and that home-field advantages might extend to social cognition. Taken together, our results indicate social recognition depends on the social and possibly territorial context. PMID:24273328

  10. Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Da-Jiang; Foley, Lauren; Rehman, Asad; Ophir, Alexander G.

    2013-01-01

    Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal’s territory may be more salient than knowing the identity of individuals on whose territory an animal is trespassing. Hence, social and environmental context could affect social recognition in many ways. Here we test social recognition of socially monogamous single male prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster. In experiment 1 we tested recognition of male or female conspecifics and found that males discriminated between different males but not between different females. In experiment 2 we asked whether recognition of males is influenced when males are tested in their own cage (familiar), in a clean cage (neutral) or in the home cage of another male (unfamiliar). Although focal males discriminated between male conspecifics in all three contexts, individual variation in recognition was lower when males were tested in their home cage (in the presence of familiar social cues) compared to when the context lacked social cues (neutral). Experiment 1 indicates that selective pressures may have operated to enhance male territorial behaviour and indiscriminate mate selection. Experiment 2 suggests that the presence of a conspecific cue heightens social recognition and that home-field advantages might extend to social cognition. Taken together, our results indicate social recognition depends on the social and possibly territorial context. PMID:24273328

  11. Voluntary exercise facilitates pair-bonding in male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Kenkel, William M; Carter, C Sue

    2016-01-01

    The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in exercise, as well as monogamy and parental behavior. In this study, we compared behavioral and neuroendocrine effects of access to an exercise wheel vs. the sedentary state typical in lab animal housing. Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) were studied because of their extensive repertoire of social behaviors including pair bond formation and biparental care, which are influenced by oxytocin and vasopressin. Subjects in one group had access to a running wheel in their cage (wheel), and voluntarily ran approximately 1.5 km/day for six weeks; these animals were compared to males in standard housing conditions (n=10/group). Males allowed to exercise formed partner preferences significantly faster than controls and exhibited fewer oxytocin neurons, as measured by immunohistochemistry in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. We observed no differences in terms of anxiety-related behavior, or alloparental responsiveness. Males with a running wheel equipped cage gained more total body weight, and by the end of the six weeks were found to have less subcutaneous fat and larger testes as a percentage of bodyweight. The changes to gonadal regulation and pair-bonding behavior associated with voluntary exercise are discussed in terms of their possible relevance to the natural history of this species. PMID:26409174

  12. BOLD fMRI in awake prairie voles: A platform for translational social and affective neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Yee, J R; Kenkel, W M; Kulkarni, P; Moore, K; Perkeybile, A M; Toddes, S; Amacker, J A; Carter, C S; Ferris, C F

    2016-09-01

    The advancement of neuroscience depends on continued improvement in methods and models. Here, we present novel techniques for the use of awake functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) - an important step forward in minimally-invasive measurement of neural activity in a non-traditional animal model. Imaging neural responses in prairie voles, a species studied for its propensity to form strong and selective social bonds, is expected to greatly advance our mechanistic understanding of complex social and affective processes. The use of ultra-high-field fMRI allows for recording changes in region-specific activity throughout the entire brain simultaneously and with high temporal and spatial resolutions. By imaging neural responses in awake animals, with minimal invasiveness, we are able to avoid the confound of anesthesia, broaden the scope of possible stimuli, and potentially make use of repeated scans from the same animals. These methods are made possible by the development of an annotated and segmented 3D vole brain atlas and software for image analysis. The use of these methods in the prairie vole provides an opportunity to broaden neuroscientific investigation of behavior via a comparative approach, which highlights the ethological relevance of pro-social behaviors shared between voles and humans, such as communal breeding, selective social bonds, social buffering of stress, and caregiving behaviors. Results using these methods show that fMRI in the prairie vole is capable of yielding robust blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal changes in response to hypercapnic challenge (inhaled 5% CO2), region-specific physical challenge (unilateral whisker stimulation), and presentation of a set of novel odors. Complementary analyses of repeated restraint sessions in the imaging hardware suggest that voles do not require acclimation to this procedure. Taken together, awake vole fMRI represents a new arena of neurobiological

  13. Peripheral oxytocin administration buffers autonomic but not behavioral responses to environmental stressors in isolated prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Grippo, Angela J; Pournajafi-Nazarloo, Hossein; Sanzenbacher, Lisa; Trahanas, Diane M; McNeal, Neal; Clarke, Deirdre A; Porges, Stephen W; Sue Carter, C

    2012-03-01

    Negative social experiences such as social stressors and isolation influence mental and physical illnesses, including affective disorders and heart disease. Studies focused on socially monogamous prairie voles can provide insight into neurobiological systems that underlie the consequences of negative social interactions. Female prairie voles were exposed to 28 days of social isolation or pairing with a female sibling (control). Voles were administered daily oxytocin [20 μg/50 μl, subcutaneous (sc)] or saline vehicle (50 μl, sc) for 14 days and exposed to two behavioral stressors [elevated plus maze (EPM) and resident-intruder test]. Brain tissue was collected for analysis of central peptide levels in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Isolation produced autonomic changes [increased heart rate (HR) and decreased HR variability) during both acute stressors and increased anxiety behaviors in the EPM. Oxytocin injection prevented the autonomic consequences of the acute stressors in isolated prairie voles, but did not affect the behaviors tested under the present conditions. Oxytocin had no effect on the behavioral or autonomic responsiveness in paired prairie voles. Oxytocin injection may exert a beneficial effect on autonomic responses to stressors in isolated animals through increasing the number of oxytocin-containing neurons and decreasing the number of corticotropin-releasing hormone-containing neurons in the PVN. Oxytocinergic mechanisms may serve to compensate for autonomic responses associated with chronic isolation and exposure to both social and non-social acute stressors. PMID:21854168

  14. Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Mathieu, Denise; Griffin, Luana; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of alloparental behavior in cooperatively breeding species. We examined whether alloparental experience as juveniles enhanced later parental care and reproductive success in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a cooperatively breeding rodent. Juveniles cared for one litter of siblings (1EX), two litters of siblings (2EX) or no siblings (0EX). As adults, these individuals were mated to other 0EX, 1EX or 2EX voles, yielding seven different pair combinations, and we recorded measures of parental behaviors, reproductive success, and pup development. As juveniles, individuals caring for siblings for the first time were more alloparental; and as adults, 0EX females paired with 0EX males spent more time in the nest with their pups. Taken together, these results suggest that inexperienced animals spend more time in infant care. As parents, 1EX males spent more time licking their pups than 2EX and 0EX males. Pups with either a 1EX or 2EX parent gained weight faster than pups with 0EX parents during certain developmental periods. While inexperienced animals may spend more time in pup care, long-term benefits of alloparenting may become apparent in the display of certain, particularly important parental behaviors such as licking pups, and in faster weight gain of offspring. PMID:19732810

  15. Influence of male gonadal hormones and familiarity on pregnancy interruption in prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Smale, L

    1988-08-01

    Pregnancy interruption (PI) was examined in female prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster, exposed to stimuli from males 7 to 12 days after pairing. Urine from unfamiliar males interrupted pregnancy when placed directly on the external nares of newly mated females, but urine from familiar stud males was without effect. Castration of males did not reduce the efficacy of unfamiliar male urine in interrupting pregnancy. The neuroendocrine system of female prairie voles responded selectively to male urine as a function of its familiarity; the efficacy of male stimuli leading to PI was not dependent on gonadal hormones. PMID:3061485

  16. CRF receptors in the nucleus accumbens modulate partner preference in prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Miranda M.; Liu, Yan; Ryabinin, Andrey E.; Bai, Yaohui; Wang, Zuoxin; Young, Larry J.

    2007-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests a role for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the regulation of pair bonding in prairie voles. We have previously shown that monogamous and non-monogamous vole species have dramatically different distributions of CRF receptor type 1 (CRF1) and CRF receptor type 2 (CRF2) in the brain, and that CRF1 and CRF2 receptor densities in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) are correlated with social organization. Monogamous prairie and pine voles have significantly lower levels of CRF receptor type 1 (CRF1), and significantly higher levels of type 2 (CRF2) binding, in NAcc than non-monogamous meadow and montane voles. Here, we report that microinjections of CRF directly into the NAcc accelerate partner preference formation in male prairie voles. Control injections of CSF into NAcc, and CRF into caudate-putamen, did not facilitate partner preference. Likewise, CRF injections into NAcc of non-monogamous meadow voles also did not facilitate partner preference. In prairie voles, this CRF-facilitation effect was blocked by co-injection of either CRF1 or CRF2 receptor antagonists into NAcc. Immunocytochemical staining for CRF and Urocortin-1 (Ucn-1), two endogenous ligands for CRF1 or CRF2 receptors in the brain, revealed that CRF, but not Ucn-1, immunoreactive fibers were present in NAcc. This supports the hypothesis that local CRF release into NAcc could activate CRF1 or CRF2 receptors in the region. Taken together, our results reveal a novel role for accumbal CRF systems in social behavior. PMID:17320879

  17. Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The direct costs of paternal care are relatively well documented in primates, however little research has explored these effects in monogamous rodents. The present study examines the long-term effects that pairing and parenting have on male prairie voles. We hypothesized that there would be a signif...

  18. The effects of stress on social preferences are sexually dimorphic in prairie voles.

    PubMed Central

    DeVries, A C; DeVries, M B; Taymans, S E; Carter, C S

    1996-01-01

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous rodents that form pair bonds characterized by a preference for a familiar social partner. In male prairie voles, exposure to either the stress of swimming or exogenous injections of corticosterone facilitate the development of a social preference for a female with which the male was paired after injection or swimming. Conversely, adrenalectomy inhibits partner preference formation in males and the behavioral effects of adrenalectomy are reversed by corticosterone replacement. In female prairie voles, swim stress interferes with the development of social preferences and corticosterone treatments inhibit the formation of partner preferences, while adrenalectomized females form preferences more quickly than adrenally intact controls. Because sex differences in both behavior and physiology are typically reduced in monogamous species, we initially predicted that male and female prairie voles would exhibit similar behavioral responses to corticosterone. However, our findings suggest an unanticipated sexual dimorphism in the physiological processes modulating social preferences. This dimorphic involvement of stress hormones in pair bonding provides a proximate mechanism for regulating social organization, while permitting males and females to adapt their reproductive strategies in response to environmental challenges. PMID:8876248

  19. Spontaneous emergence of overgrown molar teeth in a colony of Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Jheon, Andrew H; Prochazkova, Michaela; Sherman, Michael; Manoli, Devanand S; Shah, Nirao M; Carbone, Lawrence; Klein, Ophir

    2015-01-01

    Continuously growing incisors are common to all rodents, which include the Microtus genus of voles. However, unlike many rodents, voles also possess continuously growing molars. Here, we report spontaneous molar defects in a population of Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). We identified bilateral protuberances on the ventral surface of the mandible in several voles in our colony. In some cases, the protuberances broke through the cortical bone. The mandibular molars became exposed and infected, and the maxillary molars entered the cranial vault. Visualisation upon soft tissue removal and microcomputed tomography (microCT) analyses confirmed that the protuberances were caused by the overgrowth of the apical ends of the molar teeth. We speculate that the unrestricted growth of the molars was due to the misregulation of the molar dental stem cell niche. Further study of this molar phenotype may yield additional insight into stem cell regulation and the evolution and development of continuously growing teeth. PMID:25634121

  20. Voluntary locomotor activity mitigates oxidative damage associated with isolation stress in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Kelsey L.; Whitley, Brittany N.; Treidel, Lisa A.; Thompson, David; Williams, Annie; Noguera, Jose C.; Stevenson, Jennie R.; Haussmann, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    Organismal performance directly depends on an individual's ability to cope with a wide array of physiological challenges. For social animals, social isolation is a stressor that has been shown to increase oxidative stress. Another physiological challenge, routine locomotor activity, has been found to decrease oxidative stress levels. Because we currently do not have a good understanding of how diverse physiological systems like stress and locomotion interact to affect oxidative balance, we studied this interaction in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). Voles were either pair housed or isolated and within the isolation group, voles either had access to a moving wheel or a stationary wheel. We found that chronic periodic isolation caused increased levels of oxidative stress. However, within the vole group that was able to run voluntarily, longer durations of locomotor activity were associated with less oxidative stress. Our work suggests that individuals who demonstrate increased locomotor activity may be better able to cope with the social stressor of isolation. PMID:26179798

  1. Voluntary locomotor activity mitigates oxidative damage associated with isolation stress in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Kelsey L; Whitley, Brittany N; Treidel, Lisa A; Thompson, David; Williams, Annie; Noguera, Jose C; Stevenson, Jennie R; Haussmann, Mark F

    2015-07-01

    Organismal performance directly depends on an individual's ability to cope with a wide array of physiological challenges. For social animals, social isolation is a stressor that has been shown to increase oxidative stress. Another physiological challenge, routine locomotor activity, has been found to decrease oxidative stress levels. Because we currently do not have a good understanding of how diverse physiological systems like stress and locomotion interact to affect oxidative balance, we studied this interaction in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). Voles were either pair housed or isolated and within the isolation group, voles either had access to a moving wheel or a stationary wheel. We found that chronic periodic isolation caused increased levels of oxidative stress. However, within the vole group that was able to run voluntarily, longer durations of locomotor activity were associated with less oxidative stress. Our work suggests that individuals who demonstrate increased locomotor activity may be better able to cope with the social stressor of isolation. PMID:26179798

  2. Spontaneous emergence of overgrown molar teeth in a colony of Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Jheon, Andrew H; Prochazkova, Michaela; Sherman, Michael; Manoli, Devanand S; Shah, Nirao M; Carbone, Lawrence; Klein, Ophir

    2015-03-01

    Continuously growing incisors are common to all rodents, which include the Microtus genus of voles. However, unlike many rodents, voles also possess continuously growing molars. Here, we report spontaneous molar defects in a population of Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). We identified bilateral protuberances on the ventral surface of the mandible in several voles in our colony. In some cases, the protuberances broke through the cortical bone. The mandibular molars became exposed and infected, and the maxillary molars entered the cranial vault. Visualisation upon soft tissue removal and microcomputed tomography (microCT) analyses confirmed that the protuberances were caused by the overgrowth of the apical ends of the molar teeth. We speculate that the unrestricted growth of the molars was due to the misregulation of the molar dental stem cell niche. Further study of this molar phenotype may yield additional insight into stem cell regulation and the evolution and development of continuously growing teeth. PMID:25634121

  3. Melanocortin Receptor Agonists Facilitate Oxytocin-Dependent Partner Preference Formation in the Prairie Vole

    PubMed Central

    Modi, Meera E; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Barrett, Catherine E; Kittelberger, Kara A; Smith, Daniel G; Landgraf, Rainer; Young, Larry J

    2015-01-01

    The central melanocortin (MC) system has been widely studied for its effects on food intake and sexual behavior. However, the MC system, and more specifically the MC4 receptor (MC4R), also interacts with neurochemical systems that regulate socioemotional behaviors, including oxytocin (OT) and dopamine. In monogamous prairie voles, OT and dopamine interact to promote partner preference formation, a laboratory measure of an enduring social bond between mates. Here we investigated the effects of MC receptor activation on partner preference formation in prairie voles, as well as the interaction between the MC and OT systems during this process. Peripheral administration of the brain penetrant MC3/4R receptor peptide agonist, Melanotan II (MTII), and the highly selective, small-molecule MC4R agonist, Pf-446687, enhanced partner preference formation in the prairie vole, but not in the non-monogamous meadow vole. MTII-induced partner preferences were enduring, as they were present 1 week after drug manipulation. The prosocial effects of MCR agonists may be mediated, in part, through modulation of OT, as coadministration of an OT receptor antagonist prevented MTII-induced partner preferences. MTII also selectively activated hypothalamic OT neurons and potentiated central OT release. As OT has been shown to enhance some aspects of social cognition in humans, our data suggest that the MC4R may be a viable therapeutic target for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, potentially through activation of the OT system. PMID:25652247

  4. Melanocortin Receptor Agonists Facilitate Oxytocin-Dependent Partner Preference Formation in the Prairie Vole.

    PubMed

    Modi, Meera E; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Barrett, Catherine E; Kittelberger, Kara A; Smith, Daniel G; Landgraf, Rainer; Young, Larry J

    2015-07-01

    The central melanocortin (MC) system has been widely studied for its effects on food intake and sexual behavior. However, the MC system, and more specifically the MC4 receptor (MC4R), also interacts with neurochemical systems that regulate socioemotional behaviors, including oxytocin (OT) and dopamine. In monogamous prairie voles, OT and dopamine interact to promote partner preference formation, a laboratory measure of an enduring social bond between mates. Here we investigated the effects of MC receptor activation on partner preference formation in prairie voles, as well as the interaction between the MC and OT systems during this process. Peripheral administration of the brain penetrant MC3/4R receptor peptide agonist, Melanotan II (MTII), and the highly selective, small-molecule MC4R agonist, Pf-446687, enhanced partner preference formation in the prairie vole, but not in the non-monogamous meadow vole. MTII-induced partner preferences were enduring, as they were present 1 week after drug manipulation. The prosocial effects of MCR agonists may be mediated, in part, through modulation of OT, as coadministration of an OT receptor antagonist prevented MTII-induced partner preferences. MTII also selectively activated hypothalamic OT neurons and potentiated central OT release. As OT has been shown to enhance some aspects of social cognition in humans, our data suggest that the MC4R may be a viable therapeutic target for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, potentially through activation of the OT system. PMID:25652247

  5. Sexual fidelity trade-offs promote regulatory variation in the prairie vole brain.

    PubMed

    Okhovat, Mariam; Berrio, Alejandro; Wallace, Gerard; Ophir, Alexander G; Phelps, Steven M

    2015-12-11

    Individual variation in social behavior seems ubiquitous, but we know little about how it relates to brain diversity. Among monogamous prairie voles, levels of vasopressin receptor (encoded by the gene avpr1a) in brain regions related to spatial memory predict male space use and sexual fidelity in the field. We find that trade-offs between the benefits of male fidelity and infidelity are reflected in patterns of territorial intrusion, offspring paternity, avpr1a expression, and the evolutionary fitness of alternative avpr1a alleles. DNA variation at the avpr1a locus includes polymorphisms that reliably predict the epigenetic status and neural expression of avpr1a, and patterns of DNA diversity demonstrate that avpr1a regulatory variation has been favored by selection. In prairie voles, trade-offs in the fitness consequences of social behaviors seem to promote neuronal and molecular diversity. PMID:26659055

  6. Social novelty increases tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the extended olfactory amygdala of female prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Cavanaugh, Breyanna L.; Lonstein, Joseph S.

    2010-01-01

    The monogamous social behaviors of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) require olfactory inputs, which are processed by the posterodorsal medial amygdala (MeApd) and principal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (pBST). The male prairie vole MeApd and pBST contain hundreds of cells densely immunoreactive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH-ir). Female prairie voles have relatively few of these cells, but we previously found that the number of these TH-ir cells is greatly increased in females by exogenous estradiol. We here hypothesized that the number of TH-ir cells in the MeApd and pBST would also increase during the natural hormone surges associated with females’ induced estrus. We found that the number of TH-ir cells in both sites did significantly increase after females cohabitated for two days with an unfamiliar male. However, this increase did not require the presence of ovaries and even tended to occur in the pBST of females cohabitating for two days with unfamiliar females. We then determined if the greater number of TH-ir cells after heterosexual pairing was transient by examining two groups of long-term pairbonded females (primiparous and multiparous), and found these females also had significantly more TH-ir cells in the pBST and/or MeApd compared to unmated controls. Thus, social novelty arising from cohabitation with unfamiliar conspecifics produces a reoccurring increase in the number of TH-ir cells in the female prairie vole extended olfactory amygdala. Ovarian hormones are not necessarily required. This increase in catecholaminergic cells may facilitate acquisition and retention of olfactory memories necessary for social recognition in this species. PMID:20381508

  7. Disruption of social bonds induces behavioral and physiological dysregulation in male and female prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    McNeal, Neal; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L.; Wardwell, Joshua; Chandler, Danielle L.; Bates, Suzanne L.; LaRocca, Meagan; Trahanas, Diane M.; Grippo, Angela J.

    2013-01-01

    The social disruption of losing a partner may have particularly strong adverse effects on psychological and physiological functioning. More specifically, social stressors may play a mediating role in the association between mood disorders and cardiovascular dysfunction. This study investigated the hypothesis that the disruption of established social bonds between male and female prairie voles would produce depressive behaviors and cardiac dysregulation, coupled with endocrine and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. In Experiment 1, behaviors related to depression, cardiac function, and autonomic nervous system regulation were monitored in male prairie voles during social bonding with a female partner, social isolation from the bonded partner, and a behavioral stressor. Social isolation produced depressive behaviors, increased heart rate, heart rhythm dysregulation, and autonomic imbalance characterized by increased sympathetic and decreased parasympathetic drive to the heart. In Experiment 2, behaviors related to depression and endocrine function were measured following social bonding and social isolation in both male and female prairie voles. Social isolation produced similar levels of depressive behaviors in both sexes, as well as significant elevations of adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone. These alterations in behavioral and physiological functioning provide insight into the mechanisms by which social stressors negatively influence emotional and cardiovascular health in humans. PMID:24161576

  8. Disruption of social bonds induces behavioral and physiological dysregulation in male and female prairie voles.

    PubMed

    McNeal, Neal; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Wardwell, Joshua; Chandler, Danielle L; Bates, Suzanne L; Larocca, Meagan; Trahanas, Diane M; Grippo, Angela J

    2014-02-01

    The social disruption of losing a partner may have particularly strong adverse effects on psychological and physiological functioning. More specifically, social stressors may play a mediating role in the association between mood disorders and cardiovascular dysfunction. This study investigated the hypothesis that the disruption of established social bonds between male and female prairie voles would produce depressive behaviors and cardiac dysregulation, coupled with endocrine and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. In Experiment 1, behaviors related to depression, cardiac function, and autonomic nervous system regulation were monitored in male prairie voles during social bonding with a female partner, social isolation from the bonded partner, and a behavioral stressor. Social isolation produced depressive behaviors, increased heart rate, heart rhythm dysregulation, and autonomic imbalance characterized by increased sympathetic and decreased parasympathetic drive to the heart. In Experiment 2, behaviors related to depression and endocrine function were measured following social bonding and social isolation in both male and female prairie voles. Social isolation produced similar levels of depressive behaviors in both sexes, as well as significant elevations of adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone. These alterations in behavioral and physiological functioning provide insight into the mechanisms by which social stressors negatively influence emotional and cardiovascular health in humans. PMID:24161576

  9. Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Campbell, Joshua C; Laugero, Kevin D; Van Westerhuyzen, Julie A; Hostetler, Caroline M; Cohen, Justin D; Bales, Karen L

    2009-09-01

    The direct costs of paternal care are relatively well documented in primates, however little research has explored these effects in monogamous rodents. The present study examines the long-term effects that pairing and parenting have on male prairie voles. We hypothesized that there would be a significant weight loss over the course of pairing and parenting, presumably from the energetic demands that accompany these changes in social condition. In a longitudinal study, we followed ten male prairie voles through being housed with their brother; paired with a female; and caring for three consecutive litters. We found a significant drop in bodyweight across time, with maximum weight loss near the weaning of the first litter. At that same time, feeding increased, leading to possible recovery in weight; however, leptin levels dropped precipitously across time and did not recover. Corticosterone did not change significantly across time points, and overall activity levels also did not vary significantly over the course of the study. In addition, newly paired males showed a significant increase in preference for a 2% sucrose solution during a three-hour test, indicating a metabolic need for more calories. A cross-sectional study confirmed leptin and corticosterone findings, and showed significant loss of subcutaneous (inguinal) fat in males that had cared for a litter of pups, when compared to males housed with their brothers or newly paired males. These results suggest that cohabitation with a female, and caring for pups, all have costs for male prairie voles. PMID:19576236

  10. Intergenerational transmission of the behavioral consequences of early experience in prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-07-01

    We examined intergenerational and epigenetic effects of early handling manipulations on the social behavior of the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a monogamous rodent. Laboratory-born parents and their newborn pups were assigned to either a MAN0 "zero handling" manipulation (transfer with a cup during weekly cage changes) or a MAN1 "gloved handling" manipulation (transfer with a gloved hand). Previous studies from our laboratory (Bales et al., 2007) showed that MAN0 juvenile males that received this manipulation as pups are less alloparental and that MAN0 adult females that received this manipulation as pups display impaired pair-bonding. In the present study, when MAN0 and MAN1 pups reached adulthood, they were mated in three combinations (MAN1 female x MAN1 male; MAN0 female x MAN1 male; MAN1 female and MAN0 male). Once the pairs produced offspring, we examined their parental behavior towards their own pups. The offspring of these pairings (F2 generation) also were tested as juveniles for alloparental behavior. MAN1 females paired with a MAN0 male displayed higher levels of parenting behaviors. In the F2 generation, juvenile offspring with a MAN0 parent were less alloparental than were offspring from other pairs. These results suggest that early experiences can be transmitted intergenerationally. PMID:20457234

  11. Social Isolation Disrupts Innate Immune Reponses in both Male and Female Prairie Voles and Enhances Agonistic Behavior in Female Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Scotti, Melissa-Ann L.; Carlton, Elizabeth D.; Demas, Gregory E.; Grippo, Angela J.

    2015-01-01

    Psychosocial stress, specifically social isolation, is an important risk factor for the development of a variety of psychological and physiological disorders. Changes in immune function have been hypothesized to mediate this relationship. The current study used the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) model of isolation-induced depressive-like behavior to test whether social isolation led to changes in innate immune function. Specifically, we used hemolytic complement (CH50) and bacteria killing assays to assess complement activity, in paired or singly housed male and female prairie voles. Further, in a second experiment we tested whether females exposed to an additional short-term social stressor, a resident intruder trial, would show changes in immune function as well as enhanced HPA activity as indicated by elevated plasma corticosterone levels. Socially isolated animals, regardless of sex, had significantly reduced CH50s and bacteria killing ability. Socially isolated females exposed to a resident intruder stressor also showed reduced CH50s and bacteria killing ability as well as significant increases in aggressive behavior, however, they did not show elevated circulating corticosterone levels. Collectively, these data will help inform our understanding of the relationship between social isolation and physiological and psychological health. PMID:25639952

  12. Social isolation disrupts innate immune responses in both male and female prairie voles and enhances agonistic behavior in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Carlton, Elizabeth D; Demas, Gregory E; Grippo, Angela J

    2015-04-01

    Psychosocial stress, specifically social isolation, is an important risk factor for the development of a variety of psychological and physiological disorders. Changes in immune function have been hypothesized to mediate this relationship. The current study used the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) model of isolation-induced depressive-like behavior to test whether social isolation led to changes in innate immune function. Specifically, we used hemolytic complement (CH50) and bacteria killing assays to assess innate immunity, in paired or singly housed male and female prairie voles. Further, in a second experiment we tested whether females exposed to an additional short-term social stressor, a resident-intruder trial, would show changes in immune function as well as enhanced hypothalamic pituitary axis (HPA) activity as indicated by elevated plasma corticosterone levels. Socially isolated animals, regardless of sex, had significantly reduced CH50s and bacteria killing ability. Socially isolated females exposed to a resident-intruder stressor also showed reduced CH50s and bacteria killing ability as well as significant increases in aggressive behavior, however, they did not show elevated circulating corticosterone levels. Collectively, these data will help inform our understanding of the relationship between social isolation and physiological and psychological health. PMID:25639952

  13. Social isolation in prairie voles induces behaviors relevant to negative affect: toward the development of a rodent model focused on co-occurring depression and anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Grippo, Angela J.; Wu, Kevin D.; Hassan, Iman; Carter, C. Sue

    2008-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests substantial overlap between mood and anxiety disorders, both in clinical presentation and associated features. A theoretical framework to account for this overlap focuses on negative affectivity, defined as the disposition to experience negative emotional states, including fear, sadness and guilt. This model has been successful in explaining the co-occurrence of depressive and anxiety disorders in humans. As a next step, development of an animal model focused on both depression- and anxiety-relevant behaviors may advance understanding of depression-anxiety symptom overlap, relations of these disorders with associated medical conditions and responses to treatment. The current study was designed to investigate inducible and quantifiable depression- and anxiety-like behaviors in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Adult, female prairie voles were exposed to 4 weeks of social pairing (control) or isolation, an established stressor for socially monogamous mammals (including humans). Operational measures of depression (sucrose intake and behaviors in the forced swim test), anxiety (behaviors in the elevated plus maze) and aggression (responses to an unrelated prairie vole pup) were investigated. Social isolation induced a progressive decline in sucrose intake and increased immobility time during the forced swim test. Social isolation also decreased the amount of time spent in the open arms of the elevated plus maze, and increased pup-directed attack behavior. The current findings suggest that isolation induces behaviors reflecting elevated negative affect. These results may provide a foundation for creating a rodent model to examine the mechanisms underlying comorbid mood and anxiety disorders. PMID:17935206

  14. A single prolonged stress paradigm produces enduring impairments in social bonding in monogamous prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Arai, Aki; Hirota, Yu; Miyase, Naoki; Miyata, Shiori; Young, Larry J; Osako, Yoji; Yuri, Kazunari; Mitsui, Shinichi

    2016-12-15

    Traumatic events such as natural disasters, violent crimes, tragic accidents, and war, can have devastating impacts on social relationships, including marital partnerships. We developed a single prolonged stress (SPS) paradigm, which consisted of restraint, forced swimming, and ether anesthesia, to establish an animal model relevant to post-traumatic stress disorder. We applied a SPS paradigm to a monogamous rodent, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) in order to determine whether a traumatic event affects the establishment of pair bonds. We did not detect effects of the SPS treatment on anhedonic or anxiety-like behavior. Sham-treated male voles huddled with their partner females, following a 6day cohabitation, for a longer duration than with a novel female, indicative of a pair bond. In contrast, SPS-treated voles indiscriminately huddled with the novel and partner females. Interestingly, the impairment of pair bonding was rescued by oral administration of paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), after the SPS treatment. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that oxytocin immunoreactivity (IR) was significantly decreased in the supraoptic nucleus (SON), but not in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), 7days after SPS treatment, and recovered 14days after SPS treatment. After the presentation of a partner female, oxytocin neurons labeled with Fos IR was significantly increased in SPS-treated voles compared with sham-treated voles regardless of paroxetine administration. Our results suggest that traumatic events disturb the formation of pair bond possibly through an interaction with the serotonergic system, and that SSRIs are candidates for the treatment of social problems caused by traumatic events. Further, a vole SPS model may be useful for understanding mechanisms underlying the impairment of social bonding by traumatic events. PMID:27522019

  15. Chronic Intranasal Oxytocin Causes Long-term Impairments in Partner Preference Formation in Male Prairie Voles

    PubMed Central

    Bales, Karen L.; Perkeybile, Allison M.; Conley, Olivia G.; Lee, Meredith H.; Guoynes, Caleigh D.; Downing, Griffin M.; Yun, Catherine R.; Solomon, Marjorie; Jacob, Suma; Mendoza, Sally P.

    2012-01-01

    Background Oxytocin (OT) is a hormone shown to be involved in social bonding in animal models. Intranasal OT is currently in clinical trials for use in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. We examined long-term effects of intranasal OT given developmentally in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a socially monogamous rodent, often used as an animal model to screen drugs that have therapeutic potential for social disorders. Methods We treated voles with one of three dosages of intranasal OT, or saline, from day 21 (weaning) through day 42 (sexual maturity). We examined both social behavior immediately following administration, as well as long-term changes in social and anxiety behavior after treatment ceased. Group sizes varied from 8 to 15 voles (n = 89 voles total). Results Treatment with OT resulted in acute increases in social behavior in males with familiar partners, as seen in humans. However, long-term developmental treatment with low doses of intranasal OT resulted in a deficit in partner preference behavior (a reduction of contact with a familiar opposite-sex partner, used to index pair-bond formation) by males. Conclusions Long-term developmental treatment with OT may show results different to those predicted by short-term studies, as well as significant sex differences and dosage effects. Further animal study is crucial to determining safe and effective strategies for use of chronic intranasal OT, especially during development. PMID:23079235

  16. Regional differences in mu and kappa opioid receptor G-protein activation in brain in male and female prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Martin, T J; Sexton, T; Kim, S A; Severino, A L; Peters, C M; Young, L J; Childers, S R

    2015-12-17

    Prairie voles are unusual mammals in that, like humans, they are capable of forming socially monogamous pair bonds, display biparental care, and engage in alloparental behaviors. Both mu and kappa opioid receptors are involved in behaviors that either establish and maintain, or result from pair bond formation in these animals. Mu and kappa opioid receptors both utilize inhibitory G-proteins in signal transduction mechanisms, however the efficacy by which these receptor subtypes stimulate G-protein signaling across the prairie vole neuraxis is not known. Utilizing [(35)S]GTPγS autoradiography, we characterized the efficacy of G-protein stimulation in coronal sections throughout male and female prairie vole brains by [D-Ala2,NMe-Phe4,Gly-ol5]-enkephalin (DAMGO) and U50,488H, selective mu and kappa opioid agonists, respectively. DAMGO stimulation was highest in the forebrain, similar to that found with other rodent species. U-50,488H produced greater stimulation in prairie voles than is typically seen in mice and rats, particularly in select forebrain areas. DAMGO produced higher stimulation in the core versus the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in females, while the distribution of U-50,488H stimulation was the opposite. There were no gender differences for U50,488H stimulation of G-protein activity across the regions examined, while DAMGO stimulation was greater in sections from females compared to those from males for NAc core, entopeduncular nucleus, and hippocampus. These data suggest that the kappa opioid system may be more sensitive to manipulation in prairie voles compared to mice and rats, and that female prairie voles may be more sensitive to mu agonists in select brain regions than males. PMID:26523979

  17. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells With Six Reprogramming Factors From Prairie Vole, Which Is an Animal Model for Social Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Masafumi; Hirayama, Takashi; Horie, Kengo; Kiyono, Tohru; Donai, Kenichiro; Takeda, Satoru; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Fukuda, Tomokazu

    2016-01-01

    Prairie voles show strong pair bonding with their mating partners, and they demonstrate parental behavior toward their infants, indicating that the prairie vole is a unique animal model for analysis of molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Until a recent study, the signaling pathway of oxytocin was thought to be critical for the social behavior of prairie voles, but neuron-specific functional research may be necessary to identify the molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Prairie vole pluripotent stem cells of high quality are essential to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of social behaviors. Generation of high-quality induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) would help to establish a genetically modified prairie vole, including knockout and knock-in models, based on the pluripotency of iPSCs. Thus, we attempted to establish high-quality prairie vole-derived iPSCs (pv-iPSCs) in this study. We constructed a polycistronic reprogramming vector, which included six reprograming factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-myc, Lin28, and Nanog). Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of six reprogramming factors, which included Oct3/4 with the transactivation domain (TAD) of MyoD. Implantation of the pv-iPSCs into immunodeficient mice caused a teratoma with three germ layers. Furthermore, the established pv-iPSCs tested positive for stem cell markers, including alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-1, and dependence on leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Our data indicate that our newly established pv-iPSCs may be a useful tool for genetic analysis of social behavior. PMID:26777120

  18. Male prairie voles display cardiovascular dipping associated with an ultradian activity cycle.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Robert; Curtis, J Thomas

    2016-03-15

    Mammals typically display alternating active and resting phases and, in most species, these rhythms follow a circadian pattern. The active and resting phases often are accompanied by corresponding physiological changes. In humans, blood pressure decreases during the resting phase of the activity cycle, and the magnitude of that "nocturnal dipping" has been used to stratify patients according to the risk for cardiovascular disease. However, in contrast to most mammals, prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) have periods of activity and rest that follow an ultradian rhythm with period lengths significantly <24h. While rhythmic changes in blood pressure across a circadian activity cycle have been well-documented, blood pressure patterns in species that display ultradian rhythms in activity are less well-studied. In the current study, we implanted pressure-sensitive radiotelemetry devices in male prairie voles and recorded activity, mean arterial pressure (MAP), and heart rate (HR) continuously for 3days. Visualization of the ultradian rhythms was enhanced using a 1h running average to filter the dataset. Positive correlations were found between activity and MAP and between activity and HR. During the inactive period of the ultradian cycle, blood pressure decreased by about 15%, which parallels the nocturnal dipping pattern seen in healthy humans. Further, the duration of inactivity did not affect any of the cardiovascular measures, so the differences in blood pressure values between the active and inactive periods are likely driven by ultradian oscillations in hormones and autonomic function. Finally, specific behavioral patterns also were examined. Both the instrumented animal and his non-instrumented cagemate appeared to show synchronized activity patterns, with both animals displaying sleep-like behavior for more than 90% of the inactive period. We propose that the prairie vole ultradian rhythm in blood pressure is an analogue for circadian blood pressure variability

  19. Cardiac dysfunction and hypothalamic activation during a social crowding stressor in prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Grippo, Angela J; Sgoifo, Andrea; Mastorci, Francesca; McNeal, Neal; Trahanas, Diane M

    2010-08-25

    Negative social interactions produce several detrimental consequences in humans and non-human animals; and conversely, positive social interactions may have stress-buffering effects on both behavior and physiology. However, the mechanisms underlying specific stressor-responsiveness in the context of the social environment are not well understood. The present study investigated the integration of behavior, cardiac function, and Fos-immunoreactivity in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus during an acute social stressor in female, socially monogamous prairie voles exposed to previous long-term pairing (control conditions) or isolation. Animals previously exposed to social isolation displayed increased heart rate, attenuated heart rate variability, and increased incidence of cardiac arrhythmias during an acute crowding stressor versus animals previously exposed to social pairing; these cardiac alterations were not secondary to behavioral changes during the crowding stressor. Furthermore, social isolation was associated with increased c-Fos-immunoreactivity in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus following the crowding stressor, versus social pairing. The prairie vole provides a useful model for understanding how the social environment contributes to changes in behavior, cardiac function, and central stress-regulatory processes in humans. PMID:20347401

  20. Male prairie voles with different avpr1a microsatellite lengths do not differ in courtship behaviour.

    PubMed

    Graham, Brittney M; Solomon, Nancy G; Noe, Douglas A; Keane, Brian

    2016-07-01

    Females are generally expected to be selective when choosing their social and sexual partners. In a previous laboratory study, female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) showed significant social and sexual preferences for males with longer microsatellite DNA within the avpr1a gene encoding the vasopressin 1a receptor, as predicted if females select mates whose parental behaviour should increase female reproductive success. We tested the hypothesis that males with short versus long avpr1a microsatellite alleles exhibit differences in courtship behaviour, which could act as cues for female mate preference. The only behavioural difference we detected between males with short versus long avpr1a microsatellite alleles in mate preference trials was that males with short avpr1a microsatellite alleles sniffed the anogenital region of females more frequently during the first two days of the trials. Our results did not strongly support the hypothesis that a male's avpr1a genotype predicts the courtship behaviours we measured and suggests that other courtship behaviours or traits, such as odour and vocalizations, may be more important to female prairie voles when choosing mates. Additional studies using a wider array of species are needed to assess the degree to which male mammal courtship behaviour provides information on mate quality to females. PMID:27083501

  1. Autonomic, Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Correlates of Paternal Behavior in Male Prairie Voles

    PubMed Central

    Kenkel, William M; Suboc, Gessa; Carter, C. Sue

    2014-01-01

    Socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are biparental and alloparental. In the present study, we compared behavioral, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine parameters in male prairie voles with experience caring for pups (Fathers), versus reproductively inexperienced Virgin males. Father and Virgins showed generally similar responses to unrelated pups. However, in Fathers studied prior to and during pup exposure, heart rate was lower and respiratory sinus arrhythmia tended to be higher than in Virgins. Fathers also displayed comparatively lower levels of anxiety-related behaviors in an open field test. In Fathers, compared to Virgin males, we also found higher levels of oxytocin-immunoreactivity in the paraventricular hypothalamus and two brainstem regions involved in the autonomic regulation of the heart –the nucleus ambiguus and nucleus tractus solitarius. However, Fathers had less oxytocin in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Vasopressin did not differ significantly in these regions. Fathers also weighed less and had less subcutaneous fat and larger testes as a percentage of bodyweight. In conjunction with earlier findings in this species, the present study supports the hypothesis that oxytocin may be involved in the adaptation to fatherhood. These findings also support the hypothesis that males, with or without prior pup experience, may show simultaneous patterns of behavioral nurturance and autonomic states compatible with mobilization and vigilance. PMID:24534169

  2. Chronic social isolation enhances reproduction in the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Perry, Adam N; Carter, C Sue; Cushing, Bruce S

    2016-06-01

    Chronic stressors are generally considered to disrupt reproduction and inhibit mating. Here we test the hypothesis that a chronic stressor, specifically social isolation, can facilitate adaptive changes that enhance/accelerate reproductive effort. In general, monogamous species display high levels of prosociality, delayed sexual maturation, and greater parental investment in fewer, higher quality offspring compared with closely related polygynous species. We predicted that chronic social isolation would promote behavioral and neurochemical patterns in prairie voles associated with polygyny. Male and female prairie voles were isolated for four weeks and changes in mating behavior, alloparental care, estrogen receptor (ER) α expression and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression in brain regions regulating sociosexual behavior were examined. In males, isolation accelerated copulation, increased ERα in the medial amygdala (MEApd) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTpm), and reduced TH expression in the MEApd and BSTpm, but had no effect on alloparental behavior. In females, isolation resulted in more rapid estrus induction and reduced TH expression in the MEApd and BSTpm, but had no effect on estradiol sensitivity or ERα expression. The results support the hypothesis that ERα expression in the MEApd and BSTpm is a critical determinant of male copulatory behavior and/or mating system. The lack of change in alloparental behavior suggests that changes in prosocial behavior are selective and regulated by different mechanisms. The results also suggest that TH in the MEApd and BSTpm may play a critical role in determining mating behavior in both sexes. PMID:26939085

  3. Social housing and alcohol drinking in male-female pairs of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Hostetler, Caroline M.; Anacker, Allison M.J.; Loftis, Jennifer M.; Ryabinin, Andrey E.

    2012-01-01

    Rationale Social environment influences alcohol consumption in humans, however, animal models have only begun to address biological underpinnings of these effects. Objectives We investigated whether social influences on alcohol drinking in the prairie vole are specific to the sex of the social partner. Methods In Experiment 1, control, sham, and gonadectomized voles were placed either in mesh-divided housing with a same-sex sibling or isolation with access to ethanol. In Experiment 2 animals were given an elevated plus maze test (EPM) and then females were paired with a castrated male followed by isolation or mesh-divided housing with access to ethanol. In Experiment 3, subjects categorized as low or high drinkers based on initial ethanol intake were placed in mesh-divided housing with an opposite-sex partner of the same or opposite drinking group and ethanol access. Subjects were then moved back to isolation for a final ethanol access period. Results Same-sex pairs showed social facilitation of drinking similar to previous reports. Gonadectomy did not affect alcohol drinking. Opposite-sex paired animals in Experiment 2 did not differ in alcohol drinking based on social housing. EPM measures suggested a relationship between anxiety-like behaviors and drinking that depended on social environment. Experiment 3 identified moderate changes in alcohol preference based on social housing, but these effects were influenced by the animal’s own drinking behavior and were independent of their partner’s drinking. Conclusions Social influences on alcohol self-administration in prairie voles differ based on the sex of a social partner, consistent with human drinking behavior. PMID:22903359

  4. Methamphetamine Consumption Inhibits Pair Bonding and Hypothalamic Oxytocin in Prairie Voles.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Caroline M; Phillips, Tamara J; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) abuse has been linked to violence, risk-taking behaviors, decreased sexual inhibition, and criminal activity. It is important to understand mechanisms underlying these drug effects for prevention and treatment of MA-associated social problems. Previous studies have demonstrated that experimenter-administered amphetamine inhibits pair bonding and increases aggression in monogamous prairie voles. It is not currently known whether similar effects on social behaviors would be obtained under conditions during which the drug is voluntarily (actively) administered. The current study investigated whether MA drinking affects pair bonding and what neurocircuits are engaged. In Experiment 1, we exposed male and female voles to 4 days each of 20 and 40 mg/L MA under a continuous 2-bottle choice (2BC) procedure. Animals were housed either singly or in mesh-divided cages with a social partner. Voles consumed MA in a drinking solution, but MA drinking was not affected by either sex or housing condition. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether MA drinking disrupts social bonding by measuring aggression and partner preference formation following three consecutive days of 18-hour/day access to 100 mg/L MA in a 2BC procedure. Although aggression toward a novel opposite-sex animal was not affected by MA exposure, partner preference was inhibited in MA drinking animals. Experiment 3 examined whether alterations in hypothalamic neuropeptides provide a potential explanation for the inhibition of partner preference observed in Experiment 2. MA drinking led to significant decreases in oxytocin, but not vasopressin, in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. These experiments are the first investigation into how voluntary pre-exposure to MA affects the development of social attachment in a socially monogamous species and identify potential neural circuits involved in these effects. PMID:27380172

  5. Methamphetamine Consumption Inhibits Pair Bonding and Hypothalamic Oxytocin in Prairie Voles

    PubMed Central

    Hostetler, Caroline M.; Phillips, Tamara J.; Ryabinin, Andrey E.

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) abuse has been linked to violence, risk-taking behaviors, decreased sexual inhibition, and criminal activity. It is important to understand mechanisms underlying these drug effects for prevention and treatment of MA-associated social problems. Previous studies have demonstrated that experimenter-administered amphetamine inhibits pair bonding and increases aggression in monogamous prairie voles. It is not currently known whether similar effects on social behaviors would be obtained under conditions during which the drug is voluntarily (actively) administered. The current study investigated whether MA drinking affects pair bonding and what neurocircuits are engaged. In Experiment 1, we exposed male and female voles to 4 days each of 20 and 40 mg/L MA under a continuous 2-bottle choice (2BC) procedure. Animals were housed either singly or in mesh-divided cages with a social partner. Voles consumed MA in a drinking solution, but MA drinking was not affected by either sex or housing condition. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether MA drinking disrupts social bonding by measuring aggression and partner preference formation following three consecutive days of 18-hour/day access to 100 mg/L MA in a 2BC procedure. Although aggression toward a novel opposite-sex animal was not affected by MA exposure, partner preference was inhibited in MA drinking animals. Experiment 3 examined whether alterations in hypothalamic neuropeptides provide a potential explanation for the inhibition of partner preference observed in Experiment 2. MA drinking led to significant decreases in oxytocin, but not vasopressin, in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. These experiments are the first investigation into how voluntary pre-exposure to MA affects the development of social attachment in a socially monogamous species and identify potential neural circuits involved in these effects. PMID:27380172

  6. Oxytocin has dose-dependent developmental effects on pair-bonding and alloparental care in female prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Bales, Karen L; van Westerhuyzen, Julie A; Lewis-Reese, Antoniah D; Grotte, Nathaniel D; Lanter, Jalene A; Carter, C Sue

    2007-08-01

    The present study examines the developmental consequences of neonatal exposure to oxytocin on adult social behaviors in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Female neonates were injected within 24 h of birth with isotonic saline or one of four dosages of oxytocin (OT). As adults, females were tested in an elevated plus-maze paradigm (a measure of anxiety and exploratory behavior), and for alloparental behavior and partner preferences. At 2 mg/kg OT, females took longer to approach pups, but were the only group to form a statistically significant within-group partner preference. At 4 mg/kg OT, females retrieved pups significantly more frequently but no longer displayed a partner preference; while females treated developmentally with 8 mg/kg spent significantly more time in side-to-side contact with a male stranger than any other treatment group. OT may have broad developmental consequences, but these effects are not linear and may both increase and decrease the propensity to display behaviors such as pair-bonding. PMID:17553502

  7. Role of septal vasopressin innervation in paternal behavior in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Z; Ferris, C F; De Vries, G J

    1994-01-01

    After being paired with females, male prairie voles show major changes in their social behaviors among which is an increase in paternal responsiveness. These changes are accompanied by fluctuations in the density of the [Arg8]vasopressin-immunoreactive (AVP-ir) fibers in the lateral septum, suggesting that septal AVP might be involved in these changes. To explore a possible involvement of septal AVP in paternal responsiveness, we tested whether injections of saline, AVP, or the V1a receptor antagonist [1-(beta-mercapto-beta, beta-cyclopentamethylenepropionic acid),2-(O-methyltyrosine]AVP [d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)AVP] into the lateral septum influenced the four most prominent paternal activities displayed by male prairie voles; grooming, crouching over, contacting, and retrieving pups. In a first experiment, sexually inexperienced males received a single injection of AVP, saline, or d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)AVP in the lateral septum, after which their paternal responsiveness was recorded during a 10-min period. AVP-injected animals spent more time contacting and crouching over pups, while d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)AVP-injected animals spent less time grooming pups than saline-injected animals. In a follow-up study, one group of animals received an injection of AVP preceded by an injection of saline or d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)-AVP into the lateral septum. A second group of animals received an injection of saline preceded by an injection of saline or d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)AVP into the lateral septum. In both groups, animals spent less time grooming, crouching over, and contacting pups if they had first been injected with d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)AVP. Control experiments suggested that the effects of AVP on paternal responsiveness were dose- and site-specific. These data suggest that septal AVP enhances paternal responsiveness by a V1a receptor-mediated mechanism. Images Fig. 1 PMID:8278401

  8. Drinking alcohol has sex-dependent effects on pair bond formation in prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Anacker, Allison M J; Ahern, Todd H; Hostetler, Caroline M; Dufour, Brett D; Smith, Monique L; Cocking, Davelle L; Li, Ju; Young, Larry J; Loftis, Jennifer M; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2014-04-22

    Alcohol use and abuse profoundly influences a variety of behaviors, including social interactions. In some cases, it erodes social relationships; in others, it facilitates sociality. Here, we show that voluntary alcohol consumption can inhibit male partner preference (PP) formation (a laboratory proxy for pair bonding) in socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Conversely, female PP is not inhibited, and may be facilitated by alcohol. Behavior and neurochemical analysis suggests that the effects of alcohol on social bonding are mediated by neural mechanisms regulating pair bond formation and not alcohol's effects on mating, locomotor, or aggressive behaviors. Several neuropeptide systems involved in the regulation of social behavior (especially neuropeptide Y and corticotropin-releasing factor) are modulated by alcohol drinking during cohabitation. These findings provide the first evidence to our knowledge that alcohol has a direct impact on the neural systems involved in social bonding in a sex-specific manner, providing an opportunity to explore the mechanisms by which alcohol affects social relationships. PMID:24711424

  9. Drinking alcohol has sex-dependent effects on pair bond formation in prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Anacker, Allison M. J.; Ahern, Todd H.; Hostetler, Caroline M.; Dufour, Brett D.; Smith, Monique L.; Cocking, Davelle L.; Li, Ju; Young, Larry J.; Loftis, Jennifer M.; Ryabinin, Andrey E.

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol use and abuse profoundly influences a variety of behaviors, including social interactions. In some cases, it erodes social relationships; in others, it facilitates sociality. Here, we show that voluntary alcohol consumption can inhibit male partner preference (PP) formation (a laboratory proxy for pair bonding) in socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Conversely, female PP is not inhibited, and may be facilitated by alcohol. Behavior and neurochemical analysis suggests that the effects of alcohol on social bonding are mediated by neural mechanisms regulating pair bond formation and not alcohol’s effects on mating, locomotor, or aggressive behaviors. Several neuropeptide systems involved in the regulation of social behavior (especially neuropeptide Y and corticotropin-releasing factor) are modulated by alcohol drinking during cohabitation. These findings provide the first evidence to our knowledge that alcohol has a direct impact on the neural systems involved in social bonding in a sex-specific manner, providing an opportunity to explore the mechanisms by which alcohol affects social relationships. PMID:24711424

  10. Intergenerational transmission of alloparental behavior and oxytocin and vasopressin receptor distribution in the prairie vole

    PubMed Central

    Perkeybile, Allison M.; Delaney-Busch, Nathanial; Hartman, Sarah; Grimm, Kevin J.; Bales, Karen L.

    2015-01-01

    Variation in the early environment has the potential to permanently alter offspring behavior and development. We have previously shown that naturally occurring variation in biparental care of offspring in the prairie vole is related to differences in social behavior of the offspring. It was not, however, clear whether the behavioral differences seen between offspring receiving high compared to low amounts of parental care were the result of different care experiences or were due to shared genetics with their high-contact or low-contact parents. Here we use cross-fostering methods to determine the mode of transmission of alloparental behavior and oxytocin receptor (OTR) and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) binding from parent to offspring. Offspring were cross-fostered or in-fostered on postnatal day 1 and parental care received was quantified in the first week postpartum. At weaning, offspring underwent an alloparental care test and brains were then collected from all parents and offspring to examine OTR and V1aR binding. Results indicate that alloparental behavior of offspring was predicted by the parental behavior of their rearing parents. Receptor binding for both OTR and V1aR tended to be predicted by the genetic mothers for female offspring and by the genetic fathers for male offspring. These findings suggest a different, sex-dependent, role of early experience and genetics in shaping behavior compared to receptor distribution and support the notion of sex-dependent outcomes. PMID:26257619

  11. Effects of sex and reproductive experience on the number of orexin A-immunoreactive cells in the prairie vole brain.

    PubMed

    Donlin, Michael; Cavanaugh, Breyanna L; Spagnuolo, Olivia S; Yan, Lily; Lonstein, Joseph S

    2014-07-01

    Large populations of cells synthesizing the neuropeptide orexin (OX) exist in the caudal hypothalamus of all species examined and are implicated in physiological and behavioral processes including arousal, stress, anxiety and depression, reproduction, and goal-directed behaviors. Hypothalamic OX expression is sexually dimorphic in different directions in laboratory rats (F>M) and mice (M>F), suggesting different roles in male and female physiology and behavior that are species-specific. We here examined if the number of hypothalamic cells immunoreactive for orexin A (OXA) differs between male and female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), a socially monogamous species that pairbonds after mating and in which both sexes care for offspring, and if reproductive experience influences their number of OXA-immunoreactive (OXA-ir) cells. It was found that the total number of OXA-ir cells did not differ between the sexes, but females had more OXA-ir cells than males in anterior levels of the caudal hypothalamus, while males had more OXA-ir cells posteriorly. Sexually experienced females sacrificed 12 days after the birth of their first litter, or one day after birth of a second litter, had more OXA-ir cells in anterior levels but not posterior levels of the caudal hypothalamus compared to females housed with a brother (incest avoidance prevents sibling mating). Male prairie voles showed no effect of reproductive experience but showed an unexpected effect of cohabitation duration regardless of mating. The sex difference in the distribution of OXA-ir cells, and their increased number in anterior levels of the caudal hypothalamus of reproductively experienced female prairie voles, may reflect a sex-specific mechanism involved in pairbonding, parenting, or lactation in this species. PMID:24874707

  12. EARLY REARING EXPERIENCE IS RELATED TO ALTERED AGGRESSION AND VASOPRESSIN PRODUCTION FOLLOWING CHRONIC SOCIAL ISOLATION IN THE PRAIRIE VOLE

    PubMed Central

    Perkeybile, Allison M.; Bales, Karen L.

    2015-01-01

    Parent-offspring interactions early in life can permanently shape the developmental path of those offspring. Manipulation of maternal care has long been used to alter the early-life environment of infants and impacts their later social behavior, aggression, and physiology. More recently, naturally occurring variation in maternal licking and grooming behavior has been shown to result in differences in social behavior and stress physiology in adult offspring. We have developed a model of natural variation in biparental care in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and have demonstrated an association between the amount of early care received and later social behavior. In this study, we investigate the relationship between early life care and later aggression and neuroendocrine responses following chronic social isolation. Male and female offspring were reared by their high-contact (HC) or low-contact (LC) parents, then housed for 4 weeks post-weaning in social isolation. After 4 weeks, half of these offspring underwent an intrasexual aggression test. Brains and plasma were collected to measure corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and vasopressin (AVP) immunoreactivity and plasma corticosterone (CORT). Male offspring of LC parents engaged in more aggressive behavior in the intrasexual aggression test compared to HC males. Female offspring of HC parents had higher plasma CORT levels after chronic social isolation and increases in the number and density of AVP-immunopositive cells in the supraoptic nucleus following an intrasexual aggression test. These findings show that the impact of early life biparental care on behavior and HPA activity following a social stressor is both sex-dependent and early experience-specific. PMID:25623420

  13. Early rearing experience is related to altered aggression and vasopressin production following chronic social isolation in the prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Perkeybile, Allison M; Bales, Karen L

    2015-04-15

    Parent-offspring interactions early in life can permanently shape the developmental path of those offspring. Manipulation of maternal care has long been used to alter the early-life environment of infants and impacts their later social behavior, aggression, and physiology. More recently, naturally occurring variation in maternal licking and grooming behavior has been shown to result in differences in social behavior and stress physiology in adult offspring. We have developed a model of natural variation in biparental care in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and have demonstrated an association between the amount of early care received and later social behavior. In this study, we investigate the relationship between early life care and later aggression and neuroendocrine responses following chronic social isolation. Male and female offspring were reared by their high-contact (HC) or low-contact (LC) parents, then housed for 4 weeks post-weaning in social isolation. After 4 weeks, half of these offspring underwent an intrasexual aggression test. Brains and plasma were collected to measure corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and vasopressin (AVP) immunoreactivity and plasma corticosterone (CORT). Male offspring of LC parents engaged in more aggressive behavior in the intrasexual aggression test compared to HC males. Female offspring of HC parents had higher plasma CORT levels after chronic social isolation and increases in the number and density of AVP-immunopositive cells in the supraoptic nucleus following an intrasexual aggression test. These findings show that the impact of early life biparental care on behavior and HPA activity following a social stressor is both sex-dependent and early experience-specific. PMID:25623420

  14. Natural variation in early parental care correlates with social behaviors in adolescent prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Perkeybile, Allison M.; Griffin, Luana L.; Bales, Karen L.

    2013-01-01

    Natural variation in early parental care may contribute to long-term changes in behavior in the offspring. Here we investigate the role of variable early care in biparental prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Total amounts of parental care were initially quantified for 24 breeder pairs and pairs were ranked in relation to one another based on total contact. Consistency in key components of care suggested a trait-like quality to parental care. Based on this ranking, breeder pairs from the top (high-contact) and bottom (low-contact) quartiles were selected to produce high- and low-contact offspring to investigate adolescent behavior after varying early care. Parental care of subject offspring was again observed postnatally. Offspring of high-contact parents spent more time passively nursing and received more paternal non-huddling contact while low-contact offspring spent more time actively nursing and received more paternal huddling and pseudohuddling in the first postnatal days (PNDs). Low-contact offspring also displayed faster rates of development on a number of physical markers. Post-weaning, offspring were evaluated on anxiety-like behavior, social behavior and pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) to a tactile and an acoustic startle. High-contact offspring spent more time sniffing a juvenile and less time autogrooming. With an infant, high-contact offspring spent more time in non-huddling contact and less time autogrooming and retrieving than did low-contact offspring. Considering sexes separately, high-contact females spent more time sniffing a novel juvenile than low-contact females. High-contact males spent more time in non-huddling contact with an infant than low-contact males; while low-contact females retrieved infants more than high-contact females. In both measures of social behavior, high-contact males spent less time autogrooming than low-contact males. These results suggest a relationship between early-life care and differences in social behavior in

  15. Natural variation in early parental care correlates with social behaviors in adolescent prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Perkeybile, Allison M; Griffin, Luana L; Bales, Karen L

    2013-01-01

    Natural variation in early parental care may contribute to long-term changes in behavior in the offspring. Here we investigate the role of variable early care in biparental prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Total amounts of parental care were initially quantified for 24 breeder pairs and pairs were ranked in relation to one another based on total contact. Consistency in key components of care suggested a trait-like quality to parental care. Based on this ranking, breeder pairs from the top (high-contact) and bottom (low-contact) quartiles were selected to produce high- and low-contact offspring to investigate adolescent behavior after varying early care. Parental care of subject offspring was again observed postnatally. Offspring of high-contact parents spent more time passively nursing and received more paternal non-huddling contact while low-contact offspring spent more time actively nursing and received more paternal huddling and pseudohuddling in the first postnatal days (PNDs). Low-contact offspring also displayed faster rates of development on a number of physical markers. Post-weaning, offspring were evaluated on anxiety-like behavior, social behavior and pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) to a tactile and an acoustic startle. High-contact offspring spent more time sniffing a juvenile and less time autogrooming. With an infant, high-contact offspring spent more time in non-huddling contact and less time autogrooming and retrieving than did low-contact offspring. Considering sexes separately, high-contact females spent more time sniffing a novel juvenile than low-contact females. High-contact males spent more time in non-huddling contact with an infant than low-contact males; while low-contact females retrieved infants more than high-contact females. In both measures of social behavior, high-contact males spent less time autogrooming than low-contact males. These results suggest a relationship between early-life care and differences in social behavior in

  16. Connections of Auditory and Visual Cortex in the Prairie Vole (Microtus ochrogaster): Evidence for Multisensory Processing in Primary Sensory Areas

    PubMed Central

    Campi, Katharine L.; Bales, Karen L.; Grunewald, Rebecca

    2010-01-01

    In prairie voles, primary sensory areas are dominated by neurons that respond to one sensory modality, but some neurons also respond to stimulation of other modalities. To reveal the anatomical substrate for these multimodal responses, we examined the connections of the primary auditory area + the anterior auditory field (A1 + AAF), the temporal anterior area (TA), and the primary visual area (V1). A1 + AAF had intrinsic connections and connections with TA, multimodal cortex (MM), V1, and primary somatosensory area (S1). TA had intrinsic connections and connections with A1 + AAF, MM, and V2. Callosal connections were observed in homotopic locations in auditory cortex for both fields. A1 + AAF and TA receive thalamic input primarily from divisions of the medial geniculate nucleus but also from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGd), the lateral posterior nucleus, and the ventral posterior nucleus (VP). V1 had dense intrinsic connections and connections with V2, MM, auditory cortex, pyriform cortex (Pyr), and, in some cases, somatosensory cortex. V1 had interhemispheric connections with V1, V2, MM, S1, and Pyr and received thalamic input from LGd and VP. Our results indicate that multisensory integration occurs in primary sensory areas of the prairie vole cortex, and this may be related to behavioral specializations associated with its niche. PMID:19395525

  17. Connections of auditory and visual cortex in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster): evidence for multisensory processing in primary sensory areas.

    PubMed

    Campi, Katharine L; Bales, Karen L; Grunewald, Rebecca; Krubitzer, Leah

    2010-01-01

    In prairie voles, primary sensory areas are dominated by neurons that respond to one sensory modality, but some neurons also respond to stimulation of other modalities. To reveal the anatomical substrate for these multimodal responses, we examined the connections of the primary auditory area + the anterior auditory field (A1 + AAF), the temporal anterior area (TA), and the primary visual area (V1). A1 + AAF had intrinsic connections and connections with TA, multimodal cortex (MM), V1, and primary somatosensory area (S1). TA had intrinsic connections and connections with A1 + AAF, MM, and V2. Callosal connections were observed in homotopic locations in auditory cortex for both fields. A1 + AAF and TA receive thalamic input primarily from divisions of the medial geniculate nucleus but also from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGd), the lateral posterior nucleus, and the ventral posterior nucleus (VP). V1 had dense intrinsic connections and connections with V2, MM, auditory cortex, pyriform cortex (Pyr), and, in some cases, somatosensory cortex. V1 had interhemispheric connections with V1, V2, MM, S1, and Pyr and received thalamic input from LGd and VP. Our results indicate that multisensory integration occurs in primary sensory areas of the prairie vole cortex, and this may be related to behavioral specializations associated with its niche. PMID:19395525

  18. Daylength influences pelage and plasma prolactin concentrations but not reproduction in the prairie vole, Microtus ochrogaster.

    PubMed

    Smale, L; Nelson, R J; Zucker, I

    1988-05-01

    Short daylengths did not affect testes weight or spermatogenic index in male voles or uterine weight in female voles. Short daylengths did stimulate the growth of a winter pelage in both sexes; short-day voles had longer underhairs and guard hairs and a thicker, more dense pelage than did long-day voles. Plasma prolactin concentrations were five times higher in long-day than in short-day females and 25% higher in long-day males than in short-day males. The effect of short daylength on pelage was prevented by pinealectomy. We suggest that the growth of a winter coat is an obligate adaptation for winter survival, stimulated by exposure to short daylengths, but that changes in breeding activity are facultative and dependent to a greater extent on other cues for seasonal synchronization. PMID:3294399

  19. The effects of environmental enrichment on depressive- and anxiety-relevant behaviors in socially isolated prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Grippo, Angela J.; Ihm, Elliott; Wardwell, Joshua; McNeal, Neal; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L.; Moenk, Deirdre A.; Chandler, Danielle L.; LaRocca, Meagan A.; Preihs, Kristin

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Social isolation is associated with depression, anxiety and negative health outcomes. Environmental enrichment, including environmental and cognitive stimulation with inanimate objects and opportunities for physical exercise, may be an effective strategy to include in treatment paradigms for affective disorders as a function of social isolation. In a rodent model – the socially monogamous prairie vole – we investigated the hypothesis that depression- and anxiety-related behaviors following social isolation would be prevented and remediated with environmental enrichment. Methods Experiment 1 investigated the preventive effects of environmental enrichment on negative affective behaviors when administered concurrently with social isolation. Experiment 2 investigated the remediating effects of enrichment on negative affective behaviors when administered following a period of isolation. Behaviors were measured in 3 operational tests: open field; forced swim test; and elevated plus maze. Results In isolated prairie voles, enrichment prevented depression- (immobility in FST, group × housing interaction, P=0.049) and anxiety-relevant behaviors (exploration in open field, group × housing interaction, P=0.036; exploration in elevated plus maze, group × housing interaction, P=0.049). Delayed enrichment also remediated these behaviors in isolated animals (immobility in forced swim test, main effect of housing, P=0.001; exploration in open field, main effect of housing, P=0.047; exploration in elevated plus maze, main effect of housing, P=0.001), and was slightly more effective than physical exercise alone in remediating anxiety-relevant behaviors. Conclusions These findings provide insight into the beneficial effects of an enriched environment on depression- and anxiety-relevant behaviors using a translational rodent model of social isolation. PMID:24804886

  20. Individual differences in cortical connections of somatosensory cortex are associated with parental rearing style in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Seelke, Adele M. H.; Perkeybile, Allison M.; Grunewald, Rebecca; Bales, Karen L.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2015-01-01

    Early life sensory experiences have a profound effect on brain organization, connectivity and subsequent behavior. In most mammals, the earliest sensory inputs are delivered to the developing brain through tactile contact with the parents, especially the mother. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous and, like humans, are biparental. Within the normal prairie vole population, both the type and amount of interactions, particularly tactile contact, that parents have with their offspring varies. The question is whether these early and pervasive differences in tactile stimulation and social experience between parent and offspring are manifest in differences in cortical organization and connectivity. To address this question we examined the cortical and callosal connections of the primary somatosensory area (S1) in high contact (HC) and low contact (LC) offspring using neuroanatomical tracing techniques. Injection sites within S1 were matched so that direct comparisons between these two groups could be made. We observed several important differences between these groups. The first was that HC offspring had a greater density of intrinsic connections within S1 compared to LC offspring. The HC offspring had a more restricted pattern of ipsilateral connections while LC offspring had dense connections with areas of parietal and frontal cortex that were more widespread. Finally, LC offspring had a broader distribution of callosal connections than HC offspring and a significantly higher percentage of callosal labeled neurons. To date, this is the first study that examines individual differences in cortical connections and suggests that they may be related to natural differences in parental rearing styles associated with tactile contact. PMID:26101098

  1. Central oxytocin receptors mediate mating-induced partner preferences and enhance correlated activation across forebrain nuclei in male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Zachary V; Walum, Hasse; Jamal, Yaseen A; Xiao, Yao; Keebaugh, Alaine C; Inoue, Kiyoshi; Young, Larry J

    2016-03-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is a deeply conserved nonapeptide that acts both peripherally and centrally to modulate reproductive physiology and sociosexual behavior across divergent taxa, including humans. In vertebrates, the distribution of the oxytocin receptor (OTR) in the brain is variable within and across species, and OTR signaling is critical for a variety of species-typical social and reproductive behaviors, including affiliative and pair bonding behaviors in multiple socially monogamous lineages of fishes, birds, and mammals. Early work in prairie voles suggested that the endogenous OT system modulates mating-induced partner preference formation in females but not males; however, there is significant evidence that central OTRs may modulate pair bonding behavior in both sexes. In addition, it remains unclear how transient windows of central OTR signaling during sociosexual interaction modulate neural activity to produce enduring shifts in sociobehavioral phenotypes, including the formation of selective social bonds. Here we re-examine the role of the central OT system in partner preference formation in male prairie voles using a selective OTR antagonist delivered intracranially. We then use the same antagonist to examine how central OTRs modulate behavior and immediate early gene (Fos) expression, a metric of neuronal activation, in males during brief sociosexual interaction with a female. Our results suggest that, as in females, OTR signaling is critical for partner preference formation in males and enhances correlated activation across sensory and reward processing brain areas during sociosexual interaction. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that central OTR signaling facilitates social bond formation by coordinating activity across a pair bonding neural network. PMID:26643557

  2. Individual differences in cortical connections of somatosensory cortex are associated with parental rearing style in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Seelke, Adele M H; Perkeybile, Allison M; Grunewald, Rebecca; Bales, Karen L; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2016-02-15

    Early-life sensory experiences have a profound effect on brain organization, connectivity, and subsequent behavior. In most mammals, the earliest sensory inputs are delivered to the developing brain through tactile contact with the parents, especially the mother. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous and, like humans, are biparental. Within the normal prairie vole population, both the type and the amount of interactions, particularly tactile contact, that parents have with their offspring vary. The question is whether these early and pervasive differences in tactile stimulation and social experience between parent and offspring are manifest in differences in cortical organization and connectivity. To address this question, we examined the cortical and callosal connections of the primary somatosensory area (S1) in high-contact (HC) and low-contact (LC) offspring using neuroanatomical tracing techniques. Injection sites within S1 were matched so that direct comparisons between these two groups could be made. We observed several important differences between these groups. The first was that HC offspring had a greater density of intrinsic connections within S1 compared with LC offspring. Additionally, HC offspring had a more restricted pattern of ipsilateral connections, whereas LC offspring had dense connections with areas of parietal and frontal cortex that were more widespread. Finally, LC offspring had a broader distribution of callosal connections than HC offspring and a significantly higher percentage of labeled callosal neurons. This study is the first to examine individual differences in cortical connections and suggests that individual differences in cortical connections may be related to natural differences in parental rearing styles associated with tactile contact. PMID:26101098

  3. Prairie vole pups show potentiated isolation-induced vocalizations following isolation from their mother, but not their father.

    PubMed

    Robison, W Theodore; Myers, Michael M; Hofer, Myron A; Shair, Harry N; Welch, Martha G

    2016-09-01

    Vocalizations can be markers of emotional social communication. Maternal potentiation was originally described as an increased rate of vocalization by isolated rat pups following an interaction with their mothers, but not with other social companions. Here we asked if potentiation in prairie voles, a species with pair-bonding and bi-parental rearing, is parent-specific. We found that isolated, 8-11-day-old voles exhibited potentiation following reunions with the dam, but not the sire. These responses were present whether parents were anesthetized or active during the reunion. There were no significant correlations between parental behaviors during reunions and pup vocalization rates during re-isolation. The absence of potentiation to the sire contrasts to findings in bi-parentally reared rat pups, which do potentiate vocalizations to the sire. We interpret these results to be consistent with the idea that potentiation reflects disruption of mother-infant coregulation and is dependent upon the unique biology of mothering. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 58:687-699, 2016. PMID:26990108

  4. Establishment of stable dominance interactions in prairie vole peers: relationships with alcohol drinking and activation of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus

    PubMed Central

    Anacker, Allison M. J.; Smith, Monique L.; Ryabinin, Andrey E.

    2014-01-01

    Dominance hierarchies are an important aspect of group-living as they determine individual access to resources. The existence of dominance ranks in access to space has not been described in socially monogamous, communally nesting prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Here we tested whether dominance could be assessed using the tube test. We also tested whether dominance related to alcohol intake, similar to what has been demonstrated in non-monogamous species. Same-sex pairs of unfamiliar peers were tested in a series of three trials of the tube test, then paired and allowed individual access to alcohol and water for four days, and then tested again in the tube test. For all pairs, the same subjects won the majority of trials before and after alcohol drinking. The number of wins negatively correlated with alcohol intake on the first day of drinking, and positively correlated with levels of Fos in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus following the tube test in a separate group of voles. Dominance was not related to Fos levels in other brain regions examined. Together, these results indicate that prairie voles quickly establish stable dominance ranks through a process possibly involving the hypothalamus, and suggest that dominance is linked to alcohol drinking. PMID:24963825

  5. Establishment of stable dominance interactions in prairie vole peers: relationships with alcohol drinking and activation of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Anacker, Allison M J; Smith, Monique L; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2014-01-01

    Dominance hierarchies are an important aspect of group-living as they determine individual access to resources. The existence of dominance ranks in access to space has not been described in socially monogamous, communally nesting prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Here, we tested whether dominance could be assessed using the tube test. We also tested whether dominance related to alcohol intake, similar to what has been demonstrated in nonmonogamous species. Same-sex pairs of unfamiliar peers were tested in a series of three trials of the tube test, then paired and allowed individual access to alcohol and water for 4 days, and then tested again in the tube test. For all pairs, the same subjects won the majority of trials before and after alcohol drinking. The number of wins negatively correlated with alcohol intake on the first day of drinking and positively correlated with levels of Fos in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus following the tube test in a separate group of voles. Dominance was not related to Fos levels in other brain regions examined. Together, these results indicate that prairie voles quickly establish stable dominance ranks through a process possibly involving the hypothalamus and suggest that dominance is linked to alcohol drinking. PMID:24963825

  6. Is it all in the family? The effects of early social structure on neural-behavioral systems of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Greenberg, G D; van Westerhuyzen, J A; Bales, K L; Trainor, B C

    2012-08-01

    The transition to parenthood is generally associated with a reduction in anxiety or anxiety-like behavior across a wide range of species. In some species, juveniles provide supplementary parental care for younger siblings, a behavior known as alloparenting. Although the fitness consequences of alloparenting behavior have been a focus of evolutionary research, less is known about how alloparenting behavior impacts affective states. In the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), most juveniles exhibit alloparenting behavior, making the species an ideal model for examining the effects of alloparenting on future behavioral outcomes. We randomly assigned juvenile voles to alloparenting (AL) or no alloparenting (NoAL) groups and behaviorally phenotyped them for anxiety-like and social behaviors using the elevated plus maze (EPM), open field test (OFT), startle box, social interaction test, juvenile affiliation test, and partner preference test. AL voles displayed more anxiety-like and less exploratory behaviors than NoAL voles, spending significantly less time in the open arms of the EPM and center of an open field. We dissected the CA1 region of the hippocampus and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) from brains of behaviorally phenotyped voles and nontested siblings as well. Decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in CA1 has generally been associated with increased anxiety-like behavior in other rodents, while an anxiogenic role for BDNF in BNST is less established. Western blot analyses showed that alloparenting experience increased expression of BDNF in the BNST but decreased BDNF expression in the CA1 region of hippocampus (CA1) of nontested voles. There were similar differences in BNST BDNF of behaviorally phenotyped voles, and BDNF levels within this region were negatively correlated with exploratory behavior (i.e. time in center of OFT). Our results suggest that BDNF signaling in BNST and CA1 fluctuate with

  7. Early rearing experience is associated with vasopressin immunoreactivity but not reactivity to an acute non-social stressor in the prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Perkeybile, Allison M; Bales, Karen L

    2015-08-01

    The early life experiences of an organism have the potential to alter its developmental trajectories. Perhaps one of the most powerful influences during this period is the parent-offspring relationship. Previous work in several mammalian species has demonstrated that parental care in early life and specifically maternal behavior can influence several adult outcomes in offspring, including affiliative and aggressive behavior, parental behavior, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) functioning and risk of psychopathology. We have previously demonstrated that naturally occurring variation in the type and amount of care given to offspring in a biparental species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), is related to social, anxiety-like, aggressive behaviors as well as HPA response to chronic and acute social stressors. Here we aim to determine the effects of early biparental care on HPA functioning and the interaction between early care and later reactivity to a forced swim test, an acute non-social stressor. Behavior during the swim test as well as several indicators of HPA activity, including plasma corticosterone (CORT), corticotropin releasing hormone immunoreactivity (CRH-ir), and vasopressin immunoreactivity (AVP-ir) were measured. Results here indicate an effect of early experience on AVP-ir but not CRH-ir or plasma CORT. There were no differences in CORT levels between high-contact (HC) and low-contact (LC) males or females for either control animals or after a swim stressor. CRH-ir was higher in the central amygdala following a swim test but was not influenced by early care. However, AVP-ir was not influenced by exposure to a swim stressor but was affected by early parental care in a sex-dependent manner. Female HC offspring had increased AVP-ir in the SON while HC male offspring had decreased AVP-ir in the PVN compared to their LC counterparts. The differential response of CRH and AVP to early experience and later stress, and the lack of an interaction

  8. EARLY REARING EXPERIENCE IS ASSOCIATED WITH VASOPRESSIN IMMUNOREACTIVITY BUT NOT REACTIVITY TO AN ACUTE NON-SOCIAL STRESSOR IN THE PRAIRIE VOLE

    PubMed Central

    Perkeybile, Allison M.; Bales, Karen L.

    2015-01-01

    The early life experiences of an organism have the potential to alter their developmental trajectories. Perhaps one of the most powerful influences during this period is the parent-offspring relationship. Previous work in several mammalian species has demonstrated that parental care in early life and specifically maternal behavior can influence several adult outcomes in offspring, including affiliative and aggressive behavior, parental behavior, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) functioning and risk of psychopathology. We have previously demonstrated that naturally occurring variation in the type and amount of care given to offspring in a biparental species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), is related to social, anxiety-like, aggressive behaviors as well as HPA response to chronic and acute social stressors. Here we aim to determine the effects of early biparental care on HPA functioning and the interaction between early care and later reactivity to a forced swim test, an acute non-social stressor. Behavior during the swim test as well as several indicators of HPA activity, including plasma corticosterone (CORT), corticotropin releasing hormone immunoreactivity (CRH-ir), and vasopressin immunoreactivity (AVP-ir) were measured. Results here indicate an effect of early experience on AVP-ir but not CRH-ir or plasma CORT. There were no differences in CORT levels between high-contact (HC) and low-contact (LC) males or females for either control animals or after a swim stressor. CRH-ir was higher in the central amygdala following a swim test but was not influenced by early care. However, AVP-ir was not influenced by exposure to a swim stressor but was affected by early parental care in a sex-dependent manner. Female HC offspring had increased AVP-ir in the SON while HC male offspring had decreased AVP-ir in the PVN compared to their LC counterparts. The differential response of CRH and AVP to early experience and later stress, and the lack of an interaction

  9. DeltaFosB is increased in the nucleus accumbens by amphetamine but not social housing or isolation in the prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, C M; Bales, K L

    2012-05-17

    The nucleus accumbens is a key region that mediates aspects of immediate and long-term adaptations to various stimuli. For example, both repeated amphetamine and pair-bonding increase dopamine D1 receptor binding in the nucleus accumbens of the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). This upregulation has significant and stimulus-dependent behavioral consequences. A promising candidate for these and other adaptations is the transcription factor ΔfosB. ΔfosB is a highly stable protein that persists in the brain over long periods of time, leading to increasing and accumulating levels with repeated or continuous exposure to specific stimuli. Within the nucleus accumbens, ΔfosB is specifically increased in medium spiny neurons containing D1 receptors. To explore whether ΔfosB is altered by drug and social experience in prairie voles, we performed three separate experiments. In the first experiment, animals were treated with repeated injections of amphetamine and then brain tissue was analyzed for ΔfosB expression. As expected, 4 days of amphetamine treatment increased ΔfosB in the nucleus accumbens, consistent with previous findings in other laboratory species. In the second experiment, animals were housed for 10 days with one of three social partners: a familiar same-sex sibling, an unfamiliar same-sex partner, or an unfamiliar opposite-sex partner. Here, we predicted that 10 days of housing with an opposite-sex partner would act as a "social reward," leading to upregulation of ΔfosB expression in the nucleus accumbens. In a third experiment, we also investigated whether 10 days of social isolation would result in altered ΔfosB activity. We hypothesized that isolation would lead to decreased levels of nucleus accumbens ΔfosB, as seen in other studies. However, neither opposite-sex cohabitation nor social isolation affected ΔfosB expression in the nucleus accumbens. These findings suggest that social stimuli, in contrast to drugs of abuse, are not

  10. Dimercaptopropane Sulfonate Chelation Affects In Vivo Hg and MeHg Distribution in Tissues and Urine of Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Cobb, G P; Moore, A W; Rummel, K T; McMurry, S T

    2015-12-01

    Methyl mercury cation (MeHg(+)) and divalent mercury (Hg(2+)) were quantified in urine, liver, kidney, and brain of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) during a 12 week exposure to aqueous MeHg(+) at concentrations of 10, 100, and 1000 ng MeHg(+)/mL. Aqueous MeHg(+) exposures increased mercury accumulation in tissues of voles from each exposure group. Accumulation was greater within the higher two exposure groups. Similar [Hg(2+)] and [MeHg(+)] were determined within a given organ type before and after 2,3-dimercapto-1-propane sulfonate (DMPS) chelation. Similar correlations were seen for Hg(2+) and MeHg(+) concentrations in pre and post chelation urine. Post chelation urine more reliably predicted mercury species concentrations in tissues than did urine collected before chelation. These data demonstrate the utility of DMPS in noninvasive assessment of wildlife exposure to mercury, which may have utility in evaluating meta-population level exposure to hazardous wastes. PMID:26412077

  11. Pre- and post-weaning cold exposure does not lead to an obese phenotype in adult Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xue-Ying; Zhang, Qiang; Wang, De-Hua

    2011-07-01

    Evidence has shown that postnatal undernutrition, overnutrition and cold stress are associated with imbalanced metabolic regulation as rodents achieve adulthood. In this study, we used a breeding colony of Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii), a wild rodent species from the Inner Mongolia grasslands in China, to examine the effects of pre- and post-weaning cold exposure on the adult body (fat) mass, serum hormones and hypothalamic neuropeptides. Unlike laboratory rodents, vole offspring exposed to pre-weaning cold did not exhibit overweight or obese phenotypes in adulthood compared with unexposed controls. Moreover, adult male voles that remained in colder conditions had less body mass and lower serum leptin levels despite having higher food intake compared to other groups. To understand the mechanism of this unexpected regulation, hypothalamic gene expression was assessed for pre- and post-weaning cold exposure. Voles exposed to cold before weaning increased hypothalamic, orexigenic agouti-related protein (AgRP) and decreased anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA expression at weaning. These expression changes were associated with hyperphagia and catch-up growth after weaning. Interestingly, these changes in hypothalamic neuropeptides were short lasting because in adult voles these differences were no longer apparent, which might explain why the pre-weaning, cold-exposed voles did not become obese in adulthood. These data suggest that some species do not develop an obese phenotype in response to early life cold stress. PMID:21635895

  12. Sex differences, effects of male presence and coordination of nest visits in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) during the immediate postnatal period

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mcguire, B.; Parker, E.; Bemis, W.E.

    2007-01-01

    Little is known about sex differences in parental behavior of biparental mammals and if mates in such species coordinate care of young. We studied parental care displayed by prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) under seminatural laboratory conditions during the first 3 d of life of their offspring. Through direct observations and videotaping, we monitored members of male-female pairs to determine if sex differences in early parental behavior exist and if mothers and fathers coordinate visits to the nest. To assess the impact of fathers on survival of pups and behavior of mothers, we also examined parental care displayed by single females toward their young. Male and female members of breeding pairs differed dramatically in degree of parental care. Females spent more time in the nest with young and licked them more frequently than did males. Additionally, females maintained the nest more frequently than did males, whereas they maintained runways less frequently. Although coordination of visits to the nest was not perfect between members of pairs, pups of pairs were left alone for less time than were pups of single females. Parental behavior displayed by paired and single females did not differ, nor did survival of their young to day 3 or 15. We suggest that provision of ample space and cover to vole parents rearing young in captivity promotes expression of sex differences in parental behavior, but that even seminatural conditions are not sufficient to yield benefits of father presence to survival of young. Under more challenging conditions, such as cold temperatures or presence of predators, benefits of father presence might emerge.

  13. Ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1A) antagonism alters preference for ethanol and sucrose in a concentration-dependent manner in prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, J R; Francomacaro, L M; Bohidar, A E; Young, K A; Pesarchick, B F; Buirkle, J M; McMahon, E K; O'Bryan, C M

    2016-03-01

    Ghrelin receptor (GHS-R1A) activity has been implicated in reward for preferred foods and drugs; however, a recent study in our laboratory indicated that GHS-R1A antagonism reduces early (after only four exposures) preference for 20% ethanol, but not 10% sucrose in prairie voles, a genetically diverse high alcohol-consuming species. The purpose of the present study was to determine if these effects of GHS-R1A antagonism depend on the concentration of the rewarding solution being consumed. We first characterized preference for varying concentrations of ethanol and sucrose. Two bottle tests of each ethanol concentration versus water indicated that 10% and 20% ethanol are less preferred than 3% ethanol, and a follow-up direct comparison of 10% vs. 20% showed that 10% was preferred over 20%. Direct two-bottle comparisons of 2% vs. 5%, 2% vs. 10%, and 5% vs. 10% sucrose showed that 10% sucrose was most preferred, and 2% sucrose was least preferred. The effects of JMV 2959, a GHS-R1A antagonist, on preference for each concentration of ethanol and sucrose were then tested. In a between groups design prairie voles were given four two-hour drinking sessions in which animals had access to ethanol (3, 10, or 20%) versus water, or sucrose (2, 5, or 10%) versus water every other day. Saline habituation injections were given 30 min before the third drinking session. JMV 2959 (i.p.; 9 mg/kg), a GHS-R1A antagonist, or saline was administered 30 min before the fourth drinking session. JMV 2959 reduced preference for 20% ethanol and 2% sucrose, but had no significant effect on preference for the other ethanol and sucrose concentrations. These data identify constraints on the role of GHS-R1A in early preference for ethanol and sucrose, and the concentration-dependent effects suggest strong preference for a reward may limit the importance of GHS-R1A activity. PMID:26723269

  14. Oxytocin in the nucleus accumbens shell reverses CRFR2-evoked passive stress-coping after partner loss in monogamous male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Oliver J; Dabrowska, Joanna; Modi, Meera E; Johnson, Zachary V; Keebaugh, Alaine C; Barrett, Catherine E; Ahern, Todd H; Guo, JiDong; Grinevich, Valery; Rainnie, Donald G; Neumann, Inga D; Young, Larry J

    2016-02-01

    Loss of a partner can have severe effects on mental health. Here we explore the neural mechanisms underlying increased passive stress-coping, indicative of depressive-like behavior, following the loss of the female partner in the monogamous male prairie vole. We demonstrate that corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2 (CRFR2) in the nucleus accumbens shell mediates social loss-induced passive coping. Further, we show that partner loss compromises the oxytocin system through multiple mechanisms. Finally, we provide evidence for an interaction of the CRFR2 and oxytocin systems in mediating the emotional consequences of partner loss. Our results suggest that chronic activation of CRFR2 and suppression of striatal oxytocin signaling following partner loss result in an aversive emotional state that may share underlying mechanisms with bereavement. We propose that the suppression of oxytocin signaling is likely adaptive during short separations to encourage reunion with the partner and may have evolved to maintain long-term partnerships. Additionally, therapeutic strategies targeting these systems should be considered for treatment of social loss-mediated depression. PMID:26615473

  15. The effect of area size and predation on the time to extinction of prairie vole populations. simulation studies via SERDYCA: a Spatially-Explicit Individual-Based Model of Rodent Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Kostova, T; Carlsen, T

    2003-11-21

    We present a spatially-explicit individual-based computational model of rodent dynamics, customized for the prairie vole species, M. Ochrogaster. The model is based on trophic relationships and represents important features such as territorial competition, mating behavior, density-dependent predation and dispersal out of the modeled spatial region. Vegetation growth and vole fecundity are dependent on climatic components. The results of simulations show that the model correctly predicts the overall temporal dynamics of the population density. Time-series analysis shows a very good match between the periods corresponding to the peak population density frequencies predicted by the model and the ones reported in the literature. The model is used to study the relation between persistence, landscape area and predation. We introduce the notions of average time to extinction (ATE) and persistence frequency to quantify persistence. While the ATE decreases with decrease of area, it is a bell-shaped function of the predation level: increasing for 'small' and decreasing for 'large' predation levels.

  16. Genetics of Aggression in Voles

    PubMed Central

    Gobrogge, Kyle L.; Wang, Zuoxin

    2016-01-01

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are socially monogamous rodents that form pair bonds—a behavior composed of several social interactions including attachment with a familiar mate and aggression toward conspecific strangers. Therefore, this species has provided an excellent opportunity for the study of pair bonding behavior and its underlying neural mechanisms. In this chapter, we discuss the utility of this unique animal model in the study of aggression and review recent findings illustrating the neurochemical mechanisms underlying pair bonding-induced aggression. Implications of this research for our understanding of the neurobiology of human violence are also discussed. PMID:22078479

  17. Litter Size Variation in Hypothalamic Gene Expression Determines Adult Metabolic Phenotype in Brandt's Voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xue-Ying; Zhang, Qiang; Wang, De-Hua

    2011-01-01

    Background Early postnatal environments may have long-term and potentially irreversible consequences on hypothalamic neurons involved in energy homeostasis. Litter size is an important life history trait and negatively correlated with milk intake in small mammals, and thus has been regarded as a naturally varying feature of the early developmental environment. Here we investigated the long-term effects of litter size on metabolic phenotype and hypothalamic neuropeptide mRNA expression involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis, using the offspring reared from large (10–12) and small (3–4) litter sizes, of Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii), a rodent species from Inner Mongolia grassland in China. Methodology/Principal Findings Hypothalamic leptin signaling and neuropeptides were measured by Real-Time PCR. We showed that offspring reared from small litters were heavier at weaning and also in adulthood than offspring from large litters, accompanied by increased food intake during development. There were no significant differences in serum leptin levels or leptin receptor (OB-Rb) mRNA in the hypothalamus at weaning or in adulthood, however, hypothalamic suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) mRNA in adulthood increased in small litters compared to that in large litters. As a result, the agouti-related peptide (AgRP) mRNA increased in the offspring from small litters. Conclusions/Significance These findings support our hypothesis that natural litter size has a permanent effect on offspring metabolic phenotype and hypothalamic neuropeptide expression, and suggest central leptin resistance and the resultant increase in AgRP expression may be a fundamental mechanism underlying hyperphagia and the increased risk of overweight in pups of small litters. Thus, we conclude that litter size may be an important and central determinant of metabolic fitness in adulthood. PMID:21637839

  18. Population dynamics of adult fleas (Siphonaptera) on hosts and in nests of the California vole.

    PubMed

    Stark, Harold E

    2002-11-01

    Microtus californicus (Peale, 1848) were live trapped or retrapped 887 times, and fleas were collected over a 2.5-yr period in the San Francisco Watershed and Wildlife Refuge. Also, 179 M. californicus nests were collected monthly with observations to identify the environment of fleas. The ratio of the mean number of fleas per nest to the mean number collected on voles was 4.7:1 for Malaraeus telchinus (Rothschild, 1905), 13:1 for Hystrichopsylla occidentalis linsdalei Holland, 1957,9:1 for Atyphloceras multidentatus multidentatus (C. Fox, 1909), and 76:1 for Catallagia wymani (C. Fox, 1909). The proportion of each flea species per nest to those per host was not closely associated seasonally or spatially. The average nest contained 37.5% moisture content in relation to its total weight and ranged between 3 and 92%. No relationship was observed between relative humidity of air within nests and flea number, but a significant relationship existed between the moisture of nesting materials and flea number. Malaraeus telchinus and A. m. multidentatus were collected in greatest numbers from nests having 30-39% moisture content by weight, and H. o. linsdalei and C. wymani were most numerous in nests that had 40-49% moisture content. Catallagia wymani had the greatest tolerance for high moisture and was severely affected by lack of moisture and nearly absent in drier nests. No ectoparasites were collected from nests that had <12% moisture content, and nests with >50% moisture content had few fleas. A static concept of nest fleas and host fleas as suggested by averages and often used in literature is questionable. In seasonal comparison of populations of fleas on hosts and in nests, M. telchinus and H. o. linsdalei reversed so that more of the flea population was on the host than in the nest for a short time during fall. PMID:12495178

  19. On the quality of prairie-pothole wetlands for adult and juvenile waterfowl following aerial application of insecticides

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Tome, M.W.; Swanson, G.A.; Borthwick, S.M.; DeWeese, L.R.

    1990-01-01

    In 1987 the impact of aerial application of ethyl parathion to waterfowl on small prairie wetlands adjacent to sunflower fields in North Dakota was assessed by studying 5 fenced wetlands surrounded by sunflowers and 5 fenced controls. By 3 days post-spray, 4 of 104 ducklings released onto the wetlands were alive, compared to 52% of 105 control ducklings. Brain ChE activity was depressed > 50% in all but one of the 50 ducklings found dead post-spray. Survival of amphipods in enclosures within the contaminated wetlands was reduced for 25 days. Naturally-occurring broods on unfenced wetlands and free-living aquatic invertebrates in the fenced wetlands were also severely affected. The results suggest aerial application of insecticides may have significant direct and indirect impacts on the survival of adult and juvenile waterfowl within the prairie-pothole region.

  20. The relationship of prenatal ethanol exposure and anxiety-related behaviors and central androgen receptor and vasopressin expression in adult male mandarin voles.

    PubMed

    He, F

    2014-04-25

    Prenatal exposure to ethanol has been shown to increase the risk of anxiety in offspring. Here, we tested the effect of prenatal ethanol exposure on adult male mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus). We examined anxiety-like behavior in the open field and elevated plus-maze tests in males exposed to ethanol prenatally. One control group was not exposed to ethanol or saline, while another control group was exposed to saline. At the age of 90days, males were tested and levels of serum testosterone, androgen receptor immunoreactive neurons (AR-IRs) and arginine vasopressin immunoreactive neurons (AVP-IRs) were measured. Animals exposed to ethanol spent less time in the center of the chamber, covered less distance and conducted fewer crossings in the open-field test. These animals also spent less time and conducted fewer crossings in the open arms. However, they spent more time and made more entries in the closed arms, and traveled less total distance during the elevated plus-maze test, compared to the control voles. Serum T was lower in the ethanol group, and the AR-IR number in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), medial preoptic area (mPOA) and medial amygdaloid nucleus (MeA) was significantly lower. The number of AVP-IRs in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the ethanol group was higher than that of the control groups. Our findings suggest that prenatal ethanol exposure may lead to reduced serum T levels, decreased AR and increased AVP in the CNS and result in the development of anxiety-like behaviors. PMID:24583039

  1. Early bi-parental separation or neonatal paternal deprivation in mandarin voles reduces adult offspring paternal behavior and alters serum corticosterone levels and neurochemistry.

    PubMed

    Yu, Peng; Zhang, Hui; Li, Xibo; He, Fengqin; Tai, Fadao

    2015-07-01

    Although the effect of early social environments on maternal care in adulthood has been examined in detail, few studies have addressed the long-term effect on paternal care and its underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms. Here, using monogamous mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus) that show high levels of paternal care, the effects of early bi-parental separation (EBPS) or neonatal paternal deprivation (NPD) on adult paternal behavior, serum corticosterone levels, and receptor mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and medial preoptic area (MPOA) were investigated. Compared to the parental care group (PC), we found that EBPS reduced crouching behavior and increased inactivity, self-grooming, and serum corticosterone levels in adult offspring; and NPD significantly reduced retrieval behavior and increased self-grooming behavior of offspring at adulthood. EBPS displayed more dopamine type I receptor (D1R) mRNA expression in the NAcc, but less oxytocin receptor (OTR) mRNA expression than PC in the MPOA. Both EBPS and NPD exhibited more mRNA expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) than PC in the MPOA. In the EBPS group, increased serum corticosterone concentration was closely associated with reduced crouching behavior, and reduced expression of OTR was closely associated with altered crouching behavior and increased D1R expression. Our results provide substantial evidence that EBPS or NPD has long-term consequences and reduces paternal behavior in adult animals. Importantly the oxytocin system in the MPOA might interact with NAcc dopamine systems to regulate paternal behavior and EBPS may affect interactions between the MPOA and NAcc. PMID:26012712

  2. Prairie Stories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Amy; Blake, Kathryn

    2011-01-01

    Stories read aloud or written by students help science come alive and engage students as active participants in their learning. Students gain a sense of place by learning about their local ecosystem by listening to stories read aloud, doing prairie-related activities, and writing stories of their own. This article describes a prairie unit that…

  3. Small mammal community composition in cornfields, roadside ditches, and prairies in eastern Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, E.M.

    1997-01-01

    Community composition of small mammals was examined in prairies, cornfields, and their adjacent roadside ditches in eastern Nebraska. Western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys megalotis) and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were associated with prairie habitat, were common in ditches, but avoided cornfields. Prairie voles (M. Ochrogaster) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) were associated with ditch habitat, were common in prairies, but avoided cornfields. Short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) avoided cornfields, were associated with ditches next to cornfields, but were common in prairies and ditches next to prairies. Deer mice (P. Maniculatus) were associated with cornfields but were relatively common in prairies and ditches. House mice (Mus musculus) were most common in ditches next to cornfields, occurred in cornfields and ditches next to prairies, but were not captured in prairies. Although community composition appears to differ among prairies, ditches, and cornfields, ditches support a more complete suite of the native small mammal species in large and relatively even numbers, whereas cornfields only support deer mice in large numbers.

  4. Androgens exert opposite effects on body mass of heavy and light meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Dark, J; Whaling, C S; Zucker, I

    1987-12-01

    The influence of gonadal hormones on body mass of adult male meadow voles varied systematically as a function of the animals' baseline body weight; heavier voles decreased and lighter voles increased their body mass after castration. Testosterone replacement reversed the effects of castration; changes in body mass during hormone treatment were negatively correlated with changes observed after castration. Body mass of intact males was not correlated with plasma testosterone titers. Individual differences in body mass of male voles appear to reflect variations among animals in substrate responsiveness to hormones rather than differences in circulating hormone levels. PMID:3323026

  5. The ties that bond: neurochemistry of attachment in voles.

    PubMed

    Gobrogge, Kyle; Wang, Zuoxin

    2016-06-01

    In socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), mating induces three primary types of behavior; namely, partner preference, selective aggression toward conspecific strangers, and bi-parental care, making this rodent an ideal model system to study sociality and underlying neurochemical mechanisms associated with monogamous mating strategies. Here, we highlight species differences in neurochemical receptor distributions associated with mating experience leading to the establishment of stable pair-bonds. Specifically, we illustrate the role of nucleus accumbens dopamine in programming the formation and maintenance of monogamous bonds and describe the role of anterior hypothalamic vasopressin in the regulation of selective aggression. We conclude by discussing recent molecular work in voles and emphasize the importance of this rodent for future research in the behavioral neurobiology field. PMID:27131991

  6. Agricultural chemicals and the quality of prairie-pothole wetlands for adult and juvenile waterfowl -- what are the concerns?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Tome, M.W.; Swanson, G.A.; Borthwick, S.M.; DeWeese, L.R.

    1988-01-01

    A review of the literature and results of ongoing studies indicates that the potential for agricultural chemicals, particularly aerially-applied insecticides, to enter prairie potholes and reduce the quality of these wetlands for waterfowl is great, and that a coordinated effort by farmers, wildlife managers, and regulatory agencies is needed to minimize these impacts

  7. Agricultural chemicals and the quality of prairie-pothole wetlands for adult and juvenile waterfowl - what are the concerns?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Tome, M.W.; Swanson, G.A.; Borthwick, S.

    1988-01-01

    A review of the literature and results of ongoing studies indicates that the potential for agricultural chemicals, particularly aerially-applied insecticides, to enter prairie potholes and reduce the quality of these wetlands for waterfowl is great, and that a coordinated effort by farmers, wildlife managers, and regulatory agencies is needed to minimize these impacts.

  8. Effects of postnatal stress on the development of type 1 diabetes in bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus).

    PubMed

    Freimanis, Tonny; Heller, Knud E; Schønecker, Bryan; Bildsøe, Mogens

    2003-01-01

    Wild bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) kept in the laboratory under barren housing conditions develop high incidences of type 1 diabetes mellitus due to beta cell-specific lysis in association with the appearance of GAD65, IA-2, and insulin autoantibodies. Wild-caught and immediately analyzed voles show no histological signs of diabetes, and the disease may therefore be induced by circumstances related to the housing of the animals in captivity. We tested the possibility that postnatal stress by either maternal separation or water immersion at different intervals would induce diabetes in adult bank voles. We found that low-frequent stress during the first 21 days of life increases, whereas high-frequent stress markedly reduces, the incidence of type 1 diabetes in adulthood. These results differentiate the role of early-experienced stress on subsequent type 1 diabetes development and emphasize that the bank vole may serve as a useful new animal model for the disease. PMID:12745667

  9. Oxytocin and same-sex social behavior in female meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Beery, A K; Zucker, I

    2010-08-25

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in a range of mammalian reproductive and social behaviors including parent-offspring bonding and partner preference formation between socially monogamous mates. Its role in mediating non-reproductive social relationships in rodents, however, remains largely unexplored. We examined whether OT facilitates same-sex social preferences between female meadow voles-a species that forms social nesting groups in short, winter-like day lengths. In contrast to results from studies of opposite-sex attachment between prairie vole mates, we found that neither OT nor dopamine neurotransmission was required for baseline levels of social partner preference formation or expression. OT enhanced preference formation beyond baseline levels-an effect that was counteracted by treatment with an oxytocin receptor antagonist (OTA). Oxytocin receptor (OTR) density correlated with social behavior in brain regions not known to be associated with opposite-sex affiliation, including the lateral septum and central amygdala. In addition, voles housed in short day lengths (SD) exhibited higher levels of OTR binding in the central amygdala, and voles exposed to high concentrations of estradiol exhibited less binding in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and increased binding in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. These results suggest that same-sex social behavior shares common elements with other mammalian social behaviors affected by OT, but that the specific neural pathways through which OT exerts its influence are likely distinct from those known for sexual attachments. PMID:20580660

  10. The Prairie Schoolhouse.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, John Martin

    This book documents the history of the prairie schoolhouse through text and photographs. The prairie schoolhouse was a product of the Western Homestead Era, those years beginning late in the 19th century when the federally owned grass prairies east of the Rockies and the sagebrush country of the interior Northwest were opened to farming.…

  11. Auto- and allo-grooming in pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus).

    PubMed

    Geyer, L A; Kornet, A

    1982-03-01

    Grooming was observed in mixed-sex pairs of voles after one vole had been unilaterally soiled with a carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) gel. In Experiment 1, soiled pine voles spent more time grooming than did clean voles, and groomed the soiled side of their bodies more than the clean side. Soiled voles of both species head-groomed more than did clean voles. Addition of tastants to CMC gel did not alter grooming durations in either species, and there were no sex differences. In Experiment 2, both vole species (taken together) auto-groomed more than they allo-groomed, although clean voles groomed their soiled partners more than themselves. These studies suggest that soiled fur is a powerful stimulus for auto- and allo-grooming. PMID:7043506

  12. Travelling waves in vole population dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranta, Esa; Kaitala, Veijo

    1997-12-01

    Spatial self-organization patterns in population dynamics have been anticipated, but demonstrating their existence requires sampling over long periods of time at a range of sites. Voles cause severe economic damage and are therefore extensively monitored, providing a source of the required data. Using two long-term data sets we now report the existence of travelling waves in vole population numbers.

  13. Melatonin influences sex-specific prenatal mortality in meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Gorman, M R; Ferkin, M H; Dark, J

    1994-11-01

    Meadow voles exhibit seasonal changes in litter size, ovulation rates, and prenatal mortality. To investigate the proximate bases of seasonal changes in reproductive effort, adult female voles, maintained in long photoperiods (14 h of light/day), were injected daily with 10 micrograms melatonin 2 h before light offset to extend the duration of the nighttime melatonin pulse. At parturition the number, sex, and weight of offspring were assessed. The number of ovarian corpora lutea (CL), an index of potential litter size, was used to calculate rates of prenatal survival (i.e., pups per CL). Prenatal survival rates were reduced in female but not male pups of dams that had been injected before blastocyst implantation (Days 1-6 of pregnancy) with melatonin as compared with saline. Melatonin injections initiated after blastocyst implantation (Days 7-21 of pregnancy) did not affect prenatal survival, nor were birth weights of pups affected by either pre- or postimplantation melatonin treatment. We conclude that sex-specific prenatal survival is a labile feature of vole reproduction that may be under proximate control of photoperiod and melatonin before blastocyst implantation. PMID:7849189

  14. Investigating the Tallgrass Prairie

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Marcia V.; Chi, Sojin Y.; Hertzog, Nancy B.

    2008-01-01

    This article describes an investigation of a tallgrass prairie undertaken by 3- through 7-year-old children in a preschool and a combined kindergarten/first-grade classroom at a Midwestern university. The teaching teams were curious about how these two age groups would explore their questions about the prairie--how their questions would differ by…

  15. Prairie Stamp Activity Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blanchard, Fran; Hoofnagle, Sara Griffen

    The North American prairie ecosystem is unique. Comprised of tall grass, mixed grass, and shortgrass communities, the acreage this ecosystem once covered is incredible 400 million acres (pre-settlement times), accounting for 40% of North America's landscape. Prairies are home to a great diversity of animal life, such as cottontail rabbits,…

  16. Reduced helminth parasitism in the introduced bank vole (Myodes glareolus): More parasites lost than gained.

    PubMed

    Loxton, Karen C; Lawton, Colin; Stafford, Peter; Holland, Celia V

    2016-08-01

    Introduced species are often less parasitised compared to their native counterparts and to ecologically similar hosts in the new environment. Reduced parasitism may come about due to both the loss of original parasites and low acquisition of novel parasites. In this study we investigated the intestinal helminth parasites of the introduced bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Ireland. Results were compared to data from other European studies and to the intestinal helminth fauna of an ecologically similar native rodent in Ireland, the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). The helminth fauna of introduced bank voles exhibited low diversity with only 3 species recovered: Aspiculuris tianjinensis; Aonchotheca murissylvatici and Taenia martis larvae. In particular, no adult parasites with indirect life-cycles were found in bank voles suggesting that indirectly transmitted parasites are less likely to establish in invasive hosts. Also, the results of this study add support to the enemy release hypothesis. PMID:27408800

  17. Restoring the prairie

    SciTech Connect

    Mlot, C.

    1990-12-01

    The US DOE at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, prairie restoration is taking place in order to conserve the rich topsoil. This is the largest of many prairie restoration experiments. Big bluestem grass (Andropogon gerardi), blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), and buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides) are the main initial grasses grown. After their growth reaches enough biomass to sustain a fire, other prairie plants such as purple prairie clover and dropseed grass appear. The goal of this is to provide a generous refuge for disappearing native plants and animals, a site for scientific research, and a storehouse of genes adapted to a region that produces much of the worlds food. Plans for restoring the marsh and oak savanna, also native to the Fermilab site are also in the works.

  18. Clutch size of a vole-eating bird of prey as an indicator of vole abundance.

    PubMed

    Solonen, Tapio; Ahola, Kari; Karstinen, Teuvo

    2015-09-01

    Voles are often considered as harmful pests in agriculture and silviculture. Then, the knowledge of their abundance may be of considerable economical importance. Commonly used methods in the monitoring of vole abundances are relatively laborious, expensive, and spatially quite restricted. We demonstrate how the mean clutch size of the tawny owl Strix aluco may be cost-effectively used to predict relative densities of voles over large areas. Besides installing a number of suitable nest boxes, this vole monitoring system primarily includes only the inspection of the nest boxes and counting the number of tawny owl eggs found two times during a few weeks period in spring. Our results showed a considerable agreement between the fluctuations in the mean clutch size of tawny owls and the late spring abundance indices of small voles (Myodes, Microtus) in our study areas in southern Finland. The mean clutch size of the tawny owl reflected spring vole abundance over the spatial range examined, suggesting its suitability for general forecasting purposes. From the pest management point of view, an additional merit of the present method is that it may increase numbers of vole-eaters that provide biological control of vole populations. PMID:26307687

  19. Day length and estradiol affect same-sex affiliative behavior in the female meadow vole

    PubMed Central

    Beery, Annaliese K.; Loo, Theresa J.; Zucker, Irving

    2008-01-01

    Non-sexual social bonding between adult mammals remains poorly understood, despite its importance in many species. Female meadow voles are territorial and nest alone in long summer day lengths when circulating estradiol concentrations are high, but cohabit in groups in short winter photoperiods when estradiol secretion is low. The influence of day length and estradiol on same-sex huddling behavior was assessed in adult female pairs housed together in long day lengths (LDs) or short day lengths (SDs) from weaning. The behavior of intact, ovariectomized, and estradiol-treated ovariectomized females from each photoperiod was assessed during 3 hour partner preference tests. Intact SD voles, unlike intact LD voles, spent the majority of the test in proximity to their cage mates. Estradiol treatment of SD voles significantly reduced time spent huddling with the partner. Neither ovariectomy nor estradiol treatment significantly affected the amount of time LD females spent in contact with their partners. Low estradiol availability is therefore a necessary but not sufficient condition for maintenance of high levels of huddling. These results establish that ovarian hormones interact with photoperiod to affect same-sex social behavior. PMID:18387611

  20. Day length and estradiol affect same-sex affiliative behavior in the female meadow vole.

    PubMed

    Beery, Annaliese K; Loo, Theresa J; Zucker, Irving

    2008-06-01

    Non-sexual social bonding between adult mammals is poorly understood, despite its importance in many species. Female meadow voles are territorial and nest alone in long summer day lengths when circulating estradiol concentrations are high, but cohabit in groups in short winter photoperiods when estradiol secretion is low. The influence of day length and estradiol on same-sex huddling behavior was assessed in adult female pairs housed together in long day lengths (LDs) or short day lengths (SDs) from weaning. The behavior of intact, ovariectomized, and estradiol-treated ovariectomized females from each photoperiod was assessed during 3 h partner-preference tests. Intact SD voles, unlike intact LD voles, spent the majority of the test in proximity to their cage-mates. Estradiol treatment of SD voles significantly reduced time spent huddling with the partner. Neither ovariectomy nor estradiol treatment significantly affected the amount of time LD females spent in contact with their partners. Low estradiol availability is therefore a necessary but not sufficient condition for maintenance of high levels of huddling. These results establish that ovarian hormones interact with photoperiod to affect same-sex social behavior. PMID:18387611

  1. Life on the Iowa Prairies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swaim, Ginalie, Ed.

    1985-01-01

    A theme issue of the Iowa State Historical Department magazine ("The Goldfinch") focuses on elementary readings and activities about Iowa prairie life. A total of 13 articles is included. In "History Makers," eight letters recount student and teacher prairie experiences. "The Prairie: Problems or Paradise?" recounts the trials and successes of…

  2. Introduced Siberian chipmunks are more heavily infested by ixodid ticks than are native bank voles in a suburban forest in France.

    PubMed

    Pisanu, B; Marsot, M; Marmet, J; Chapuis, J-L; Réale, D; Vourc'h, G

    2010-09-01

    By serving as hosts for native vectors, introduced species can surpass native hosts in their role as major reservoirs of local pathogens. During a 4-year longitudinal study, we investigated factors that affected infestation by ixodid ticks on both introduced Siberian chipmunks Tamias sibiricus barberi and native bank voles Myodes glareolus in a suburban forest (Forêt de Sénart, Ile-de-France). Ticks were counted on adult bank voles and on adult and young chipmunks using regular monthly trapping sessions, and questing ticks were quantified by dragging. At the summer peak of questing Ixodes ricinus availability, the average tick load was 27-69 times greater on adult chipmunks than on adult voles, while average biomass per hectare of chipmunks and voles were similar. In adult chipmunks, individual effects significantly explained 31% and 24% of the total variance of tick larvae and nymph burdens, respectively. Male adult chipmunks harboured significantly more larvae and nymphs than adult females, and than juveniles born in spring and in summer. The higher tick loads, and more specifically the ratio of nymphs over larvae, observed in chipmunks may be caused by a higher predisposition--both in terms of susceptibility and exposure--to questing ticks. Tick burdens were also related to habitat and seasonal variation in age- and sex-related space use by both rodents. Introduced chipmunks may thus have an important role in the dynamics of local vector-borne pathogens compared with native reservoir hosts such as bank voles. PMID:20406644

  3. Transfer coefficient of 226Ra from vegetation to meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, on U mill tailings

    SciTech Connect

    Cloutier, N.R.; Clulow, F.V.; Lim, T.P.; Dave, N.K.

    1986-06-01

    The 226Ra level in vegetation growing on U mine tailings in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada, was 211 + 22 mBq g-1 (dry weight) compared to less than 7 mBq g-1 (dry weight) in material from a control site. Skeletons of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) established on the tailings had concentrations of 226Ra of 6083 +/- 673 mBq per animal in winter; 7163 +/- 1077 mBq per animal in spring; 1506 +/- 625 mBq per animal in summer; and 703 +/- 59 mBq per animal in fall, compared to less than 7 mBq per animal in controls. The /sup 226/Ra transfer coefficient from vegetation to voles (defined as total millibecquerels of /sup 226/Ra in adult vole per total millibecquerels of 226Ra consumed by the vole in its lifetime) was calculated as 4.6 +/- 2.9 X 10(-2) in summer and 2.8 +/- 0.6 X 10(-2) in fall.

  4. Sexual dimorphism in brain weight of meadow voles: role of gonadal hormones.

    PubMed

    Whaling, C S; Zucker, I; Wade, G N; Dark, J

    1990-05-01

    In most adult mammals, brain weights of males exceed those of females. The role of androgens in the genesis of this sex difference was assessed in meadow voles by acute neonatal or chronic postweaning manipulation of testosterone titers. Female voles given a single injection of testosterone propionate (TP) on the second day of postnatal life had brain weights in adulthood that were indistinguishable from those of male voles and significantly heavier than those of control females. Whole brain DNA content, a measure of cell number, was not increased by neonatal TP treatment. Females treated with TP from day 19 to 70 had lower brain weights than control females and males gonadectomized at 19 days of age had greater brain weights than did intact male voles at day 70. The sex dimorphism in brain weight reflects organizational effects of testosterone during perinatal development. Beginning at weaning, and continuing through postpubertal development, testosterone decreases brain weight in both sexes. We suggest that testosterone affects brain weight by altering cell size or non-cellular components rather than cell number. PMID:2192820

  5. Experimental infection of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) with sheep scrapie

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Christina M.; Schneider, Jay R.; Pedersen, Joel A.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Johnson, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) are permissive to chronic wasting disease (CWD) infection, but their susceptibility to other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is poorly characterized. In this initial study, we intracerebrally challenged 6 meadow voles with 2 isolates of sheep scrapie. Three meadow voles acquired a TSE after the scrapie challenge and an extended incubation period. The glycoform profile of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrPres) in scrapie-sick voles remained similar to the sheep inocula, but differed from that of voles clinically affected by CWD. Vacuolization patterns and disease-associated prion protein (PrPSc) deposition were generally similar in all scrapie-affected voles, except in the hippocampus, where PrPSc staining varied markedly among the animals. Our results demonstrate that meadow voles can acquire a TSE after intracerebral scrapie challenge and that this species could therefore prove useful for characterizing scrapie isolates. PMID:25673912

  6. Experimental infection of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) with sheep scrapie.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Christina M; Schneider, Jay R; Pedersen, Joel A; Heisey, Dennis M; Johnson, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

    Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) are permissive to chronic wasting disease (CWD) infection, but their susceptibility to other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is poorly characterized. In this initial study, we intracerebrally challenged 6 meadow voles with 2 isolates of sheep scrapie. Three meadow voles acquired a TSE after the scrapie challenge and an extended incubation period. The glycoform profile of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) in scrapie-sick voles remained similar to the sheep inocula, but differed from that of voles clinically affected by CWD. Vacuolization patterns and disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) deposition were generally similar in all scrapie-affected voles, except in the hippocampus, where PrP(Sc) staining varied markedly among the animals. Our results demonstrate that meadow voles can acquire a TSE after intracerebral scrapie challenge and that this species could therefore prove useful for characterizing scrapie isolates. PMID:25673912

  7. Experimental infection of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) with sheep scrapie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carlson, CM; Schneider, Jay R.; Pedersen, Janice C.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Johnson, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) are permissive to chronic wasting disease (CWD) infection, but their susceptibility to other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is poorly characterized. In this initial study, we intracerebrally challenged 6 meadow voles with 2 isolates of sheep scrapie. Three meadow voles acquired a TSE after the scrapie challenge and an extended incubation period. The glycoform profile of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) in scrapie-sick voles remained similar to the sheep inocula, but differed from that of voles clinically affected by CWD. Vacuolization patterns and disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) deposition were generally similar in all scrapie-affected voles, except in the hippocampus, where PrP(Sc) staining varied markedly among the animals. Our results demonstrate that meadow voles can acquire a TSE after intracerebral scrapie challenge and that this species could therefore prove useful for characterizing scrapie isolates.

  8. Neuropeptidergic regulation of pair-bonding and stress buffering: Lessons from voles.

    PubMed

    Gobrogge, Kyle; Wang, Zuoxin

    2015-11-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "SBN 2014". Interpersonal attachment is a critical component of the human experience. Pair-bonding ameliorates the severity of several mental and physical diseases. Thus, a better understanding of how the central nervous system responds to and encodes social-buffering during stress is a valuable research enterprise. The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), as a laboratory animal model, provides the gold standard for the investigation of the neurobiology underlying attachment. Furthermore, emerging research in voles, additional laboratory rodents, transgenic mice, primates, and humans has provided novel insight into the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of social bonds reducing anxiety, depression, and drug abuse liability. In the present review, we highlight the work from this burgeoning field and focus on the role(s) of the neuropeptides oxytocin (OT), vasopressin (AVP), and corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) mediating stress buffering. Together, the data suggest that OT underlies social bonding to reduce stress-induced psychological illness while AVP and CRH facilitate arousal to enhance autonomic reactivity, increasing susceptibility to adverse mental and physical health. PMID:26335886

  9. Lessons from Prairie Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Mary M.

    2001-01-01

    Examined the Prairie Teachers Project, a program of support for new teachers in eight rural schools, focusing on why teachers remained or left. Teachers who remained tended to have lived in and feel committed to small communities. Rural schools likely to retain new teachers had ongoing programs of professional development, supportive colleagues…

  10. Taxonomic relationships among Phenacomys voles as inferred by cytochrome b

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bellinger, M.R.; Haig, S.M.; Forsman, E.D.; Mullins, T.D.

    2005-01-01

    Taxonomic relationships among red tree voles (Phenacomys longicaudus longicaudus, P. l. silvicola), the Sonoma tree vole (P. pomo), the white-footed vole (P. albipes), and the heather vole (P. intermedius) were examined using 664 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Results indicate specific differences among red tree voles, Sonoma tree voles, white-footed voles, and heather voles, but no clear difference between the 2 Oregon subspecies of red tree voles (P. l. longicaudus and P. l. silvicola). Our data further indicated a close relationship between tree voles and albipes, validating inclusion of albipes in the subgenus Arborimus. These 3 congeners shared a closer relationship to P. intermedius than to other arvicolids. A moderate association between porno and albipes was indicated by maximum parsimony and neighbor-joining phylogenetic analyses. Molecular clock estimates suggest a Pleistocene radiation of the Arborimus clade, which is concordant with pulses of diversification observed in other murid rodents. The generic rank of Arborimus is subject to interpretation of data.

  11. Influence of Reproductive Status: Home Range Size in Water Voles (Arvicola amphibius)

    PubMed Central

    Frafjord, Karl

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between home range and reproductive status of water voles (Arvicola amphibius) was studied by radio-tracking on an island off the coast of northern Norway in 2006–2009. The aim was to test assumptions about the species’ social structure relative to other microtines. Juveniles used fairly small ranges (about 400 m²), with no difference between males and females. Subadults, overwintered voles in April, had ranges similar to juveniles. Reproductively active males (mean 2774.0 m²) increased their range seven-fold relative to juvenile males, with ranges on average 3.3 times larger than adult females (mean 848.3 m²), which also expanded their range. Most litters were born in May and June, and as reproduction ceased in July adult males reduced their range whilst females did not. Body mass or year did not influence home range size. Overlap of home ranges varied, but could be extensive in both adult males and females. The water vole had a social structure similar to some Microtus species, but females appeared to be non-territorial and males perhaps conditioned territorial and non-territorial. PMID:27115881

  12. Influence of Reproductive Status: Home Range Size in Water Voles (Arvicola amphibius).

    PubMed

    Frafjord, Karl

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between home range and reproductive status of water voles (Arvicola amphibius) was studied by radio-tracking on an island off the coast of northern Norway in 2006-2009. The aim was to test assumptions about the species' social structure relative to other microtines. Juveniles used fairly small ranges (about 400 m²), with no difference between males and females. Subadults, overwintered voles in April, had ranges similar to juveniles. Reproductively active males (mean 2774.0 m²) increased their range seven-fold relative to juvenile males, with ranges on average 3.3 times larger than adult females (mean 848.3 m²), which also expanded their range. Most litters were born in May and June, and as reproduction ceased in July adult males reduced their range whilst females did not. Body mass or year did not influence home range size. Overlap of home ranges varied, but could be extensive in both adult males and females. The water vole had a social structure similar to some Microtus species, but females appeared to be non-territorial and males perhaps conditioned territorial and non-territorial. PMID:27115881

  13. Prairie Restoration for Wisconsin Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Molly Fifield; Greenler, Robin McC.

    This packet is composed of several resources for teachers interested in prairie ecology and restoration. "A Guide to Restoration from Site Analysis to Management" focuses on the Prairie/Oak Savanna communities of Wisconsin and takes teachers through the planning and design process for a restoration project on school grounds including site…

  14. The Schoolhouse at Prairie View.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barber, Marshall A.

    Written in 1953, this book presents the reminiscences of a renowned scientist about his early education in a one-room school at Prairie View, Kansas, during the 1870s and 1880s. The first chapter records early memories of the road to school, and describes the community of Anglo and German farmers served by Prairie View. Other chapters describe…

  15. Barn Owl Productivity Response to Variability of Vole Populations.

    PubMed

    Pavluvčík, Petr; Poprach, Karel; Machar, Ivo; Losík, Jan; Gouveia, Ana; Tkadlec, Emil

    2015-01-01

    We studied the response of the barn owl annual productivity to the common vole population numbers and variability to test the effects of environmental stochasticity on their life histories. Current theory predicts that temporal environmental variability can affect long-term nonlinear responses (e.g., production of young) both positively and negatively, depending on the shape of the relationship between the response and environmental variables. At the level of the Czech Republic, we examined the shape of the relationship between the annual sum of fledglings (annual productivity) and vole numbers in both non-detrended and detrended data. At the districts' level, we explored whether the degree of synchrony (measured by the correlation coefficient) and the strength of the productivity response increase (measured by the regression coefficient) in areas with higher vole population variability measured by the s-index. We found that the owls' annual productivity increased linearly with vole numbers in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, based on district data, we also found that synchrony between dynamics in owls' reproductive output and vole numbers increased with vole population variability. However, the strength of the response was not affected by the vole population variability. Additionally, we have shown that detrending remarkably increases the Taylor's exponent b relating variance to mean in vole time series, thereby reversing the relationship between the coefficient of variation and the mean. This shift was not responsible for the increased synchrony with vole population variability. Instead, we suggest that higher synchrony could result from high food specialization of owls on the common vole in areas with highly fluctuating vole populations. PMID:26709518

  16. Barn Owl Productivity Response to Variability of Vole Populations

    PubMed Central

    Pavluvčík, Petr; Poprach, Karel; Machar, Ivo; Losík, Jan; Gouveia, Ana; Tkadlec, Emil

    2015-01-01

    We studied the response of the barn owl annual productivity to the common vole population numbers and variability to test the effects of environmental stochasticity on their life histories. Current theory predicts that temporal environmental variability can affect long-term nonlinear responses (e.g., production of young) both positively and negatively, depending on the shape of the relationship between the response and environmental variables. At the level of the Czech Republic, we examined the shape of the relationship between the annual sum of fledglings (annual productivity) and vole numbers in both non-detrended and detrended data. At the districts’ level, we explored whether the degree of synchrony (measured by the correlation coefficient) and the strength of the productivity response increase (measured by the regression coefficient) in areas with higher vole population variability measured by the s-index. We found that the owls’ annual productivity increased linearly with vole numbers in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, based on district data, we also found that synchrony between dynamics in owls’ reproductive output and vole numbers increased with vole population variability. However, the strength of the response was not affected by the vole population variability. Additionally, we have shown that detrending remarkably increases the Taylor’s exponent b relating variance to mean in vole time series, thereby reversing the relationship between the coefficient of variation and the mean. This shift was not responsible for the increased synchrony with vole population variability. Instead, we suggest that higher synchrony could result from high food specialization of owls on the common vole in areas with highly fluctuating vole populations. PMID:26709518

  17. Vole and lemming activity observed from space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olofsson, Johan; Tømmervik, Hans; Callaghan, Terry V.

    2012-12-01

    Predicting the impacts of present global warming requires an understanding of the factors controlling plant biomass and production. The extent to which they are controlled by bottom-up drivers such as climate, nutrient and water availability, and by top-down drivers such as herbivory and diseases in terrestrial systems is still under debate. By annually recording plant biomass and community composition in grazed control plots and in herbivore-free exclosures, at 12 sites in a subArctic ecosystem, we were able to show that the regular interannual density fluctuations of voles and lemmings drive synchronous interannual fluctuations in the biomass of field-layer vegetation. Plant biomass in the field layer was between 12 and 24% lower the year after a vole peak than the year before, and the combined vole and lemming peaks are visible as a reduced normalized difference vegetation index in satellite images over a 770km2 area in the following year, despite the wide range of abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic forces that influence the vegetation. This strongly suggests that the cascading effect of rodents for the function and diversity of tundra plant communities needs to be included in our scenarios of how these ecosystems will respond to environmental changes.

  18. Does Gray-Tailed Vole Activity Affect Soil Quality?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Voles are well-known crop pests, especially when peak populations are present, but their role in soil fertility and impacts on agricultural sustainability are not well understood. Five months after the abrupt disappearance of a peak in a gray-tailed vole (Microtus canicaudus) population, we examined...

  19. Effects of environmental complexity and temporary captivity on foraging behavior of wild-caught meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Kozuch, Amaranta E; McPhee, M Elsbeth

    2014-01-01

    Increased housing of wild nonhuman animals in captivity for conservation, research, and rehabilitation has revealed the importance of systematically analyzing effects of the captive environment on behavior. This study focused on the effects of complexity and time held in captivity on foraging behaviors of wild-caught, adult meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). Forty-six individuals captured from a meadow outside Oshkosh, WI, were assigned to 1 of 4 captive treatment groups: simple/<50 days (SS), simple/>50 days, complex/<50 days, and complex/>50 days. Number of dish visits, proportion foraging, and frequency of nonforaging behaviors recorded during a 15-min foraging trial were measured for all subjects. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U Tests were conducted to analyze 4 different comparisons within this behavioral data. Overall, neither time in captivity or environmental complexity affected nonforaging behaviors. In contrast, foraging behaviors did change with treatment: Voles were less active at food dishes and visited control dishes more in treatment group SS than in the other treatment groups. In addition, sex-related differences in foraging behaviors were maintained when voles were exposed to environmental complexity. This article includes options for wildlife managers to adapt captive environments to meet the welfare and behavioral needs of translocated wild nonhuman mammals. PMID:24559285

  20. Same-sex social behavior in meadow voles: Multiple and rapid formation of attachments.

    PubMed

    Beery, Annaliese K; Routman, David M; Zucker, Irving

    2009-04-20

    Adult meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) are solitary in the spring-summer reproductive season, but during winter months, females and males are socially tolerant and aggregate in groups. This behavioral difference is triggered by day length: female meadow voles housed in short, winter-like day lengths form same-sex partner preferences, whereas those housed in long, summer-like day lengths are less social. The present study demonstrates that same-sex social attachments in short day lengths are not exclusive; females formed concurrent attachments with more than one individual, and with non-kin as well as siblings. Partner preferences between females were established within one day of cohousing and did not intensify with greater durations of cohabitation. Males also formed same-sex social attachments, but unlike female affiliative behavior, male partner preferences were not significantly affected by day length. These data are discussed in the context of field behavior and the physiological mechanisms supporting social behavior in voles. PMID:19419672

  1. Systematics of snow voles (Chionomys, Arvicolinae) revisited.

    PubMed

    Yannic, Glenn; Burri, Reto; Malikov, Vladimir G; Vogel, Peter

    2012-03-01

    To elucidate the evolutionary history of snow voles, genus Chionomys, we studied the phylogeography of Chionomysnivalis across its range and investigated its relationships with two congeneric species, Chionomysgud and Chionomysroberti, using independent molecular markers. Analyses were based on mitochondrial (~940 bp cyt b) and Y-chromosomal (~2020 bp from three introns) genetic variation. Our data provide conclusive evidence for a Caucasian and Middle Eastern origin for the three species and a subsequent westward expansion of C.nivalis. In addition, we discuss the taxonomic status of the genus Chionomys in relation to the genus Microtus. PMID:22182990

  2. The role of neighborhood relations in maintenance of the spatial-ethological structure of local settlements as exemplified by the water vole (Arvicola amphibius).

    PubMed

    Evsikov, V I; Muzyka, V Yu; Potapova, O F; Potapov, M A

    2016-07-01

    Adult males of the water vole have been found experimentally to recognize their neighbors and react to them differently depending on the degree of spatial proximity in nature. Most tensions (estimated by the number of aggressive acts in the encounters) were observed between distant neighbors (from neighboring settlements), which did not belong to the same groups with established hierarchy and a relatively reduced aggression. These are probably perceived as the most likely competitors (because of their spatial proximity). At the same time, male voles kept away from the obviously unfamiliar ones, though they do not express any apparent aggression. PMID:27595823

  3. Silicon-based plant defences, tooth wear and voles.

    PubMed

    Calandra, Ivan; Zub, Karol; Szafrańska, Paulina A; Zalewski, Andrzej; Merceron, Gildas

    2016-02-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions are hypothesized to drive vole population cycles through the grazing-induced production of phytoliths in leaves. Phytoliths act as mechanical defences because they deter herbivory and lower growth rates in mammals. However, how phytoliths impair herbivore performance is still unknown. Here, we tested whether the amount of phytoliths changes tooth wear patterns. If confirmed, abrasion from phytoliths could play a role in population crashes. We applied dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) to laboratory and wild voles. Lab voles were fed two pelleted diets with differing amounts of silicon, which produced similar dental textures. This was most probably due to the loss of food mechanical properties through pelletization and/or the small difference in silicon concentration between diets. Wild voles were trapped in Poland during spring and summer, and every year across a population cycle. In spring, voles feed on silica-rich monocotyledons, while in the summer they also include silica-depleted dicotyledons. This was reflected in the results; the amount of silica therefore leaves a traceable record in the dental microwear texture of voles. Furthermore, voles from different phases of population cycles have different microwear textures. We tentatively propose that these differences result from grazing-induced phytolith concentrations. We hypothesize that the high amount of phytoliths in response to intense grazing in peak years may result in malocclusion and other dental abnormalities, which would explain how these silicon-based plant defences help provoke population crashes. DMTA could then be used to reconstruct vole population dynamics using teeth from pellets or palaeontological material. PMID:26889000

  4. Hydrologic functions of prairie wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaBaugh, J.W.; Winter, T.C.; Rosenberry, D.O.

    1998-01-01

    Wetlands in the prairie known as potholes or sloughs represent an ever-changing mosaic of surface waters interacting with the atmosphere, groundwater, and each other in a variety of ways. Studies of groups of adjacent wetlands in different parts of the glaciated North American prairie have enabled some connections to be made between hydrologic processes, biological communities, and use of these wetlands by wetland-dependent wildlife. Understanding controls on variability in water levels, water volume, and salinity in these wetlands sets the stage for understanding controls on biological communities utilizing these wetlands. The role that natural variability in water and salinity plays in making these wetlands an important resource for waterfowl will provide an important context for those who are responsible for artificially altering the variability of water and salinity in prairie wetlands.

  5. Profitable prairie restoration: The EcoSun Prairie Farm experiment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concerns about ongoing conversion of grassland to cropland in the northern Great Plains, and effects on wildlife populations, and soil and water quality prompted a South Dakota group to search for agricultural practices that would balance environmental concerns with farm economics. EcoSun Prairie Fa...

  6. Ecological niche modelling of bank voles in Western Europe.

    PubMed

    Amirpour Haredasht, Sara; Barrios, Miguel; Farifteh, Jamshid; Maes, Piet; Clement, Jan; Verstraeten, Willem W; Tersago, Katrien; Van Ranst, Marc; Coppin, Pol; Berckmans, Daniel; Aerts, Jean-Marie

    2013-02-01

    The bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is the natural host of Puumala virus (PUUV) in vast areas of Europe. PUUV is one of the hantaviruses which are transmitted to humans by infected rodents. PUUV causes a general mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) called nephropathia epidemica (NE). Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases generally display clear spatial patterns due to different space-dependent factors. Land cover influences disease transmission by controlling both the spatial distribution of vectors or hosts, as well as by facilitating the human contact with them. In this study the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM) for predicting the geographical distribution of bank vole population on the basis of spatial climate information is tested. The Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) is used to model the ecological niche of bank voles in Western Europe. The meteorological data, land cover types and geo-referenced points representing the locations of the bank voles (latitude/longitude) in the study area are used as the primary model input value. The predictive accuracy of the bank vole ecologic niche model was significant (training accuracy of 86%). The output of the GARP models based on the 50% subsets of points used for testing the model showed an accuracy of 75%. Compared with random models, the probability of such high predictivity was low (χ(2) tests, p < 10(-6)). As such, the GARP models were predictive and the used ecologic niche model indeed indicates the ecologic requirements of bank voles. This approach successfully identified the areas of infection risk across the study area. The result suggests that the niche modelling approach can be implemented in a next step towards the development of new tools for monitoring the bank vole's population. PMID:23358234

  7. DENSITY-DEPENDENT RESPONSES OF GRAY-TAILED VOLES TO MOWING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Voles (Microtus spp.) commonly inhabit forage crops and may cause excessive damage to these crops. owever, cover removal by mowing or haying may cause vole populations to decline. o determine if gray-tailed voles responded to mowing of alfalfa in a density-dependent manner, the a...

  8. Soil microbiota of the prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The prairie ecosystem is often used as a benchmark ecosystem to provide a reference soil quality or soil health assessment. Current soil health assessments include measurements of soil chemical and physical indicators and of selected microbiological activities but no characterization of soil microbi...

  9. Consequences of habitat fragmentation for the prairie-endemic weevil Haplorhynchites aeneus.

    PubMed

    Kluger, Emily C; Berlocher, Stewart H; Tooker, John F; Hanks, Lawrence M

    2011-12-01

    Widespread destruction of tallgrass prairies in the midwestern United States has fragmented plant communities with the result that populations of endemic animal species have become geographically isolated from one another. The goal of the research summarized here was to evaluate the potential for conserving endemic prairie species of herbivorous insects by managing their host plants. Our study species was the weevil Haplorhynchites aeneus (Boehman), adults of which feed on pollen of plants in the genus Silphium (Asteraceae: Heliantheae). The female weevils clip the peduncles of flower heads and oviposit into the heads, where the larvae feed on the ovules. The research was conducted in 12 prairie sites in eastern Illinois. An allozyme analysis revealed that most populations of H. aeneus at the various prairie sites were genetically differentiated from one another, but the degree of differentiation was not associated with geographic distance between sites. Adult H. aeneus fed and oviposited on the plant species Silphium laciniatum L., S. integrifolium Michx., and S. terebinthinaceum Jacq, which differ in bloom phenology. There was no evidence of genetic differentiation of weevil populations with respect to host plant species, and adult weevils strongly preferred S. terebinthinaceum. We conclude that the oligophagous nature of the weevil assures its survival in small prairie remnants even where some of the host plant species are absent. Although H. aeneus can have a significant impact on reproduction of host plants by clipping flower heads, the perennial nature of Silphium species prevents their local extinction. PMID:22217753

  10. Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium microti) in wild field vole populations

    PubMed Central

    BURTHE, S.; BENNETT, M.; KIPAR, A.; LAMBIN, X.; SMITH, A.; TELFER, S.; BEGON, M.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Vole tuberculosis (TB; Mycobacterium microti) is an understudied endemic infection. Despite progressing slowly, it causes severe clinical pathology and overt symptoms in its rodent host. TB was monitored for 2 years in wild field voles in Kielder Forest, UK. The prevalence of characteristic cutaneous TB lesions was monitored longitudinally at 4 sites, with individuals live-trapped and repeatedly monitored. A prevalence of 5·2% of individuals with lesions was recorded (n=2791). In a cross-sectional study, 27 sites were monitored bi-annually, with TB assessed by post-mortem examination for macroscopic lesions, and by culture and histopathology. Seventy-nine voles (10·78%; n=733) were positive for mycobacteria, with the highest prevalence in spring (13·15%; n=327). TB prevalence varied, with between 0% and 50% of voles infected per site. Prevalence increased with age (mass), and apparent seasonality was due to a higher proportion of older animals in spring. Survival analysis supported this result, with cutaneous lesions only manifesting in the advanced stages of infection, and therefore only being found on older voles. The body condition of individuals with lesions declined at the time when the lesion was first recorded, when compared to individuals without lesions, suggesting there may be an acute phase of infection during its advanced stage. Although predicted survival following the appearance of a cutaneous lesion was lower than for uninfected individuals, this was not significant. PMID:18005472

  11. Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium microti) in wild field vole populations.

    PubMed

    Burthe, S; Bennett, M; Kipar, A; Lambin, X; Smith, A; Telfer, S; Begon, M

    2008-03-01

    Vole tuberculosis (TB; Mycobacterium microti) is an understudied endemic infection. Despite progressing slowly, it causes severe clinical pathology and overt symptoms in its rodent host. TB was monitored for 2 years in wild field voles in Kielder Forest, UK. The prevalence of characteristic cutaneous TB lesions was monitored longitudinally at 4 sites, with individuals live-trapped and repeatedly monitored. A prevalence of 5.2% of individuals with lesions was recorded (n=2791). In a cross-sectional study, 27 sites were monitored bi-annually, with TB assessed by post-mortem examination for macroscopic lesions, and by culture and histopathology. Seventy-nine voles (10.78%; n=733) were positive for mycobacteria, with the highest prevalence in spring (13.15%; n=327). TB prevalence varied, with between 0% and 50% of voles infected per site. Prevalence increased with age (mass), and apparent seasonality was due to a higher proportion of older animals in spring. Survival analysis supported this result, with cutaneous lesions only manifesting in the advanced stages of infection, and therefore only being found on older voles. The body condition of individuals with lesions declined at the time when the lesion was first recorded, when compared to individuals without lesions, suggesting there may be an acute phase of infection during its advanced stage. Although predicted survival following the appearance of a cutaneous lesion was lower than for uninfected individuals, this was not significant. PMID:18005472

  12. Long day lengths promote brain growth in meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Dark, J; Spears, N; Whaling, C S; Wade, G N; Meyer, J S; Zucker, I

    1990-05-01

    Male meadow voles kept in a long photoperiod (LP) from birth to 70 days of age have heavier brains than those kept in a short photoperiod (SP). Brain weights of male voles kept in the LP first exceeded those of SP animals at 20 days of age; differences were greatest at 35 days (5.8%) and persisted through 140 days of age (2%), although the magnitude of the difference declined progressively. Accelerated compensatory increases in brain weight were observed in voles transferred from the SP to the LP at 70 days of age. Total brain DNA content, an index of cell number, was not significantly affected by initial or final photoperiod, although it increased 7.8% within 70 days after voles were transferred from the SP to the LP. Brain weights (but not DNA content) of males exceeded those of females, but this sex difference was present only in the LP. We suggest that short day lengths retard brain development by reducing rates of myelination and possibly reducing cell size as well; this is part of a general retardation of somatic growth associated with a delayed onset of puberty that can be reversed by a stimulatory LP but, ordinarily, occurs spontaneously as voles become refractory to short day lengths. PMID:2192819

  13. Description of Paranoplocephala yoccozi n. sp. (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae) from the snow vole Chionomys nivalis in France, with a review of anoplocephaud cestodes of snow voles in Europe.

    PubMed

    Haukisalmi, V; Henttonen, H

    2005-09-01

    We describe Paranoplocephala yoccozi n. sp. (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae) from the snow vole Chionomys nivalis in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, French Alps, compare it with several related species from rodents, and review the anoplocephalid cestodes of snow voles in Europe. Paranoplocephala yoccozi n. sp. is primarily distinguished from the related species by its large scolex of characteristic shape, robust neck region, and the structure of the cirrus sac, vitellarium and vagina. We show that the anoplocephalid cestodes of snow voles in Europe, representing the genera Anoplocephaloides and Paranoplocephala, include at least seven species. This fauna consists primarily of species that snow voles share with other voles inhabiting the high-mountain areas. Some of the species, including P. yoccozi n. sp., appear to have a very localized distribution, which is assumed to be a consequence of the historical fragmentation of snow vole populations. PMID:16218207

  14. Phenotypic evolution of dispersal-enhancing traits in insular voles

    PubMed Central

    Forsman, Anders; Merilä, Juha; Ebenhard, Torbjörn

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that in metapopulations subject to rapid extinction–recolonization dynamics, natural selection should favour evolution of traits that enhance dispersal and recolonization ability. Metapopulations of field voles (Microtus agrestis) on islands in the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden, are characterized by frequent local extinction and recolonization of subpopulations. Here, we show that voles on the islands were larger and had longer feet than expected for their body size, compared with voles from the mainland; that body size and size-specific foot length increased with increasing geographical isolation and distance from mainland; and that the differences in body size and size-specific foot length were genetically based. These findings provide rare evidence for relatively recent (less than 1000 years) and rapid (corresponding to 100–250 darwins) evolution of traits facilitating dispersal and recolonization in island metapopulations. PMID:20685710

  15. Tularemia Outbreaks and Common Vole (Microtus arvalis) Irruptive Population Dynamics in Northwestern Spain, 1997-2014.

    PubMed

    Luque-Larena, Juan José; Mougeot, François; Roig, Dolors Vidal; Lambin, Xavier; Rodríguez-Pastor, Ruth; Rodríguez-Valín, Elena; Anda, Pedro; Escudero, Raquel

    2015-09-01

    During the last decades, large tularemia outbreaks in humans have coincided in time and space with population outbreaks of common voles in northwestern Spain, leading us to hypothesize that this rodent species acts as a key spillover agent of Francisella tularensis in the region. Here, we evaluate for the first time a potential link between irruptive vole numbers and human tularemia outbreaks in Spain. We compiled vole abundance estimates obtained through live-trapping monitoring studies and official reports of human tularemia cases during the period 1997-2014. We confirm a significant positive association between yearly cases of tularemia infection in humans and vole abundance. High vole densities during outbreaks (up to 1000 voles/hectare) may therefore enhance disease transmission and spillover contamination in the environment. If this ecological link is further confirmed, the apparent multiannual cyclicity of common vole outbreaks might provide a basis for forecasting the risk of tularemia outbreaks in northwestern Spain. PMID:26333034

  16. Detection of Francisella tularensis in Voles in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Sissonen, Susanna; Koskela, Katja A.; Kinnunen, Paula M.; Hemmilä, Heidi; Niemimaa, Jukka; Huitu, Otso; Kuusi, Markku; Vapalahti, Olli; Henttonen, Heikki; Nikkari, Simo

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular bacterium causing the zoonotic disease tularemia. It recurrently causes human and animal outbreaks in northern Europe, including Finland. Although F. tularensis infects several mammal species, only rodents and lagomorphs seem to have importance in its ecology. Peak densities of rodent populations may trigger tularemia outbreaks in humans; however, it is still unclear to which extent rodents or other small mammals maintain F. tularensis in nature. The main objective of this study was to obtain information about the occurrence of F. tularensis in small mammals in Finland. We snap-trapped 547 wild small mammals representing 11 species at 14 locations around Finland during 6 years and screened them for the presence of F. tularensis DNA using PCR analysis. High copy number of F. tularensis-specific DNA was detected in tissue samples of five field voles (Microtus agrestis) originating from one location and 2 years. According to DNA sequences of the bacterial 23S ribosomal RNA gene amplified from F. tularensis–infected voles, the infecting agent belongs to the subspecies holarctica. To find out the optimal tissue for tularemia screening in voles, we compared the amounts of F. tularensis DNA in lungs, liver, spleen, and kidney of the infected animals. F. tularensis DNA was detectable in high levels in all four organs except for one animal, whose kidney was F. tularensis DNA-negative. Thus, at least liver, lung, and spleen seem suitable for F. tularensis screening in voles. Thus, liver, lung, and spleen all seem suitable for F. tularensis screening in voles. In conclusion, field voles can be heavily infected with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica and thus potentially serve as the source of infection in humans and other mammals. PMID:24575824

  17. Detection of Francisella tularensis in voles in Finland.

    PubMed

    Rossow, Heidi; Sissonen, Susanna; Koskela, Katja A; Kinnunen, Paula M; Hemmilä, Heidi; Niemimaa, Jukka; Huitu, Otso; Kuusi, Markku; Vapalahti, Olli; Henttonen, Heikki; Nikkari, Simo

    2014-03-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular bacterium causing the zoonotic disease tularemia. It recurrently causes human and animal outbreaks in northern Europe, including Finland. Although F. tularensis infects several mammal species, only rodents and lagomorphs seem to have importance in its ecology. Peak densities of rodent populations may trigger tularemia outbreaks in humans; however, it is still unclear to which extent rodents or other small mammals maintain F. tularensis in nature. The main objective of this study was to obtain information about the occurrence of F. tularensis in small mammals in Finland. We snap-trapped 547 wild small mammals representing 11 species at 14 locations around Finland during 6 years and screened them for the presence of F. tularensis DNA using PCR analysis. High copy number of F. tularensis-specific DNA was detected in tissue samples of five field voles (Microtus agrestis) originating from one location and 2 years. According to DNA sequences of the bacterial 23S ribosomal RNA gene amplified from F. tularensis-infected voles, the infecting agent belongs to the subspecies holarctica. To find out the optimal tissue for tularemia screening in voles, we compared the amounts of F. tularensis DNA in lungs, liver, spleen, and kidney of the infected animals. F. tularensis DNA was detectable in high levels in all four organs except for one animal, whose kidney was F. tularensis DNA-negative. Thus, at least liver, lung, and spleen seem suitable for F. tularensis screening in voles. Thus, liver, lung, and spleen all seem suitable for F. tularensis screening in voles. In conclusion, field voles can be heavily infected with F. tularensis subsp. holarctica and thus potentially serve as the source of infection in humans and other mammals. PMID:24575824

  18. Burrows of the sagebrush vole (Lemmiscus curtatus) in southeastern Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Mullican, T.R.; Keller, B.L.

    1987-04-30

    Burrows of the sagebrush vole (Lemmiscus curtatus) were analyzed by injecting them with expanding polyurethane foam. Average mean depth +/- 1 SE of four burrows was 12.5 +/- 2.6 cm. Tunnels were wider than high and flat on the bottom. Three of four burrows were nearly linear, with an average of five entrances. Burrows usually contained one nest made of Artemisia tridentat bark. No middens or communal nests were found. The burrow structure in sagebrush habitat suggests that sagebrush voles occur singly or in pairs rather than in colonies.

  19. Morning ambush attacks by black-footed ferrets on emerging prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Biggins, D.E.; Jachowski, D.S.; Livieri, T.M.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Forsberg, M.

    2010-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) often hunt at night, attacking normally diurnal prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in underground burrow systems. While monitoring black-footed ferrets in South Dakota during morning daylight hours, we observed an adult female ferret ambush a black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) emerging from a burrow. On a neighboring colony, we observed a second adult female ferret engaging in similar ambush behaviors on 12 occasions, although prey was not visible. We retrospectively assessed radio-telemetry data on white-tailed prairie dogs (C. leucurus) and a male and a female ferret to evaluate ferret activity in relation to timing of prairie dog emergence. Activity of radio-collared ferrets was high during the hourly period when prairie dogs first emerged and the following 2 hr, relative to later daylight hours. Such behavior is consistent with behaviors observed in South Dakota. Nighttime movements by ferrets might involve hunting but also reconnaissance of prey preparatory to morning ambush attacks.

  20. Different time and energy budgets of Lesser Snow Geese in rice-prairies and coastal marshes in southwest Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonsson, J.E.; Afton, A.D.

    2006-01-01

    Many bird species use human-made habitats and an important issue is whether these are equally suitable foraging habitats as are historical, natural habitats. Historically, Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens, hereafter Snow Geese) wintered in coastal marshes in Louisiana but began using rice-prairies within the last 60 years. Time spent feeding was used as an indicator of habitat suitability and time and energy budgets of Snow Geese were compared between rice-prairies and coastal marshes in southwest Louisiana. Composite diets of Snow Geese have a lower energy density in the rice-prairies than in coastal marshes; thus, we predicted that Snow Geese would spend relatively more time feeding in rice-praires to obtain existence energy. However, time spent feeding was higher in coastal marshes and thus, not proportional to energy density of composite diets. Snow Geese in coastal marshes ingested less apparent metabolizable energy than did Snow Geese in rice-prairies. In rice-prairies, juveniles spent more time feeding than did adults; however, time spent feeding was similar between age classes in coastal marshes. Undeveloped foraging skills probably cause juvenile Snow Geese to forage less efficiently in coastal marshes than in rice-prairies. These findings are consistent with recent trends in Snow Goose numbers, which increased in rice-prairies but remained stable in coastal marshes.

  1. From biology to management of Savi's pine vole (Microtus savii).

    PubMed

    Ranchelli, Elisa; Barfknecht, Ralf; Capizzi, Dario; Riga, Francesco; Mazza, Valeria; Dell'Agnello, Filippo; Zaccaroni, Marco

    2016-05-01

    Savi's pine vole (Microtus savii) is a rodent species of the Cricetidae family, inhabiting southern European agroecosystems. It is considered to be the main cause of rodent-attributed damage in Italy. To achieve an effective management, detailed knowledge of this species is needed. However, the available information about this species is fragmentary and incomplete. In this paper, the existing knowledge of Savi's pine vole taxonomy, reproduction, population dynamics, habitat and food preferences is reviewed in order to organise available information and identify priority areas of future research. Some of the changes in farming practices that have occurred in recent decades may have increased the impact of Savi's pine vole populations in crop fields. To manage this pest species effectively, an integrated strategy is recommended (involving habitat management, trapping and, when appropriate, the use of rodenticides). The apparent lack of cyclical population outbreaks and the relatively small litter size and long gestation and interpartum period of this species suggest that it could be more manageable than other vole species, while its strict herbivorous diet, stable population size in open habitats and wide distribution seem to indicate it as an ideal model species for risk assessment studies. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry. PMID:26694699

  2. Selective predation on hantavirus-infected voles by owls and confounding effects from landscape properties.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Hussein; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2016-06-01

    It has been suggested that predators may protect human health through reducing disease-host densities or selectively preying on infected individuals from the population. However, this has not been tested empirically. We hypothesized that Tengmalm's owl (Aegolius funereus) selectively preys on hantavirus-infected individuals of its staple prey, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). Bank voles are hosts of Puumala hantavirus, which causes a form of hemorrhagic fever in humans. Selective predation by owls on infected voles may reduce human disease risk. We compared the prevalence of anti-Puumala hantavirus antibodies (seroprevalence), in bank voles cached by owls in nest boxes to seroprevalence in voles trapped in closed-canopy forest around each nest box. We found no general difference in seroprevalence. Forest landscape structure could partly account for the observed patterns in seroprevalence. Only in more connected forest patches was seroprevalence in bank voles cached in nest boxes higher than seroprevalence in trapped voles. This effect disappeared with increasing forest patch isolation, as seroprevalence in trapped voles increased with forest patch isolation, but did not in cached voles. Our results suggest a complex relationship between zoonotic disease prevalence in hosts, their predators, and landscape structure. Some mechanisms that may have caused the seroprevalence patterns in our results include higher bank vole density in isolated forest patches. This study offers future research potential to shed further light on the contribution of predators and landscape properties to human health. PMID:26873607

  3. How Predation and Landscape Fragmentation Affect Vole Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Dalkvist, Trine; Sibly, Richard M.; Topping, Chris J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Microtine species in Fennoscandia display a distinct north-south gradient from regular cycles to stable populations. The gradient has often been attributed to changes in the interactions between microtines and their predators. Although the spatial structure of the environment is known to influence predator-prey dynamics of a wide range of species, it has scarcely been considered in relation to the Fennoscandian gradient. Furthermore, the length of microtine breeding season also displays a north-south gradient. However, little consideration has been given to its role in shaping or generating population cycles. Because these factors covary along the gradient it is difficult to distinguish their effects experimentally in the field. The distinction is here attempted using realistic agent-based modelling. Methodology/Principal Findings By using a spatially explicit computer simulation model based on behavioural and ecological data from the field vole (Microtus agrestis), we generated a number of repeated time series of vole densities whose mean population size and amplitude were measured. Subsequently, these time series were subjected to statistical autoregressive modelling, to investigate the effects on vole population dynamics of making predators more specialised, of altering the breeding season, and increasing the level of habitat fragmentation. We found that fragmentation as well as the presence of specialist predators are necessary for the occurrence of population cycles. Habitat fragmentation and predator assembly jointly determined cycle length and amplitude. Length of vole breeding season had little impact on the oscillations. Significance There is good agreement between our results and the experimental work from Fennoscandia, but our results allow distinction of causation that is hard to unravel in field experiments. We hope our results will help understand the reasons for cycle gradients observed in other areas. Our results clearly demonstrate the

  4. Prairie State begins development work

    SciTech Connect

    Buchsbaum, L.

    2008-12-15

    Lively Grove will be a state-of-the-art super section mine which will supply 6.7 million tons of bituminous coal per annum to a 1,600 MWS supercritical plant which is expected to begin generation electricity in 2011/2012. The projected cost of Prairie State Energy Campus is over $4 billion. The power plant will be 15% more efficient that similar sized plants and could be a model plant for the industry. The article describes the development plans which are 10% complete. 2 photos.

  5. The complete mitochondrial genome of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Rodentia: Arvicolinae).

    PubMed

    Bendová, Karolína; Marková, Silvia; Searle, Jeremy B; Kotlík, Petr

    2016-01-01

    We present the first complete sequence of the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) mitochondrial genome (GenBank accession no. KF918859). The bank vole mitogenome is 16,353 base pairs long and shows the gene content, genome architecture and gene strand asymmetry typical for mammals. The sequence provides an important new genomic resource for the bank vole, which is a popular study species in ecological and evolutionary research. PMID:24438307

  6. Field vole ( Microtus agrestis) seasonal spacing behavior: the effect of predation risk by mustelids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borowski, Zbigniew; Owadowska, Edyta

    2010-05-01

    There are numerous studies showing that predation risk may change different aspects of the behavior of prey, such as habitat use, activity pattern, and foraging. Prey should exhibit the strongest antipredatory response against their most deadly predator. Small mustelids are considered the most important mammalian predators of voles. Nevertheless, there is no general agreement as to whether strong antipredatory reactions exist in natural free-living populations of voles. Here, we studied the field vole Microtus agrestis spatial reaction to high predation risk from small mustelids in the breeding (August) and nonbreeding (October) seasons under natural conditions. Voles were exposed to a caged weasel ( Mustela nivalis) and a stoat ( Mustela erminea), as well as to the odors of these predators. The reactions of 30 field voles were monitored with radiotelemetry. The field voles were found to display antipredator reactions that varied with season. In the breeding period, in response to predation risk, voles reduced locomotory activity and daily-range size, whereas in the nonbreeding period they did not. Changes in home range position were similar for control and treatment voles, in both the breeding and nonbreeding periods. The results indicate that mustelid predators modify the spatial behavior of small rodents in natural conditions depending on season. This might be a reflection of differences in state-dependent responses to predation from sexually active or inactive individuals. This suggests that the basic antipredatory reaction of voles under high predation risk from small mustelids limits their locomotory activity.

  7. Elodontoma in captive southern red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Julia; Pinkerton, Marie E.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Drees, Randi; Schneider, Jay; Stickney, Lacey; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Sanchez-Migallon Guzman, David

    2010-01-01

    Five southern red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) of the first generation of a wild-caught breeding colony were presented with lesions at the maxillary incisors consistent with elodontoma. The affected animals had a history of chronic weight loss, were >16 months of age, and were siblings. Radiographs of the head showed multiglobular to irregularly outlined mineral opacity masses at the apices of the maxillary incisors. On necropsy, maxillary incisor teeth were not grossly visible, and a gingival ulceration was observed at the expected site of eruption. Microscopically, the apical region of the maxillary incisors was thickened or replaced by irregular dental tissue masses consistent with elodontoma. This is the first report to describe elodontoma in red-backed voles.

  8. Turnover and dispersal of prairie falcons in southwestern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lehman, Robert N.; Steenhof, Karen; Carpenter, L.B.; Kochert, Michael N.

    2000-01-01

    We studied Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) breeding dispersal, natal dispersal, and turnover at nesting areas in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) from 1971- 95. Of 61 nesting areas where falcons identified one year were known to be present or absent the following year, 57% had a different falcon. This turnover rate was 2-3 times higher than that reported elsewhere for large falcons, and may have been related to high nesting densities in the NCA. Turnover at nesting areas was independent of nesting success in the previous year, but was significantly higher for females nesting on large cliffs. Mean distance between natal and breeding locations for 26 falcons banded as nestlings and later encountered as nesting adults was 8.9 km. Natal dispersal distances were similar for males and females, but more than twice as many males marked as nestlings were later encountered nesting in the NCA. Fourteen adult falcons found on different nesting areas in successive years moved an average of 1.5 km between nesting areas; males dispersed significantly farther than females. Natal and breeding dispersal distances in the NCA were lower than those reported for Prairie Falcons in other study areas. Only four falcons banded as nestlings were found outside NCA boundaries during the breeding period, and only one of these birds was known to be occupying a nesting area. We encountered no falcons banded outside the NCA occupying nesting areas in the NCA during this study.

  9. Variation in reproductive photoresponsiveness in a wild population of meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Kerbeshian, M C; Bronson, F H; Bellis, E D

    1994-04-01

    Individual variation in reproductive photoresponsiveness has been documented in laboratory colonies of several species of rodents. When maintained on short day lengths, some individuals experience complete gonadal regression, others undergo little if any gonadal regression, and still others show intermediate levels of responsiveness. In the present research, a combination of laboratory and field studies explored the potential importance of this kind of variation for the control of seasonal breeding in a wild population of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). A sample of adult males was trapped in central Pennsylvania during the summer when all were in breeding condition. When exposed to short day lengths in the laboratory, these males showed the entire range of variation in responsiveness noted above and, correlatively, variation in the loss in body weight induced by this treatment. A sample of males trapped in the wild just before the winter solstice showed the same distribution of variation as did the males housed on short day lengths in the laboratory, and thus, as might be expected, a few pregnant and lactating females were also trapped at this time. Longitudinal studies over a 42-wk period revealed that the variation reflects the degree to which the testes regress in response to short-day exposure rather than the rate at which they regress. Finally, studies with laboratory-born voles demonstrated that the variation is independent of age. In total, these studies demonstrate that the variation in reproductive photoresponsiveness previously seen only in laboratory colonies of rodents indeed has relevance for understanding the seasonal control of reproduction in the wild. PMID:8199255

  10. Captive Housing during Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris) Reintroduction: Does Short-Term Social Stress Impact on Animal Welfare?

    PubMed Central

    Macdonald, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Background Animals captive bred for reintroduction are often housed under conditions which are not representative of their preferred social structure for at least part of the reintroduction process. Specifically, this is most likely to occur during the final stages of the release programme, whilst being housed during transportation to the release site. The degree of social stress experienced by individuals during this time may negatively impact upon their immunocompetence. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined two measure of stress - body weight and Leukocyte Coping Capacity (LCC) - to investigate the effects of group size upon captive-bred water voles destined for release within a reintroduction program. Water voles were housed in laboratory cages containing between one and eight individuals. LCC scores were negatively correlated with group size, suggesting that individuals in larger groups experienced a larger degree of immuno-suppression than did individuals housed in smaller groups or individually. During the course of the study mean body weights increased, in contrast to expectations from a previous study. This was attributed to the individuals sampled being sub-adults and thus growing in length and weight during the course of the investigation. Conclusions/Significance The reintroduction process will inevitably cause some stress to the release cohort. However, for water voles we conclude that the stress experienced may be reduced by decreasing group size within captive colony and/or transportation housing practises. These findings are of significance to other species' reintroductions, in highlighting the need to consider life-history strategies when choosing housing systems for animals being maintained in captivity prior to release to the wild. A reduction in stress experienced at the pre-release stage may improve immunocompetence and thus animal welfare and initial survival post-release. PMID:20352093

  11. A qualitative study on student attitudes towards a controversial species, the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox-Parrish, Lynne

    This case study determined the attitudes held by high school students toward a controversial, yet keystone, species of the Great Plains, the black-tailed prairie dog. Black-tailed prairie dogs have declined dramatically over the past century as a result of large scale poisoning programs, plague, shooting, and habitat loss. The eradication programs put forth were primarily the result of strongly held misconceptions regarding black-tailed prairie dogs. The misconceptions are ingrained in many agricultural and/or rural communities throughout the prairie dogs' range. The decline of this species has resulted in the decline of many other species and the near extinction of the black-footed ferret. Biodiversity continues to decline and the health of the prairie dog ecosystem (i.e. prairie habitats) is in jeopardy. Although studies have shown that landowners and the adult population that live within the range of black-tailed prairie dogs harbor negative attitudes, nothing is known about the attitudes of adolescents. With an eco-feminist theoretical perspective, a case study methodology was used. Thirty 9th grade students comprised the case. The students lived in a mid-sized urban northern Colorado city whose county ranks 5th in the nation and 1st state wide for the value of their agricultural products. Black-tailed prairie dogs could be found throughout the city and adjacent areas. Students were engaged in a year-long "lesson" on black-tailed prairie dogs and conducted a field research experiment on an active prairie dog town. Interviews were conducted in May 2004. Follow-up interviews were conducted in May 2005. Other data collected were: observations, photographs, journals, and classroom documents. Themes generated were devised by a constant comparative method of data analysis. Three major themes emerged: apathy, egocentrism, and naive conceptions. Two smaller themes also emerged: caring and hopelessness. Adolescents are our future policy and decision makers; therefore

  12. Birds associated with black-tailed prairie dog colonies in southern shortgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barko, V.A.; Shaw, J.H.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    1999-01-01

    We conducted a census of avifaunal richness and abundance on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and uncolonized shortgrass prairie in the Oklahoma panhandle in July 1995 and April-June 1996. Five black-tailed prairie dog colonies were paired with five uncolonized prairie sites having similar topography and soil structure. Data were collected by walking permanent line transects and making point counts with a 125-m radius at fixed points placed 250 m apart. Avifaunal abundance and species richness were determined for each site. Avifaunal abundance was significantly higher on sites with prairie dog-colonies than at uncolonized sites during the vegetation growing season. However, we found few significant differences in avian abundance between prairie dog colonies and uncolonized prairie during tile drought months of 1996. We suggest these differences are because of drought-induced vegetation dormancy. Drought created homogeneous habitat instead of distinct habitat patches on prairie dog colonies characteristic of normal precipitation years in other regions of the Great Plains.

  13. Chronic wasting disease in bank voles: characterisation of the shortest incubation time model for prion diseases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to assess the susceptibility of bank voles to chronic wasting disease (CWD), we inoculated voles carrying isoleucine or methionine at codon 109 (Bv109I and Bv109M, respectively) with CWD isolates from elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. Efficient transmission rate (100%) was observed with...

  14. Predator–vole interactions in northern Europe: the role of small mustelids revised

    PubMed Central

    Korpela, Katri; Helle, Pekka; Henttonen, Heikki; Korpimäki, Erkki; Koskela, Esa; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pietiäinen, Hannu; Sundell, Janne; Valkama, Jari; Huitu, Otso

    2014-01-01

    The cyclic population dynamics of vole and predator communities is a key phenomenon in northern ecosystems, and it appears to be influenced by climate change. Reports of collapsing rodent cycles have attributed the changes to warmer winters, which weaken the interaction between voles and their specialist subnivean predators. Using population data collected throughout Finland during 1986–2011, we analyse the spatio-temporal variation in the interactions between populations of voles and specialist, generalist and avian predators, and investigate by simulations the roles of the different predators in the vole cycle. We test the hypothesis that vole population cyclicity is dependent on predator–prey interactions during winter. Our results support the importance of the small mustelids for the vole cycle. However, weakening specialist predation during winters, or an increase in generalist predation, was not associated with the loss of cyclicity. Strengthening of delayed density dependence coincided with strengthening small mustelid influence on the summer population growth rates of voles. In conclusion, a strong impact of small mustelids during summers appears highly influential to vole population dynamics, and deteriorating winter conditions are not a viable explanation for collapsing small mammal population cycles. PMID:25355481

  15. Predator-vole interactions in Northern Europe: the role of small mustelids revised.

    PubMed

    Korpela, Katri; Helle, Pekka; Henttonen, Heikki; Korpimäki, Erkki; Koskela, Esa; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pietiäinen, Hannu; Sundell, Janne; Valkama, Jari; Huitu, Otso

    2014-12-22

    The cyclic population dynamics of vole and predator communities is a key phenomenon in northern ecosystems, and it appears to be influenced by climate change. Reports of collapsing rodent cycles have attributed the changes to warmer winters, which weaken the interaction between voles and their specialist subnivean predators. Using population data collected throughout Finland during 1986-2011, we analyse the spatio-temporal variation in the interactions between populations of voles and specialist, generalist and avian predators, and investigate by simulations the roles of the different predators in the vole cycle. We test the hypothesis that vole population cyclicity is dependent on predator-prey interactions during winter. Our results support the importance of the small mustelids for the vole cycle. However, weakening specialist predation during winters, or an increase in generalist predation, was not associated with the loss of cyclicity. Strengthening of delayed density dependence coincided with strengthening small mustelid influence on the summer population growth rates of voles. In conclusion, a strong impact of small mustelids during summers appears highly influential to vole population dynamics, and deteriorating winter conditions are not a viable explanation for collapsing small mammal population cycles. PMID:25355481

  16. Radionuclides in small mammals of the Saskatchewan prairie, including implications for the boreal forest and Arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, P.A.

    1995-12-31

    The focus of the study reported was to collect and examine baseline data on radionuclides in small prairie mammal food chains and to assess the feasibility of using small mammals as radionuclide monitors in terrestrial ecosystems, in anticipation of possible future nuclear developments in northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. The study report begins with a literature review that summarizes existing data on radionuclides in small mammals, their food, the ambient environment in Canadian terrestrial ecosystems, principles of terrestrial radioecology, soil and vegetation studies, and food chain studies. It then describes a field study conducted to investigate small mammal food chains at three southwestern Saskatchewan prairie sites. Activities included collection and analysis of water, soil, grains, and foliage samples; trapping of small mammals such as mice and voles, and analysis of gastrointestinal tract samples; and determination of food chain transfer of selected radionuclides from soil to plants and to small mammals. Recommendations are made for future analyses and monitoring of small mammals. Appendices include information on radiochemical methods, soil/vegetation studies and small mammal studies conducted at northern Saskatchewan mine sites, and analyses of variance.

  17. Experimental infection of laboratory-bred bank voles (Myodes glareolus) with murid herpesvirus 4.

    PubMed

    Hughes, David J; Kipar, Anja; Leeming, Gail; Sample, Jeffery T; Stewart, James P

    2012-11-01

    MuHV-4 is a natural pathogen of rodents of the genus Apodemus (e.g., wood mice, yellow-necked mice) and Myodes glareolus (bank voles). We report experimental MuHV-4 infection of bank voles in comparison with infection of A. sylvaticus (wood mice) and BALB/c mice. Like in wood mice, the level of productive replication in the lungs of bank voles was significantly lower than in BALB/c mice. In contrast to other hosts, however, the level of latent infection in the lung and spleen of bank voles was extremely low. These findings, together with those of previous studies, suggest that bank voles are an occasional and inefficient host for MuHV-4. PMID:22782137

  18. Dynamics of Puumala hantavirus infection in naturally infected bank voles (Clethrinomys glareolus).

    PubMed

    Bernshtein, A D; Apekina, N S; Mikhailova, T V; Myasnikov, Y A; Khlyap, L A; Korotkov, Y S; Gavrilovskaya, I N

    1999-01-01

    Specific features of hantavirus infection in bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) were studied in the endemic area of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in the foothills of the Ural mountains, using long-term observations on living animals by the capture-mark-recapture (CMR) method. The results demonstrated that the infection naturally circulating in the voles is chronic (lasting for up to 15 months) and asymptomatic, with a peak of Puumala virus accumulation and release from the organism during the first month after infection. It was shown that the bank vole population includes young animals with maternal immunity, which remain resistant to the Puumala virus infection for 3-3.5 months. The infection rate in voles depended on the age and sexual maturity of animals. The greatest proportion of seropositive animals was observed among overwintered males. Seroconversion in voles was more frequent during the period of high reproductive activity. PMID:10664394

  19. Are mature female voles more susceptible than immature ones to avian predation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koivunen, Vesa; Korpimäki, Erkki; Hakkarainen, Harri

    1998-08-01

    It is well known that a number of activities related to reproduction can increase the predation risk for individuals. Both in the aviary and in the field, we studied whether maturity of female field voles ( Microtus agrestis) affected their behaviour and consequently their risk of predation by Tengmalm's owls ( Aegolius funereus). In an aviary, we recorded the behaviour of mature and immature voles in control (owl absent) and predator (owl present) treatments, but did not find obvious differences in behaviour or vulnerability between mature and immature female voles. In the field, we compared maturity status of female field voles snap-trapped in owl territories with those caught by breeding owls in 1992 and 1994. In accordance with the results from an aviary experiment, there were no obvious differences in vulnerability to Tengmalm's owls between mature and immature individuals. This suggests that mature and immature female field voles are equally exposed to avian predation.

  20. Invertebrate biomass: associations with lesser prairie-chicken habitat use and sand sagebrush density in southwestern Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jamison, B.; Robel, R.J.; Pontius, J.S.; Applegate, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    Invertebrates are important food sources for lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) adults and broods. We compared invertebrate biomass in areas used and not used by lesser prairie-chicken adults and broods. We used radiotelemetry to determine use and non-use areas in sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) prairie in southwestern Kansas and sampled invertebrate populations during summer 1998 and 1999. Sweepnet-collected biomass of short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae) and total invertebrate biomass generally were greater in habitats used by lesser prairie-chickens than in paired non-use areas. We detected no differences in pitfall-collected biomass of Acrididae (P=0.81) or total invertebrate biomass (P=0.93) among sampling areas with sand sagebrush canopy cover of 0 to 10%, 11 to 30%, and >30%. Results of multivariate analysis and regression model selection suggested that forbs were more strongly associated with invertebrate biomass than shrubs, grasses, or bare ground. We could not separate lesser prairie-chicken selection for areas of forb cover from selection of areas with greater invertebrate biomass associated with forb cover. Regardless of whether the effects of forbs were direct or indirect, their importance in sand sagebrush habitat has management implications. Practices that maintain or increase forb cover likely will increase invertebrate biomass and habitat quality in southwestern Kansas.

  1. Invertebrate biomass: Associations with lesser prairie-chicken habitat use and sand sagebrush density in southwestern Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jamison, B.E.; Robel, R.J.; Pontius, J.S.; Applegate, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    Invertebrates are important food sources for lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) adults and broods. We compared invertebrate biomass in areas used and not used by lesser prairie-chicken adults and broods. We used radiotelemetry to determine use and non-use areas in sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) prairie in southwestern Kansas and sampled invertebrate populations during summer 1998 and 1999. Sweepnet-collected biomass of short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae) and total invertebrate biomass generally were greater in habitats used by lesser prairie-chickens than in paired non-use areas. We detected no differences in pitfall-collected biomass of Acrididae (P=0.81) or total invertebrate biomass (P=0.93) among sampling areas with sand sagebrush canopy cover of 0 to 10%, 11 to 30%, and >30%. Results of multivariate analysis and regression model selection suggested that forbs were more strongly associated with invertebrate biomass than shrubs, grasses, or bare ground. We could not separate lesser prairie-chicken selection for areas of forb cover from selection of areas with greater invertebrate biomass associated with forb cover. Regardless of whether the effects of forbs were direct or indirect, their importance in sand sagebrush habitat has management implications. Practices that maintain or increase forb cover likely will increase invertebrate biomass and habitat quality in southwestern Kansas.

  2. Perinatal stress effects on later anxiety and hormone secretion in male mandarin voles.

    PubMed

    He, Feng Qin; Fang, Gang; Wang, Bo; Guo, Xin Jun; Guo, Chun Lin

    2015-12-01

    The estradiol (E2), estrogen receptor-α (ERα), testosterone (T), and androgen receptor (AR) can contribute to anxiety, but whether they are associated with the reversion of prenatal adverse outcomes remains unclear. Here, we tested the interactive effects of prenatal maternal restraint stress and early postnatal short-term maternal separation on adult male mandarin vole (Microtus mandarinus) behavior and changes in E2, T, and their receptors. The results showed that PS adult males (PS/NH) exhibited an increase in anxiety-like behavior in open-field and elevated plus-maze tests than the other 3 groups, including adult male offspring controls (PC/NH), adult male offspring controls with short-term maternal separation (PC/H), and PS adult males with short-term maternal separation (PS/H). The increase in anxiety-like behavior was associated with significantly lower E2 and T serum levels, had significantly more ERα immunoreactive neurons (ERα-IRs) in some brain regions, as well as significantly fewer AR immunoreactive neurons (AR-IRs) in some brain regions than the other 3 groups. We found it interesting that the PC/H and PS/H were similar to the PC/NH in that they did not produce anxiety-like behavior. However, early postnatal short-term maternal separation reversed prenatally induced changes in E2 and T serum levels and altered ERα-IRs and AR-IRs in the brain. These data suggest that changes in anxious adults may be governed by early environmental factors and their interactions because changes in E2 and T serum levels and the distribution of ERα and AR in the brain result in behavioral changes related to less anxiety into adulthood. PMID:26501180

  3. Predicting grey-sided vole occurrence in northern Sweden at multiple spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Magnusson, Magnus; Bergsten, Arvid; Ecke, Frauke; Bodin, Orjan; Bodin, Lennart; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2013-11-01

    Forestry is continually changing the habitats for many forest-dwelling species around the world. The grey-sided vole (Myodes rufocanus) has declined since the 1970s in forests of northern Sweden. Previous studies suggested that this might partly be caused by reduced focal forest patch size due to clear-cutting. Proximity and access to old pine forest and that microhabitats often contains stones have also been suggested previously but never been evaluated at multiple spatial scales. In a field study in 2010-2011 in northern Sweden, we investigated whether occurrence of grey-sided voles would be higher in (1) large focal patches of >60 years old forest, (2) in patches with high connectivity to surrounding patches, and (3) in patches in proximity to stone fields. We trapped animals in forest patches in two study areas (Västerbotten and Norrbotten). At each trap station, we surveyed structural microhabitat characteristics. Landscape-scale features were investigated using satellite-based forest data combined with geological maps. Unexpectedly, the vole was almost completely absent in Norrbotten. The trap sites in Norrbotten had a considerably lower amount of stone holes compared with sites with voles in Västerbotten. We suggest this might help to explain the absence in Norrbotten. In Västerbotten, the distance from forest patches with voles to stone fields was significantly shorter than from patches without voles. In addition, connectivity to surrounding patches and size of the focal forest patches was indeed related to the occurrence of grey-sided voles, with connectivity being the overall best predictor. Our results support previous findings on the importance of large forest patches, but also highlight the importance of connectivity for occurrence of grey-sided voles. The results further suggest that proximity to stone fields increase habitat quality of the forests for the vole and that the presence of stone fields enhances the voles' ability to move between nearby

  4. Behavioral, Physiologic, and Habitat Influences on the Dynamics of Puumala virus Infection in Bank Voles (Clethrionomys glareolus)

    PubMed Central

    Chalon, Patrice; de Jaegere, Florence; Karelle-Bui, Lucie; Mees, Georges; Brochier, Bernard; Rozenfeld, Francine; Pastoret, Paul-Pierre

    2002-01-01

    Populations of bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) were monitored during a 4-year study in southern Belgium to assess the influence of agonistic behavior, reproductive status, mobility, and distribution of the rodents on the dynamics of Puumala virus (abbreviation: PUUV; genus: Hantavirus) infection. Concordance was high between data from serologic testing and results of viral RNA detection. Wounds resulting from biting or scratching were observed mainly in adult rodents. Hantavirus infection in adults was associated with wounds in the fall, i.e., at the end of the breeding season, but not in spring. In addition, sexually active animals were significantly more often wounded and positive for infection. Hantavirus infection was associated with higher mobility in juvenile and subadult males. Seroconversions observed 6 months apart also occurred more frequently in animals that had moved longer distances from their original capture point. During nonepidemic years, the distribution of infection was patchy, and positive foci were mainly located in dense ground vegetation. PMID:12194769

  5. Increased radiation from Chernobyl decreases the expression of red colouration in natural populations of bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Lehmann, Philipp; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A; Møller, Anders Pape

    2014-01-01

    Pheomelanin is a pink to red version of melanin pigment deposited in skin and hair. Due to its bright colour, pheomelanin plays a crucial function in signalling, in particular sexual signalling. However, production of pheomelanin, as opposed to its dark alternative, eumelanin, bears costs in terms of consumption of antioxidants important for protection of DNA against naturally produced reactive oxidative species. Therefore, decreased expression of pheomelanin is expected in organisms exposed to severe oxidative stress such as that caused by exposure to chronic ionizing radiation. We tested if variable exposure to radiation among natural populations of bank voles Myodes glareolus in Chernobyl affected expression of red colouration in their dorsal fur. The relative redness of dorsal fur was positively correlated with weight, but also negatively correlated with the level of background radiation. These results suggest that the development of the natural red colouration in adult bank voles is affected by ionizing background radiation, and potentially causing elevated levels of oxidative stress. Reduced production of pheomelanin allows more antioxidants to mitigate the oxidative stress caused by radiation. However, changing natural animal colouration for physiological reasons can have ecological costs, if e.g. it causes mismatch with habitat colouration and conspicuousness for predators. PMID:25413373

  6. Soil change induced by prairie dogs across three ecological sites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) can influence vegetation dynamics and landscape hydrology by altering soil properties, yet few studies have evaluated soil responses to prairie dog activities across a range of soil types. This study was conducted to quantify prairie dog effects on soil properties within...

  7. Palouse prairie - synaptic relics from a senior pseudo-botanist

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, vegetation of the Missoula Valley prairie has been regarded as "Agropyron-Festuca community," otherwise described as "Palouse bunchgrass prairie" or just "Palouse prairie." Synecology of this association has been well described starting in the 1920s, however there is no description of...

  8. Healing and Building Soil on Prairie Birthday Farm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native tallgrass prairie was restored as an integral part of a small, food-producing farm called Prairie Birthday Farm in Clay County, Missouri. Reconstruction of native prairie was essential to the farm’s goal of producing high quality food for the family, area residents and restaurant chefs. Impro...

  9. 76 FR 5799 - Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-02

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing January 26, 2011. Take notice that on January 25, 2011, Prairie Power, Inc., submitted a proposed revenue requirement filing under Midwest... Transmission System Operator, Inc.\\2\\ \\1\\ Prairie Power is also listed by the Midwest ISO as a...

  10. Bioavailability of Hexahydro-1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-Triazine (RDX) to the Praire Vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    SciTech Connect

    Fellows, Robert J.; Driver, Crystal J.; Cataldo, Dominic A.; Harvey, Scott D.

    2006-07-01

    Estimating risk to wildlife requires that measures of exposure be equivalent to that of the laboratory studies from which toxic responses were observed. Exposure measures are often based on modeled estimates of uptake through the food web. These modeled estimates use largely untested assumptions that can lead to inaccurate, uncertain, and unreliable estimates of exposure. Recently, concerns have been raised over the potential bioavailability and biotransfer of munitions or energetics materials such as hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX). RDX is more recalcitrant in the soil, may remain as the parent compound for extended periods of time, and is rapidly taken up by the roots of higher plants and partitioned predominantly into the above ground, herbivore-accessible tissues. This study assessed plant incorporated [14C]-RDX and plant derived [14C]-RDX-metabolites ingestion by a representative hindgut herbivore, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). The animals were fed the labeled chow (≤10 g/ day max) for five or seven days followed by a six or four day chase period with the control chow prior to final weighing and sacrifice. Animal excreta including feces, urine, and respired CO2 were collected and measured. Greater than 95% of all label presented to the voles was recovered in the summed excreta. Seventy-four percent of the label in the total excreta was found in the fecal non-absorbed bulk. This means that greater than 20% of the presented 14C-RDX and plant-derived 14C-RDX-metabolites were absorbed by the animal’s digestive tracts over the time course of the experiment and modified prior to release. These materials were either metabolized to 14CO2 (8 to 10% of the total label) or removed as nitrogenous waste through the kidneys (10 to 14%). The feeding regimes were followed by a rapid, 2 to 3 day, clearing of label from the bulk feces with the cessation of exposure. Both 14C-urine and 14CO2 excretion continued after the feces cleared indicating

  11. Development of Type 1 Diabetes in Wild Bank Voles Associated With Islet Autoantibodies and the Novel Ljungan Virus

    PubMed Central

    Niklasson, Bo; Heller, Knud E.; Schønecker, Bryan; Bildsøe, Mogens; Daniels, Terri; Hampe, Christiane S.; Widlund, Per; Simonson, William T.; Schaefer, Jonathan B.; Daniels, Terri; Rutledge, Elizabeth; Bekris, Lynn; Lindberg, A. Michael; Johansson, Susanne; Örtqvist, Eva; Persson, Bengt

    2003-01-01

    Wild bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) may develop diabetes in laboratory captivity. The aim of this study was to test whether bank voles develop type 1 diabetes in association with Ljungan virus. Two groups of bank voles were analyzed for diabetes, pancreas histology, autoantibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65), IA-2, and insulin by standardized radioligand-binding assays as well as antibodies to in vitro transcribed and translated Ljungan virus antigens. Group A represented 101 trapped bank voles, which were screened for diabetes when euthanized within 24 hours of capture. Group B represented 67 bank voles, which were trapped and kept in the laboratory for 1 month before being euthanized. Group A bank voles did not have diabetes. Bank voles in group B (22/67; 33%) developed diabetes due to specific lysis of pancreatic islet beta cells. Compared to nondiabetic group B bank voles, diabetic animals had increased levels of GAD65 (P < .0001), IA-2 (P < .0001), and insulin (P = .03) autoantibodies. Affected islets stained positive for Ljungan virus, a novel picorna virus isolated from bank voles. Ljungan virus inoculation of nondiabetic wild bank voles induced beta-cell lysis. Compared to group A bank voles, Ljungan virus antibodies were increased in both nondiabetic (P < .0001) and diabetic (P = .0015) group B bank voles. Levels of Ljungan virus antibodies were also increased in young age at onset of newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes in children (P < .01). These findings support the hypothesis that the development of type 1 diabetes in captured wild bank voles is associated with Ljungan virus. It is speculated that bank voles may have a possible zoonotic role as a reservoir and vector for virus that may contribute to the incidence of type 1 diabetes in humans. PMID:12745669

  12. The Effect of Small-Size Habitat Disturbances on Population Density and Time to Extinction of the Prairie Vole

    SciTech Connect

    Kostova, T; Carlsen, T

    2004-12-13

    We present a study, based on simulations with SERDYCA, a spatially-explicit individual-based model of rodent dynamics, on the relation between population persistence and the presence of numerous isolated disturbances in the habitat. We are specifically interested in the effect of disturbances that do not fragment the environment on population persistence. Our results suggest that the presence of disturbances in the absence of fragmentation can actually increase the average time to extinction of the modeled population. The presence of disturbances decreases population density but can increase the chance for mating in monogamous species and consequently, the ratio of juveniles in the population. It thus provides a better chance for the population to restore itself after a severe period with critically low population density. We call this the ''disturbance-forced localization effect''.

  13. Establishment of superovulation procedure in Japanese field vole, Microtus montebelli.

    PubMed

    Kageyama, Atsuko; Tanaka, Minako; Morita, Mami; Ushijima, Hitoshi; Tomogane, Hiroshi; Okada, Konosuke

    2016-08-01

    Japanese field vole (Microtus montebelli) is a wild-derived rodent and have unique characteristic. Thus, these species have been expected as model animal. This study was performed to develop novel superovulation procedure for Japanese field vole. First, when 30 IU pregnant mare's serum gonadotropin (PMSG) and 30 IU human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) were administrated 48 hours apart, females showed higher response to hCG compared with three concentrations of PMSG. Second, to effectively induce ovulation on females after vaginal opening, they were mated with vasectomized male instead of hCG administration. Average number of ovulated oocytes using PMSG mating (13.9 ± 1.9 oocytes) was higher than PMSG-hCG (control; 6.9 ± 2.3 oocytes) or PMSG-hCG mating (6.8 ± 0.8 oocytes). Finally, we attempted superovulation using GnRH agonist (GnRHa). With this treatment, we speculated that GnRHa might induce endogenous luteinizing hormone releasing to cause ovulation. Such superovulation was performed with 30 IU PMSG and different concentration of 20% polyvinylpyrrolidone-GnRHa (15, 30, 45, and 60 μg/kg). As results, average number of ovulated oocytes was highest with 30 μg/kg GnRHa (14.5 ± 4.1 oocytes). The numbers of ovulated oocytes of other concentrations were 5.0 ± 1.4 (15 μg/kg), 12.8 ± 2.7 (45 μg/kg), and 8.8 ± 3.7 oocytes (60 μg/kg). Nuclear status of most collected oocytes was the second meiotic division (range, 94.3%-100%). These superovulation procedures will be useful for development of in vitro culture systems and assisted reproductive technologies for not only Japanese field vole but also other voles. PMID:27118387

  14. Efficient Transmission and Characterization of Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease Strains in Bank Voles

    PubMed Central

    Nonno, Romolo; Bari, Michele A. Di; Cardone, Franco; Vaccari, Gabriele; Fazzi, Paola; Dell'Omo, Giacomo; Cartoni, Claudia; Ingrosso, Loredana; Boyle, Aileen; Galeno, Roberta; Sbriccoli, Marco; Lipp, Hans-Peter; Bruce, Moira; Pocchiari, Maurizio; Agrimi, Umberto

    2006-01-01

    Transmission of prions between species is limited by the “species barrier,” which hampers a full characterization of human prion strains in the mouse model. We report that the efficiency of primary transmission of prions from Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease patients to a wild rodent species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus), is comparable to that reported in transgenic mice carrying human prion protein, in spite of a low prion protein–sequence homology between man and vole. Voles infected with sporadic and genetic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease isolates show strain-specific patterns of spongiform degeneration and pathological prion protein–deposition, and accumulate protease-resistant prion protein with biochemical properties similar to the human counterpart. Adaptation of genetic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease isolates to voles shows little or no evidence of a transmission barrier, in contrast to the striking barriers observed during transmission of mouse, hamster, and sheep prions to voles. Our results imply that in voles there is no clear relationship between the degree of homology of the prion protein of the donor and recipient species and susceptibility, consistent with the view that the prion strain gives a major contribution to the species barrier. The vole is therefore a valuable model to study human prion diversity and, being susceptible to a range of animal prions, represents a unique tool for comparing isolates from different species. PMID:16518470

  15. Effects of Short Term Bioturbation by Common Voles on Biogeochemical Soil Variables

    PubMed Central

    Wilske, Burkhard; Eccard, Jana A.; Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Hohmann, Maximilian; Methler, Annabel; Herde, Antje; Liesenjohann, Thilo; Dannenmann, Michael; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Breuer, Lutz

    2015-01-01

    Bioturbation contributes to soil formation and ecosystem functioning. With respect to the active transport of matter by voles, bioturbation may be considered as a very dynamic process among those shaping soil formation and biogeochemistry. The present study aimed at characterizing and quantifying the effects of bioturbation by voles on soil water relations and carbon and nitrogen stocks. Bioturbation effects were examined based on a field set up in a luvic arenosol comprising of eight 50 × 50 m enclosures with greatly different numbers of common vole (Microtus arvalis L., ca. 35–150 individuals ha–1 mth–1). Eleven key soil variables were analyzed: bulk density, infiltration rate, saturated hydraulic conductivity, water holding capacity, contents of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (N), CO2 emission potential, C/N ratio, the stable isotopic signatures of 13C and 15N, and pH. The highest vole densities were hypothesized to cause significant changes in some variables within 21 months. Results showed that land history had still a major influence, as eight key variables displayed an additional or sole influence of topography. However, the δ15N at depths of 10–20 and 20–30 cm decreased and increased with increasing vole numbers, respectively. Also the CO2 emission potential from soil collected at a depth of 15–30 cm decreased and the C/N ratio at 5–10 cm depth narrowed with increasing vole numbers. These variables indicated the first influence of voles on the respective mineralization processes in some soil layers. Tendencies of vole activity homogenizing SOC and N contents across layers were not significant. The results of the other seven key variables did not confirm significant effects of voles. Thus overall, we found mainly a first response of variables that are indicative for changes in biogeochemical dynamics but not yet of those representing changes in pools. PMID:25954967

  16. [Revision of the Taxonomic Position of the Olkhon Mountain Vole (Rodentia, Cricetidae)].

    PubMed

    Bodrov, S Yu; Kostygov, A Yu; Rudneva, L V; Abramson, N I

    2016-01-01

    An analysis of the phylogenetic position of the Olkhon mountain vole (Alticolaolchonensis Litvinov 1960) using the sequences of four nuclear (BRCA, GHR, LCAT, and IRBP) and one mitochondrial (cyt. b) genes was undertaken. It was noted that, until recently, multiple studies of the systematic position of this vole had been based exclusively on morphological data, while the major taxonomic traits contained contradictory information regarding both the subgeneric status of this species and its genus. It was established that the molecular data and morphology data allow us to attribute the Lake Baikal vole unambiguously to the nominative subgenus Alticola instead of Aschizomys. PMID:27396178

  17. Deltamethrin flea-control preserves genetic variability of black-tailed prairie dogs during a plague outbreak

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, P.H.; Biggins, D.E.; Eads, D.A.; Eads, S.L.; Britten, H.B.

    2012-01-01

    Genetic variability and structure of nine black-tailed prairie dog (BTPD, Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies were estimated with 15 unlinked microsatellite markers. A plague epizootic occurred between the first and second years of sampling and our study colonies were nearly extirpated with the exception of three colonies in which prairie dog burrows were previously dusted with an insecticide, deltamethrin, used to control fleas (vectors of the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis). This situation provided context to compare genetic variability and structure among dusted and non-dusted colonies pre-epizootic, and among the three dusted colonies pre- and post-epizootic. We found no statistical difference in population genetic structures between dusted and non-dusted colonies pre-epizootic. On dusted colonies, gene flow and recent migration rates increased from the first (pre-epizootic) year to the second (post-epizootic) year which suggested dusted colonies were acting as refugia for prairie dogs from surrounding colonies impacted by plague. Indeed, in the dusted colonies, estimated densities of adult prairie dogs (including dispersers), but not juveniles (non-dispersers), increased from the first year to the second year. In addition to preserving BTPDs and many species that depend on them, protecting colonies with deltamethrin or a plague vaccine could be an effective method to preserve genetic variability of prairie dogs. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  18. Epigenetic modifications in sex heterochromatin of vole rodents.

    PubMed

    Romero-Fernández, I; Casas-Delucchi, C S; Cano-Linares, M; Arroyo, M; Sánchez, A; Cardoso, M C; Marchal, J A

    2015-09-01

    The genome of some vole rodents contains large blocks of heterochromatin coupled to the sex chromosomes. While the DNA content of these heterochromatic blocks has been extensively analyzed, little is known about the epigenetic modifications controlling their structure and dynamics. To better understand its organization and functions within the nucleus, we have compared the distribution pattern of several epigenetic marks in cells from two species, Microtus agrestis and Microtus cabrerae. We first could show that the heterochromatic blocks are identifiable within the nuclei due to their AT enrichment detectable by DAPI staining. By immunostaining analyses, we demonstrated that enrichment in H3K9me3 and HP1, depletion of DNA methylation as well as H4K8ac and H3K4me2, are major conserved epigenetic features of this heterochromatin in both sex chromosomes. Furthermore, we provide evidence of transcriptional activity for some repeated DNAs in cultivated cells. These transcripts are partially polyadenylated and their levels are not altered during mitotic arrest. In summary, we show here that enrichment in H3K9me3 and HP1, DNA demethylation, and transcriptional activity are major epigenetic features of sex heterochromatin in vole rodents. PMID:25527445

  19. Urine marking in male common voles: does behavioural activity matter?

    PubMed

    Lantová, Petra; Brixová, Lenka; Lanta, Vojtěch

    2012-06-01

    Rodent urine provides animals with a large amount of information, from the identity of the animal through its physical condition to social status. Many studies therefore focus on rodent urine-marking behaviour and use marking frequency as an indicator of social status or competitive ability. However, marking, like many other aspects of rodent behaviour, may be affected by individual behavioural activity, a factor that has not been examined so far. We therefore studied a relationship between male urine-marking in reaction to another male's marks (standard opponent) and individual personality profile, characterised by behavioural activity in an open field test (OFT). The marking appeared to be consistent and specific for particular individuals as there was a significant positive relationship between individual markings in two different phases of the experiment. The linkage between behavioural activity in the OFT and urine-marking frequency was non-linear (quadratic), which suggested that males with intermediate activity marked more intensively than males from the extremes of the behavioural spectra. The relationship between the opponent's and the tested males' markings was positive, however, we found no statistically significant evidence that the voles would attempt to overmark the opponent. Marking thus seems to have more of a self-advertising than a competitive function in the common vole. Further, as high marking activity is under strong intra- or intersexual selection, the result might suggest a stabilising selection of the personality trait described as behavioural activity in our study. PMID:22285890

  20. Vole infant development is influenced perinatally by maternal photoperiodic history.

    PubMed

    Lee, T M; Zucker, I

    1988-11-01

    Vole pups were maintained from the time of conception in the same short-day (SD) photoperiod (10 h light/day, LD 10:14); groups differed only with respect to SD photoperiodic histories of dams before gestation, which simulated those experienced by dams breeding in autumn (SD-2, 2 wk of short days), midwinter (SD-21), or late winter (SD-26). Compared with SD-2 pups, offspring born to SD-26 dams matured more rapidly with respect to body size and reproductive status. Several other somatic and behavioral measures indicated that winter preparedness was greatest in pups whose dams had experienced 2 wk and least in those that had experienced 26 wk of SD treatment before conception. A cross-fostering design, in which pups gestated in long (LD 14:10) or short photoperiods were reared postnatally in the same or opposite day length, indicated that several photoresponsive traits are influenced predominantly by prenatal photoperiod, others by postnatal day length, and others by both photoregimens. Information is communicated to fetuses about the length of time dams have been exposed to short day lengths before mating as well as about the day length prevailing during gestation. The changes induced by the mother in her pups pre- and postnatally likely facilitate adaptation of newly weaned voles to seasonally varying environmental conditions. PMID:3056043

  1. The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.; Davis, D.; Boydston, Kathy K.; Dixon, Charles; Heck, Willard R.

    2013-01-01

    The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001-2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s) with the most model support and then obtained future predicted values from climatewizard.org. We conducted 1,000 simulations using each reproductive parameter's linear equation obtained from regression calculations, and the future predicted value for each weather variable to predict future reproductive parameter values for lesser prairie-chickens. There was a high degree of model uncertainty for each reproductive value. Winter temperature had the greatest effect size for all three parameters, suggesting a negative relationship between above-average winter temperature and reproductive output. The above-average winter temperatures are correlated to La Nina events, which negatively affect lesser prairie-chickens through resulting drought conditions. By 2050 and 2080, nest survival was predicted to be below levels considered viable for population persistence; however, our assessment did not consider annual survival of adults, chick survival, or the positive benefit of habitat management and conservation, which may ultimately offset the potentially negative effect of drought on nest survival.

  2. The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.; Davis, Dawn M.; Boydston, Kathy K.; Dixon, Charles; Heck, Willard R.

    2013-01-01

    The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001–2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s) with the most model support and then obtained future predicted values from climatewizard.org. We conducted 1,000 simulations using each reproductive parameter’s linear equation obtained from regression calculations, and the future predicted value for each weather variable to predict future reproductive parameter values for lesser prairie-chickens. There was a high degree of model uncertainty for each reproductive value. Winter temperature had the greatest effect size for all three parameters, suggesting a negative relationship between above-average winter temperature and reproductive output. The above-average winter temperatures are correlated to La Niña events, which negatively affect lesser prairie-chickens through resulting drought conditions. By 2050 and 2080, nest survival was predicted to be below levels considered viable for population persistence; however, our assessment did not consider annual survival of adults, chick survival, or the positive benefit of habitat management and conservation, which may ultimately offset the potentially negative effect of drought on nest survival.

  3. Age at Vaccination May Influence Response to Sylvatic Plague Vaccine (SPV) in Gunnison's Prairie Dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni).

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Tripp, Dan; Lorenzsonn, Faye; Falendysz, Elizabeth; Smith, Susan; Williamson, Judy; Abbott, Rachel

    2015-06-01

    Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) have been considered at greater risk from Yersinia pestis (plague) infection in the montane portion of their range compared to populations at lower elevations, possibly due to factors related to flea transmission of the bacteria or greater host susceptibility. To test the latter hypothesis and determine whether vaccination against plague with an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) improved survival, we captured prairie dogs from a C. g. gunnisoni or "montane" population and a C. g. zuniensis or "prairie" population for vaccine efficacy and challenge studies. No differences (P = 0.63) were found in plague susceptibility in non-vaccinated animals between these two populations; however, vaccinates from the prairie population survived plague challenge at significantly higher rates (P < 0.01) than those from the montane population. Upon further analysis, we determined that response to immunization was most likely associated with differences in age, as the prairie group was much younger on average than the montane group. Vaccinates that were juveniles or young adults survived plague challenge at a much higher rate than adults (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively), but no difference (P = 0.83) was detected in survival rates between control animals of different ages. These results suggest that host susceptibility is probably not related to the assumed greater risk from plague in the C. g. gunnisoni or "montane" populations of Gunnison's prairie dogs, and that SPV could be a useful plague management tool for this species, particularly if targeted at younger cohorts. PMID:25589000

  4. Ecological Restoration: Bringing Back the Prairie.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Molly Fifield

    1997-01-01

    Defines ecological restoration and offers a plan for prairie restoration as a schoolyard project. Steps include researching and planning the site, preparation and planting, and continuing management of the site. Ecological concepts in this activity also relate to science, language arts, math, social studies, art, and music for K-12 students. (AIM)

  5. Habitat management considerations for prairie chickens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, L.M.

    1974-01-01

    Lack of nesting and brood rearing habitat appears to be the universal limiting factor for prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) throughout their range. Grasslands are essential to prairie chickens, but vary widely in quality and thus in their ability to support prairie chickens. High-quality habitat is grassland providing residual vegetation averaging about 20 inches in height in spring and sufficiently dense to completely conceal a nesting prairie chicken. Annually grazed, annually hayed, or long-term (10 years or more) idled habitats are undesirable. The most successful method for maintaining high-quality nest-brood habitat is prescribed burning at 3- to 5-year intervals; such habitat may be established by seeding grass or grass-legume mixtures. Seeded habitat may be maintained by prescribed burning at 3- to 5-year intervals. Management units should contain at least 2 square miles of high-quality habitat within an area not to exceed 8 square miles. High-quality habitat blocks should be at least 160 acres with a minimum width of one-half mile. Based on available evidence, funding to provide winter food or cover is not recommended.

  6. Expanding Teacher Understanding of Wisconsin's Prairie Chickens

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Melinda S.; Sivek, Daniel J.; Thomas, Christine L.

    2008-01-01

    The principal author developed a workshop through the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, based on central Wisconsin's prairie chicken population, to present teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to provide quality environmental education. Seventeen high school teachers attended the 2003 workshop. Pre-and post-workshop surveys were…

  7. Experimental Infection of Voles with Francisella tularensis Indicates Their Amplification Role in Tularemia Outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Rossow, Heidi; Forbes, Kristian M.; Tarkka, Eveliina; Kinnunen, Paula M.; Hemmilä, Heidi; Huitu, Otso; Nikkari, Simo; Henttonen, Heikki; Kipar, Anja; Vapalahti, Olli

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia outbreaks in humans have been linked to fluctuations in rodent population density, but the mode of bacterial maintenance in nature is unclear. Here we report on an experiment to investigate the pathogenesis of Francisella tularensis infection in wild rodents, and thereby assess their potential to spread the bacterium. We infected 20 field voles (Microtus agrestis) and 12 bank voles (Myodes glareolus) with a strain of F. tularensis ssp. holarctica isolated from a human patient. Upon euthanasia or death, voles were necropsied and specimens collected for histological assessment and identification of bacteria by immunohistology and PCR. Bacterial excretion and a rapid lethal clinical course with pathological changes consistent with bacteremia and tissue necrosis were observed in infected animals. The results support a role for voles as an amplification host of F. tularensis, as excreta and, in particular, carcasses with high bacterial burden could serve as a source for environmental contamination. PMID:25271640

  8. Experimental Infection of voles with Francisella tularensis indicates their amplification role in tularemia outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Rossow, Heidi; Forbes, Kristian M; Tarkka, Eveliina; Kinnunen, Paula M; Hemmilä, Heidi; Huitu, Otso; Nikkari, Simo; Henttonen, Heikki; Kipar, Anja; Vapalahti, Olli

    2014-01-01

    Tularemia outbreaks in humans have been linked to fluctuations in rodent population density, but the mode of bacterial maintenance in nature is unclear. Here we report on an experiment to investigate the pathogenesis of Francisella tularensis infection in wild rodents, and thereby assess their potential to spread the bacterium. We infected 20 field voles (Microtus agrestis) and 12 bank voles (Myodes glareolus) with a strain of F. tularensis ssp. holarctica isolated from a human patient. Upon euthanasia or death, voles were necropsied and specimens collected for histological assessment and identification of bacteria by immunohistology and PCR. Bacterial excretion and a rapid lethal clinical course with pathological changes consistent with bacteremia and tissue necrosis were observed in infected animals. The results support a role for voles as an amplification host of F. tularensis, as excreta and, in particular, carcasses with high bacterial burden could serve as a source for environmental contamination. PMID:25271640

  9. Spatial water maze learning using celestial cues by the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus.

    PubMed

    Kavaliers, M; Galea, L A

    1994-03-31

    The Morris water maze is widely used to evaluate to evaluate the spatial learning ability of rodents under laboratory settings. The present study demonstrates that reproductive male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, are able to acquire and retain a spatial water maze task using celestial cues. Voles were able to acquire a modified outdoor Morris water maze task over 4 trials per day, whereby they had to learn and remember the location of a submerged hidden platform, using the position of the sun and associated celestial cues. Their proficiency on this task was related to the availability of the celestial cues, with voles displaying significantly poorer spatial navigation on overcast than clear days and when the testing time (and position of the sun and associated celestial cues) was shifted from morning to afternoon. These findings with meadow voles support the ecological relevance of the water maze task. PMID:8031502

  10. Seasonal control of odour preferences of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) by photoperiod and ovarian hormones.

    PubMed

    Ferkin, M H; Zucker, I

    1991-07-01

    During the spring-summer breeding season, female meadow voles prefer odours of males over those of females, but in the autumn-winter season of reproductive quiescence this preference is reversed. Females housed in long (14 h light/day) and short (10 h light/day) photoperiods, respectively, had odour preferences comparable to those of spring and autumn voles, respectively. The preference of long-photoperiod voles for male over female odours was reversed by ovariectomy and restored by treatment with oestradiol. By contrast, neither ovariectomy nor oestradiol affected odour preferences of short-photoperiod voles. Long days appear to influence olfactory preferences by altering ovarian hormone secretion. The failure of oestradiol to affect odour preferences in short photoperiods suggests that the neural substrates mediating this behavioural response are refractory to oestrogens during the nonbreeding season. PMID:1886099

  11. Feasibility of relating interferon production by wild voles to types of chemical contamination of their environment : Communication.

    PubMed

    Khan, A; Duvall, J; Santolucito, J

    1984-03-01

    In the fall of 1980, a limited field sampling and laboratory analysis profect was undertaken to explore the feasibility of relating immunological responses of field mice (voles) living wild in an area of environmental concern to the level of chemical contamination of that area. The voles were collected in the vicinity of Love Canal by biological sampling teams already there to collect voles for other purposes.The project helped identify those areas of practical uncertainty that must be clarified before the rate of interferon production in voles can be considered as a possible indicator of chemical contamination. Two lines of research are proposed: developing optimumin vitro interferon bioassays systems for vole leukocytes; and characterizing the interferon production responses of voles following controlled exposures to selected carcinogens and other chemicals. PMID:24259144

  12. Differential behavioural and endocrine responses of common voles (Microtus arvalis) to nest predators and resource competitors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Adaptive behavioural strategies promoting co-occurrence of competing species are known to result from a sympatric evolutionary past. Strategies should be different for indirect resource competition (exploitation, e.g., foraging and avoidance behaviour) than for direct interspecific interference (e.g., aggression, vigilance, and nest guarding). We studied the effects of resource competition and nest predation in sympatric small mammal species using semi-fossorial voles and shrews, which prey on vole offspring during their sensitive nestling phase. Experiments were conducted in caged outdoor enclosures. Focus common vole mothers (Microtus arvalis) were either caged with a greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) as a potential nest predator, with an herbivorous field vole (Microtus agrestis) as a heterospecific resource competitor, or with a conspecific resource competitor. Results We studied behavioural adaptations of vole mothers during pregnancy, parturition, and early lactation, specifically modifications of the burrow architecture and activity at burrow entrances. Further, we measured pre- and postpartum faecal corticosterone metabolites (FCMs) of mothers to test for elevated stress hormone levels. Only in the presence of the nest predator were prepartum FCMs elevated, but we found no loss of vole nestlings and no differences in nestling body weight in the presence of the nest predator or the heterospecific resource competitor. Although the presence of both the shrew and the field vole induced prepartum modifications to the burrow architecture, only nest predators caused an increase in vigilance time at burrow entrances during the sensitive nestling phase. Conclusion Voles displayed an adequate behavioural response for both resource competitors and nest predators. They modified burrow architecture to improve nest guarding and increased their vigilance at burrow entrances to enhance offspring survival chances. Our study revealed differential

  13. Survivorship of meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, from sewage sludge-treated fields

    SciTech Connect

    Maly, M.S.

    1984-06-01

    A long-term field study was begun in 1977 at Miami University to evaluate the effects of land application of sewage sludge on experimental old-field communities. The effects of sludge application on toxic metal concentrations in meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) organs during the first two years of the study have been reported. During the first two years of sludge application, no detrimental effects were observed in vole survivorship as a result of sludge treatment.

  14. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Southern Red-Backed Vole (Western United States)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1983-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the southern red-backed vole (Clethrionomys gapperi) are described in this publication, which is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models. A review and synthesis of the literature is followed by development of a model of the species-habitat requirements of the southern red-backed vole. Habitat suitability indexes are designed for use with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  15. Bioconcentration of fallout sup 137 Cs by fungi and red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi)

    SciTech Connect

    Mihok, S.; Schwartz, B.; Wiewel, A.M. )

    1989-12-01

    Cesium-137 and 40K concentrations were measured in vegetation and in red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) in southeastern Manitoba, Canada, following the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Voles from wet coniferous habitats contained concentrations of {sup 137}Cs twenty- to fiftyfold higher than voles from deciduous habitats. Maximum {sup 137}Cs values were observed in autumn. Voles captured in a spruce bog at this time contained an average body burden of about 11 Bq. Concentrations in vegetation samples were similar to those found by other researchers. Overall, there was only minimal evidence of contamination attributable to Chernobyl in either vegetation or voles. The primary source of {sup 137}Cs in voles appeared to be dietary, particularly mushrooms that contained up to 74 Bq g-1 ash. Based on physiological constraints, mushrooms were the only plausible source of {sup 137}Cs in autumn diets. Elevated values at other times in coniferous areas may have been related to the consumption of epiphytic lichens. These findings suggest that fungi, or the animals that consume them, can serve as sensitive indicators of {sup 137}Cs contamination in the environment.

  16. Stress impairs new but not established relationships in seasonally social voles.

    PubMed

    Anacker, Allison M J; Reitz, Kara M; Goodwin, Nastacia L; Beery, Annaliese K

    2016-03-01

    Affiliative social relationships are impacted by stressors and can shape responses to stress. However, the effects of stress on social relationships in different contexts are not well understood. Meadow voles provide an opportunity to study these effects on peer relationships outside of a reproductive context. In winter months, female meadow voles cohabit with peers of both sexes, and social huddling is facilitated by exposure to short, winter-like day lengths in the lab. We investigated the role of stress and corticosterone (cort) levels in social behavior in short day-housed female meadow voles. A brief forced swim elevated cort levels, and we assessed the effects of this stressor on new and established relationships between females. In pairs formed following exposure to swim stress, the stressor significantly reduced the fraction of huddling time subjects spent with a familiar partner. Swim stress did not affect partner preferences in pairs established prior to the stressor. Finally, we examined fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels via immunoassay in voles housed under short day (10h light) versus long day (14 h light) conditions and detected higher glucocorticoid levels in long day-housed voles. These findings support a role for stress regulation in the formation of social relationships in female meadow voles, and are consistent with a potential role for seasonal variation in cort in the behavioral transition from solitary to social. Together they highlight the importance of stress and possibly glucocorticoid signaling for social behavior. PMID:26777726

  17. Hokkaido genotype of Puumala virus in the grey red-backed vole (Myodes rufocanus) and northern red-backed vole (Myodes rutilus) in Siberia.

    PubMed

    Yashina, Liudmila N; Abramov, Sergey A; Dupal, Tamara A; Danchinova, Galina A; Malyshev, Boris S; Hay, John; Gu, Se Hun; Yanagihara, Richard

    2015-07-01

    Three species of Myodes voles known to harbor hantaviruses include the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), which serves as the reservoir host of Puumala virus (PUUV), the prototype arvicolid rodent-borne hantavirus causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Europe, and the grey red-backed vole (Myodes rufocanus) and royal vole (Myodes regulus) which carry two PUUV-like hantaviruses, designated Hokkaido virus (HOKV) and Muju virus (MUJV), respectively. To ascertain the hantavirus harbored by the northern red-backed vole (Myodes rutilus), we initially screened sera from 233 M. rutilus, as well as from 90 M. rufocanus and 110 M. glareolus, captured in western and eastern Siberia during June 2007 to October 2009, for anti-hantaviral antibodies. Thereafter, lung tissues from 44 seropositive voles were analyzed for hantavirus RNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Partial L-, M- and S-segment sequences, detected in M. rutilus and M. rufocanus, were closely related to HOKV, differing from previously published L-, M- and S-segment sequences of HOKV by 17.8-20.2%, 15.9-23.4% and 15.0-17.0% at the nucleotide level and 2.6-7.9%, 1.3-6.3% and 1.2-4.0% at the amino acid level, respectively. Alignment and comparison of hantavirus sequences from M. glareolus trapped in Tyumen Oblast showed very high sequence similarity to the Omsk lineage of PUUV. Phylogenetic analysis, using neighbor-joining, maximal likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that HOKV strains shared a common ancestry with PUUV and exhibited geographic-specific clustering. This report provides the first molecular evidence that both M. rutilus and M. rufocanus harbor HOKV, which might represent a genetic variant of PUUV. PMID:26003760

  18. Hokkaido Genotype of Puumala Virus in the Grey Red-backed Vole (Myodes rufocanus) and Northern Red-backed Vole (Myodes rutilus) in Siberia

    PubMed Central

    Yashina, Liudmila N.; Abramov, Sergey A.; Dupal, Tamara A.; Danchinova, Galina A.; Malyshev, Boris S.; Hay, John; Gu, Se Hun; Yanagihara, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Three species of Myodes voles known to harbor hantaviruses include the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), which serves as the reservoir host of Puumala virus (PUUV), the prototype arvicolid rodent-borne hantavirus causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Europe, and the grey red-backed vole (M. rufocanus) and royal vole (M. regulus) which carry two PUUV-like hantaviruses, designated Hokkaido virus (HOKV) and Muju virus (MUJV), respectively. To ascertain the hantavirus harbored by the northern red-backed vole (M. rutilus), we initially screened sera from 233 M. rutilus, as well as from 90 M. rufocanus and 110 M. glareolus, captured in Western and Eastern Siberia during June 2007 to October 2009, for anti-hantaviral antibodies. Thereafter, lung tissues from 44 seropositive voles were analyzed for hantavirus RNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Partial L-, M- and S-segment sequences, detected in M. rutilus and M. rufocanus, were closely related to HOKV, differing from previously published L-, M- and S-segment sequences of HOKV by 17.8–20.2%, 15.9–23.4% and 15.0–17.0% at the nucleotide level and 2.6–7.9%, 1.3–6.3% and 1.2–4.0% at the amino acid level, respectively. Alignment and comparison of hantavirus sequences from M. glareolus trapped in Tiumen Oblast showed very high sequence similarity to the Omsk lineage of PUUV. Phylogenetic analysis, using neighbor-joining, maximal likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that HOKV strains shared a common ancestry with PUUV and exhibited geographic-specific clustering. This report provides the first molecular evidence that both M. rutilus and M. rufocanus harbor HOKV, which might represent a genetic variant of PUUV. PMID:26003760

  19. HISTOPATHOLOGY AND RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH NEOTROMBICULA MICROTI INFESTATION IN THE ENDANGERED AMARGOSA VOLE (MICROTUS CALIFORNICUS SCIRPENSIS).

    PubMed

    Ott-Conn, Caitlin N; Woods, Leslie W; Clifford, Deana L; Branston, Tammy; Foley, Janet

    2015-07-01

    The Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis) is a profoundly endangered rodent found only in the Central Mojave Desert, Inyo County, California, US. In 2010, severe cases of trombiculiasis, caused by larval Neotrombicula microti mites, were discovered among voles and sympatric small mammals. We evaluated Amargosa voles and sympatric rodents for infestation with N. microti December 2011-November 2012 and evaluated histopathology of ear tissue from 13 actively N. microti-infested Amargosa voles and 10 Amargosa voles with no gross evidence of current or past infestation. Rodents with current infestation had mites visible on tissue, typically ear pinnae, whereas mites were not seen on rodents with presumptive past infestation, but some of these animals had gross tissue scarring and loss consistent with healing from infestation. Ears from infested voles had severe granulocytic and necrotizing dermatitis, most associated with stylostome fragments, whereas few lesions were present in grossly uninfested voles. There was no association between body condition and infestation or severity of lesions. Significantly more voles were infested (37%) with N. microti than sympatric rodents (3%), suggesting that sympatric rodents do not serve as an important source of N. microti exposure to voles. Although this chigger infestation was common and induced severe localized pathology, we did not detect a fitness cost to infestation and recommend further evaluation of the disease to discern its significance in this conservation context. PMID:25919470

  20. Emmonsia crescens infection in a British water vole (Arvicola terrestris).

    PubMed

    Chantrey, Julian C; Borman, Andrew M; Johnson, Elizabeth M; Kipar, Anja

    2006-06-01

    Emmonsia crescens, a dimorphic fungus of the order Onygenales, is primarily a pathogen of lower animals and rarely humans. Inhaled conidia of E. crescens fail to germinate in the lungs, and instead simply enlarge in lung tissue to become giant adiaspores. We present here the case of fatal Emmonsia crescens infection in a wild-caught British water vole (Arvicola terrestris). Histopathological examination of the animal, which died in captivity, revealed a multifocally extensive granulomatous reaction containing oval adiaspores scattered irregularly throughout the lungs. Mycological examination of fungus cultured from lung tissue and PCR amplification and sequencing of rDNA gene fragments of the cultured organism confirmed the diagnosis of massive infection by E. crescens. PMID:16772233

  1. Mercury Methylation Rates in Prairie Wetland Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoggarth, C.; Hall, B.

    2011-12-01

    The majority of methylmercury (MeHg) in aquatic ecosystems is likely produced through methylation of Hg(II) by sulfate-reducing and iron-reducing bacteria. Wetland sediments may be significant sites of MeHg production, due to the combination of anoxic conditions and availability of organic matter to support microbial activity. Methylmercury produced by methylation of inorganic mercury within wetland sediments may be transferred to the water column, allowing for bioaccumulation of neurotoxic MeHg in the aquatic food web. Little information is available on sediment MeHg and total mercury concentrations, mercury methylation rates, and MeHg flux to the water column in prairie wetlands. Sediment cores from the St. Denis National Wildlife Area (SDNWA), ~40 km east of Saskatoon in central Saskatchewan, Canada, will be collected to measure sediment mercury methylation rates, total mercury, and MeHg concentrations in prairie wetland sediments. The SDNWA has been a site of prairie wetland research since 1968 and is located near the northern boundary of the Prairie Pothole Region which supports 50-80% of North American waterfowl. Sediment MeHg production will be measured in 2011 through the injection of 201Hg stable isotope to sediment cores from 12 prairie wetlands located within and nearby the SDNWA. Amended sediment cores will be incubated in situ for four hours to allow methylation of a fraction of the inorganic mercury stable isotope to Me201Hg. Analysis of the incubated sediment cores will allow for measurement of MeHg production rates, MeHg, and total mercury concentrations. Additional sediment cores will be taken to determine sediment water content, organic content, and porosity. Water samples from sediment pore water and the wetland water column will be analyzed for MeHg, total mercury, DOC, sulphate, SUVA, and water chemistry. Methylmercury flux from sediment pore water to the overlying water column will be calculated. Sediment MeHg production rates in the 12

  2. Effect of GonaCon™ vaccine on black-tailed prairie dogs: immune response and health effects.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Christi A; Miller, Lowell A

    2010-12-16

    Management of prairie dogs in the past has included poisoning, fumigants, barriers, and relocation. Because of the diverse attitudes related to prairie dog management, nonlethal methods that allow the existence of prairie dogs but help minimize damage related to population growth need to be developed. GonaCon™ is an immunocontraceptive vaccine that elicits antibodies to native GnRH; this prevents the secretion of reproductive hormones necessary for sperm and oocyte production. Prairie dogs were vaccinated with 0.1, 0.2, or 0.4 mL of the GonaCon™ emulsion intramuscularly in the upper thigh containing 100, 200, or 400 μg GnRH conjugate, respectively. Control animals were vaccinated with 0.4 mL saline emulsion in the upper thigh. Blood samples (≤1 mL) were taken from the femoral vein once pretreatment and at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 15 months post-vaccination. Age (adult or juvenile) did not affect immune response to GonaCon™. Antibody titers were higher in the 200 and 400 μL GonaCon™ groups than in the 100 μL group, and there was no difference between the 200 and 400 μL GonaCon™ groups. No adverse effects of GonaCon™ were noted on weight or blood chemistry parameters during the study. GonaCon™ will likely contracept prairie dogs for ≥1 year in the field using either 200 or 400 μg conjugate. GonaCon™ could be incorporated into management plans to help maintain prairie dog populations while reducing habitat degradation due to overpopulation. PMID:21055491

  3. Photovoltaic systems for Canadian prairie regions

    SciTech Connect

    Nigrin, J.

    1983-10-01

    The communications industry has a need for economic low power generators for their remote sites, with minimized power consumption. Photovoltaic generators (PV) promising hardware simplicity, low cost and low maintenance have the potential to fill this need. The operational record of PV generators is rather poor in harsh environment of the Canadian prairies. The authors' analysis of long term radiation data, field and laboratory tests show that often ignored cyclic winter radiation extremes and poor selection, operation and maintenance of batteries are the most frequent causes of PV system failures. They derive a reliable PV sizing curve for Edmonton (53/sup 0/N, 114/sup 0/W) and study various PV designs. At a cost of $20,000 per 100W a hybrid PV-TEG generator is shown to promise reliable operation which is not affected by extreme weather fluctuations of the Canadian prairies.

  4. NRC issues license for Prairie Island ISFSI

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-12-01

    The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a license to Northern States Power Company for an independent spent-fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at the Prairie Island nuclear station. The 20-year license was granted based on [open quotes]an exhaustive three-year review, which concluded that the proposed storage facility is safe to both plant employees and the general public,[close quotes] said Doug Antony, NSP vice president of nuclear operations.

  5. Topographic Analysis for the Prairie Pothole Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martz, L.; Shaw, D.; Pietroniro, A.

    2008-12-01

    The unique topography of the pothole region of the North American prairies creates challenges for properly determining basin contributing area. Retreating Pleistocene continental glaciers deposited a glacial till that produced a hummocky terrain with numerous depressions or potholes within the landscape that impound runoff. These potholes impound a great deal of runoff and display intermittent 'fill and spill' behaviour which can produce large step-functional shifts in the land surface area contributing to stream flow. Both the storage capacity and the topological relationships between potholes determines the nature of the shifts in basin contributing area and runoff. Most currently available automated methods such as TOPAZ or ArcGIS treat depressions as artefacts that are removed by depression-filling and subsequent routing of flow across the resulting flat areas. This effectively defines the threshold storage value, that when satisfied, allows 100% of the basin to contribute runoff to the basin mouth. However, most runoff events in the prairie pothole region are sub-threshold events that allow only a portion of the watershed to contribute surface runoff to the outlet. We propose an automated method for determining contributing area that incorporates the dynamic fill-and- spill behaviour of prairie potholes. We apply the algorithm in prairie pothole basins both to demonstrate their efficacy and to test the potential for using conceptual curves to describe a hypothesized non-linear relationship between decreasing potential storage in the landscape and contributing area. Results indicate that the proposed conceptual curves represent the relationship between potential storage and contributing area in the test basins very well.

  6. Holarctic phylogeography of the root vole (Microtus oeconomus): implications for late Quaternary biogeography of high latitudes.

    PubMed

    Brunhoff, C; Galbreath, K E; Fedorov, V B; Cook, J A; Jaarola, M

    2003-04-01

    A species-wide phylogeographical study of the root vole (Microtus oeconomus) was performed using the whole 1140 base pair mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b gene. We examined 83 specimens from 52 localities resulting in 65 unique haplotypes. Our results demonstrate that the root vole is divided into four main mtDNA phylogenetic lineages that seem to have largely allopatric distributions. Net divergence estimates (2.0-3.5%) between phylogroups, as well as relatively high nucleotide diversity estimates within phylogroups, indicate that the distinct phylogeographical structure was initiated by historical events that predated the latest glaciation. European root voles are divided into a Northern and a Central mtDNA phylogroup. The mtDNA data in concert with fossil records imply that root voles remained north of the classical refugial areas in southern Europe during the last glacial period. The currently fragmented populations in central Europe belong to a single mtDNA phylogroup. The Central Asian and the North European lineages are separated by the Ural Mountains, a phylogeographical split also found in collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx) and the common vole (M. arvalis). The Beringian lineage occurs from eastern Russia through Alaska to northwestern Canada. This distribution is congruent with the traditional boundaries of the Beringian refugium and with phylogeographical work on other organisms. In conclusion, similarities between the phylogeographical patterns in the root vole and other rodents, such as Arctic and subarctic lemmings, as well as more temperate vole species, indicate that late Quaternary geological and climatic events played a strong role in structuring northern biotic communities. PMID:12753215

  7. Suggesting the use of integrated methods for vole population management in alfalfa fields.

    PubMed

    Haim, Abraham; Shanas, Uri; Brandes, Ora; Gilboa, Abraham

    2007-09-01

    Human-made agro-ecosystems lack negative feedback controls, which may result in rodent population explosions, causing considerable economic loss and thus increasing human-wildlife conflicts. The traditional solution is the extensive use of rodenticides, which have a negative impact on the environment. In Beit-Sheaan Valley, Israel, which is located on a major route for migrating birds, poisoning of voles may result in the death of birds that prey on the dead voles (e.g. storks and herons). In the present essay we discuss some integrated methods, based on the implementation of ecological principles in agro-ecosystems, that could be used to decrease the use of rodenticides. The first method is light interference during winter (long scotophase), which can result in the death of the social vole Microtus socialis kept in enclosures under natural conditions. Under laboratory conditions such interference causes a decrease in thermoregulatory ability in the cold. As light interference is a source of pollution, only active vole burrows should be illuminated. The second method involves using the mobile irrigation pipelines to flood the vole burrows and force them to escape into the open, where diurnal birds such as storks and herons will prey on them. The third method involves the use of nesting boxes for barn owls and stands for diurnal raptors, both of which prey on voles. The great advantage of using an integrated approach is that voles cannot become adapted to any one of the methods. Such integrated methods, together with appropriate treatment of alfalfa fields by farmers, can provide an efficient and sustainable pest control approach. PMID:21396034

  8. Re-feeding evokes reproductive overcompensation of food-restricted Brandt's voles.

    PubMed

    Xie, Xuehui; Wen, Yilei; Niu, Hongxing; Shi, Dazhao; Zhang, Zhibin

    2012-02-01

    In natural conditions, animals have to cope with fluctuations of food resources. Animals having experienced prolonged decrease in feeding opportunities may increase their reproductive success when meeting abundant food. Though food restriction is well known to reduce reproductive success of animals, it is not clear whether re-feeding can restore or even overcompensate the reproductive success. In this study, we investigated the differences in reproductive parameters between food-restricted and refed (FR-RF) group and control group of Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii). For 4 weeks, FR-RF voles were provided with 70% of their normal daily food intake and then they were fed ad libitum for the next 4 weeks. Voles of control group were fed ad libitum for 8 weeks. Females (FR-RF or control) were mated to non-littermate males of the same group (FR-RF or control), and we found that the mean litter size and survival rate of F1 pups of FR-RF group were significantly higher than those of control group. We also provided a field example showing that the litter size of Brandt's voles tended to be higher if they experienced two consecutive dry and wet months than that of voles didn't have this experience. Our results suggest that re-feeding may have evoked an overcompensatory mechanism of food-restricted voles in reproductive success. This may be an adaptive strategy for Brandt's voles (with oscillating populations) to cope with the fluctuating food resources in natural conditions by adjusting their reproductive success. PMID:22019786

  9. Winter ecology and habitat use of lesser prairie-chickens in west Texas, 2008-11

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boal, Clint W.; Pirius, Nicholas E.

    2012-01-01

    The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has experienced declines in population and occupied range by more than 90 percent since the late 1800s. The lesser prairie-chicken has been listed as a candidate species for protection under the Endangered Species Act and is undergoing review for actual listing. Populations and distribution of lesser prairie-chickens in Texas are thought to be at or near all time lows. These factors have led to substantially increased concern for conservation of the species. It is apparent that sound management and conservation strategies for lesser prairie-chickens are necessary to ensure the long-term persistence of the species. To develop those strategies, basic ecological information is required. Currently, there is a paucity of data on the wintering ecology of the species. We examined home range, habitat use, and survival of lesser prairie-chickens during the winters of 2008–9, 2009–10, and 2010–11 in sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) landscapes in west Texas. We captured and radio-tagged 53 adult lesser prairie-chickens. We obtained sufficient locations to estimate winter home-range size for 23 individuals. Home-range size did not differ between years or by sex. Although female prairie-chickens had slightly larger home ranges (503.5 ± 34.9 ha) compared to males (489.1 ± 34.9 ha), the differences were not significant (t2 = 0.05, P = 0.96). During the nonbreeding season, we found that 97.2 percent of locations of male and female prairie-chickens alike were within 3.2 kilometers (km) of the lek of capture. Most locations (96.8%) were within 1.7 km of a known lek and almost all locations (99.9%) were within 3.2 km of an available water source. Habitat cover types were not used proportional to occurrence within the home ranges, grassland dominated areas with sand shinnery oak were used more than available, and sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) areas dominated with grassland as well as sand sagebrush areas

  10. "Duck stamp" dollars reserve native prairie tracts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.

    1981-01-01

    Ducks and wetlands are inseparable in the prairies. Hunters know this, bird watchers know this, wildlife managers know this, and most importantly people who manage the croplands and rangelands know this. The 1,746 tracts of native prairie within these upland-wetland complexes known as Waterfowl Production Areas are not the only lands purchased with "duck stamp" dollars. Considerable acreages have also been purchased in central and southern parts of the United States to provide staging, resting, and wintering areas for waterfowl. Since 1934, when "duck stamps" were first sold, nearly 2.5 million acres of waterfowl habitats have been acquired or taken under easement within the United States with revenue from these sales. By purchasing "duck stamps", more than 2.2 million people provide over $16.5 million in annual revenue. It is certainly gratifying to know that some of the remaining native prairie remnants in the Northern Great Plains are being reserved for the future with "duck stamp" dollars.

  11. Mountain Plover responses to deltamethrin treatments on prairie dog colonies in Montana.

    PubMed

    Dinsmore, Stephen J

    2013-03-01

    Pyrethroid insecticides containing deltamethrin provide broad spectrum insect control that can adversely affect food supplies of insectivorous birds. I hypothesized that this could result in lowered nest survival for a ground-nesting insectivorous bird, the Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus), which preferentially nests on prairie dog colonies. I studied Mountain Plover nest survival in 2003-2010 at a small cluster of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in north-central Montana. Three colonies were treated with deltamethrin to control fleas and limit the spread of plague; four untreated colonies served as controls. I monitored 412 plover nests during the 8 year study (264 on treatment colonies and 148 on control colonies) and found a strong negative effect of deltamethrin treatments on nest survival (β(Dust) = -1.24, 95 % CI was -2.00 to -0.48) in the years following the actual treatment (2004-2006). I conclude that the observed treatment effect most likely occurred because of changes in insect (food) availability for the plover, and this in turn lowered nest survival because adults spent more time off nests or switched to less desirable insect prey. These results lend support to the need to consider the indirect effects of insecticide treatments on non-target species and suggest a potential conflict in current plague management strategies for prairie dogs. PMID:23269563

  12. Lone star tick abundance, fire, and bison grazing in tall-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F., Jr.

    1999-01-01

    Lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum L.) were collected by drag samples of 1 km transects on 12 watersheds at Konza Prairie Research Natural Area near Manhattan, Kans., during summer 1995-1996. Watersheds were treated to 2 experimental treatments: 3 burn intervals (1-year, 4-year, and 20-year) and 2 grazing treatments (grazed by bison (Bos bison L.) or ungrazed). The objectives were to determine whether fire interval, time since most recent burn, and the presence of large ungulate grazers would cause changes in lone star tick abundance in tallgrass prairie in central Kansas. Watersheds burned at 1-year intervals had fewer larvae and adults than watersheds burned at 4-year or 20-year intervals. Watersheds burned during the year of sampling had fewer ticks than watersheds burned one or more years in the past. For watersheds burned 1 or more years in the past there was no effect from time since burn. The presence of bison did not affect tick abundance. Spring burning is an effective method to reduce tick populations in tallgrass prairie during the year of the burn.

  13. Age at vaccination may influence response to sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) in Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Tripp, Daniel W.; Lorenzsonn, Faye; Falendysz, Elizabeth A.; Smith, Susan; Williamson, Judy L.; Abbott, Rachel C.

    2015-01-01

    Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) have been considered at greater risk from Yersinia pestis (plague) infection in the montane portion of their range compared to populations at lower elevations, possibly due to factors related to flea transmission of the bacteria or greater host susceptibility. To test the latter hypothesis and determine whether vaccination against plague with an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) improved survival, we captured prairie dogs from a C. g. gunnisoni or “montane” population and a C. g. zuniensis or “prairie” population for vaccine efficacy and challenge studies. No differences (P = 0.63) were found in plague susceptibility in non-vaccinated animals between these two populations; however, vaccinates from the prairie population survived plague challenge at significantly higher rates (P < 0.01) than those from the montane population. Upon further analysis, we determined that response to immunization was most likely associated with differences in age, as the prairie group was much younger on average than the montane group. Vaccinates that were juveniles or young adults survived plague challenge at a much higher rate than adults (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively), but no difference (P = 0.83) was detected in survival rates between control animals of different ages. These results suggest that host susceptibility is probably not related to the assumed greater risk from plague in the C. g. gunnisoni or “montane” populations of Gunnison’s prairie dogs, and that SPV could be a useful plague management tool for this species, particularly if targeted at younger cohorts.

  14. Photochemical Attenuation of Pesticides in Prairie Potholes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, T.; Arnold, W. A.

    2013-12-01

    Prairie potholes are small, shallow, glacially-derived wetlands scattered across a vast region extending from Midwestern United States into south central Canada known as the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). They constitute one of the largest inland wetland systems on Earth and play a prominent role in sustaining the regional biodiversity and productivity. Throughout the PPR, historic and contemporary conversion of native prairie for agriculture resulted in a pronounced loss of potholes. Remaining potholes have become interspersed within a matrix of agricultural landscape and trap nonpoint source pollutants such as pesticides from adjacent farmland, which has raised concerns regarding negative impacts on the water quality of downstream water bodies. The fate and persistence of pesticides in potholes, however, remains largely unexplored. Prairie potholes are typically characterized by shallow depth (i.e., large photic zone) and high levels of dissolved organic matter (DOM), making them ideal for photochemical reactions. In this context, we collected pothole water samples from North Dakota to investigate the rates and mechanisms of sunlight-induced attenuation of pesticides. The photodegradation kinetics and pathways of sixteen pesticides in the pothole water were monitored under both simulated and natural sunlight. For most pesticides, photolysis accelerated in the pothole water relative to the buffer control, which pointed to the importance of photosensitized processes (i.e., indirect photolysis). Upon solar irradiation, a mixture of photochemically produced reactive intermediates (PPRIs), such as carbonate radical, hydroxyl radical, singlet oxygen, and triplet-excited state DOM, formed in the pothole water. The major pathways through which pesticides degraded were inferred from the relative contribution attributable to specific PPRIs via quencher experiments. Different classes of pesticides exhibited contrasting photochemical behavior, but singlet oxygen and triplet

  15. Habitat use by prairie raccoons during the waterfowl breeding season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritzell, E.K.

    1978-01-01

    Mobility and habitat use of raccoons (Procyon lotor) in an intensively farmed area of the prairie pothole region were studied during the waterfowl breeding seasons (April-July) of 1973-75. Over 5700 locations of 30 raccoons were analyzed. Movement patterns varied with sex, age, and reproductive status. Adult males moved regularly throughout slightly overlapping ranges that averaged 2560 ha. Yearling males dispersed during May-June but their movements before and after dispersal were similar. Parous or pregnant females (mostly adults) had ranges averaging 806 ha but their movements were confined to smaller areas near the litter site after parturition. Nulliparous yearling females did not disperse and their ranges averaged 656 ha. Building sites, wooded areas, and wetlands were the only habitats preferentially used both at night and during the day. Eighty-one percent of all nocturnal locations and 94 percent of all diurnal locations were in these 3 habitats which comprised only 10 percent of the study area. Use of building sites decreased concomitantly with increased use of wetlands. Upland habitats were seldom used.

  16. Together they stand: A life-threatening event reduces individual behavioral variability in groups of voles.

    PubMed

    Izhar, Rony; Eilam, David

    2010-03-17

    In the present study, voles were exposed to owl attack as a group, with their cage mates and in their familiar cages. The anxiety level of each vole was assessed using two parameters: time spent in the open arm of an elevated plus maze; and time spent away from the walls of an open field. Each parameter was measured 24h before and after the group exposure to the owls. We found that the large individual differences in the voles' behavior measured before exposure to the owls were significantly reduced following exposure. In other words, after exposure all individual voles began to behave the same both in the elevated plus maze and in the open field. This response, as measured 24h after the exposure to the owls, differs from past studies, where individual voles diverge in their immediate response in order to confuse the attacking owl. We suggest that the present finding on reduction in individual differences is a group effect reminiscent of the social response seen in humans following a disaster, when a uniform behavioral code dominates and trims down behavioral variability. PMID:19962405

  17. Reproductive characteristics of the Yangtze vole (Microtus fortis calamorum) under laboratory feeding conditions.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Meiwen; Han, Qunhua; Shen, Guo; Wang, Yong; Li, Bo; Guo, Cong; Zhou, Xunjun

    2016-01-01

    The reproductive characteristics of a laboratory population of the vole Microtus fortis calamorum were examined. Voles were allowed to breed under laboratory feeding conditions. Over a period of 3 months, 61.82% of the 110 vole pairs examined produced 3 or 4 litters. There were 1-9 voles in each litter and the mean litter size was 4.67±0.28 (mean±SE). Most litters included 3-7 young voles, accounting for 83.62% of all litters. The mean farrowing interval was 25.9 days (range from 19 to 95 days), and the most farrowing intervals were 20-25 days, accounting for 79.9% of the total. When based on litter size, the reproductive index was 6.23, but was 3.42 when based on pup survival. The survival rate of offspring to weaning was 55.03%. The high rate of infanticide that occurred after removal of males from cages indicates that, in the laboratory, both parents need to be present prior to weaning. PMID:26617078

  18. Long-range movements and breeding dispersal of Prairie Falcons from southwest Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steenhof, K.; Fuller, M.R.; Kochert, M.N.; Bates, K.K.

    2005-01-01

    From 1999-2003, we tracked movements of adult female Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) using satellite telemetry to characterize long-range movement patterns and breeding dispersal. We radio marked 40 falcons from April-May on their nesting grounds in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwest Idaho. All falcons with functioning transmitters left the Snake River Canyon from late June through mid-July. Most headed northeast across the Continental Divide to summering areas in Montana, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Dakotas. Prairie Falcons stayed at their northern summer areas for 1-4 months before heading to the southern Great Plains or to southwest Idaho. The Great Plains was a key migration pathway. Important wintering areas included the Texas Panhandle and southwest Idaho. Most falcons completed their seasonal migrations within 2 weeks. Use of widely separated nesting, summering, and wintering areas appears to be a strategy to exploit seasonally abundant prey resources. Most falcons had three or fewer use areas during the nonbreeding season, and falcons showed a high degree of fidelity to their use areas during each season. At least 21 falcons returned to nest within 2.5 km of where they nested in the previous year, but one falcon moved to a new nesting area 124 km south of her previous breeding area. Prairie Falcon movements suggest large-scale connectivity of grassland and shrubsteppe landscapes throughout western North America. Conservation of Prairie Falcons must be an international effort that considers habitats used during both nesting and non-nesting seasons. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2005.

  19. Long-range movements and breeding dispersal of Prairie Falcons from southwest Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steenhof, Karen; Fuller, Mark R.; Kochert, Michael N.; Bates, Kirk K.

    2005-01-01

    From 1999a??2003, we tracked movements of adult female Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) using satellite telemetry to characterize long-range movement patterns and breeding dispersal. We radio marked 40 falcons from Aprila??May on their nesting grounds in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwest Idaho. All falcons with functioning transmitters left the Snake River Canyon from late June through mid-July. Most headed northeast across the Continental Divide to summering areas in Montana, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Dakotas. Prairie Falcons stayed at their northern summer areas for 1a??4 months before heading to the southern Great Plains or to southwest Idaho. The Great Plains was a key migration pathway. Important wintering areas included the Texas Panhandle and southwest Idaho. Most falcons completed their seasonal migrations within 2 weeks. Use of widely separated nesting, summering, and wintering areas appears to be a strategy to exploit seasonally abundant prey resources. Most falcons had three or fewer use areas during the nonbreeding season, and falcons showed a high degree of fidelity to their use areas during each season. At least 21 falcons returned to nest within 2.5 km of where they nested in the previous year, but one falcon moved to a new nesting area 124 km south of her previous breeding area. Prairie Falcon movements suggest large-scale connectivity of grassland and shrubsteppe landscapes throughout western North America. Conservation of Prairie Falcons must be an international effort that considers habitats used during both nesting and non-nesting seasons.

  20. Ecosystem characteristics of remnant, headwater tallgrass prairie streams.

    PubMed

    Larson, Danelle M; Dodds, Walter K; Jackson, Karen E; Whiles, Matt R; Winders, Kyle R

    2013-01-01

    North America has lost >95% of its native tallgrass prairie due to land conversion, making prairie streams one of the most endangered ecosystems. Research on the basic ecosystem characteristics of the remaining natural prairie streams will inform conservation and management. We examined the structure and function of headwater streams draining tallgrass prairie tracts at Osage Prairie in Missouri and the Konza Prairie Biological Station in Kansas and compared those values with literature values for streams draining agricultural watersheds in the region. We quantified physicochemical and biological characteristics for 2 yr. Streams at Osage and Konza were characterized by low nutrients and low suspended sediments (substantially lower than impacted sites in the region), slight heterotrophic status, and high temporal variability. Suspended sediments and nutrient concentrations were generally low in all prairie streams, but storms increased concentrations of both by 3- to 12-fold. Spring prescribed burns were followed by a slight increase in chlorophyll and decreased nutrients, potentially due to greater light availability. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities at Osage showed seasonal patterns that were probably linked to variable hydrology. We found nine amphibian species using the Osage streams as habitat or breeding sites, but little usage at Konza was probably due to dry conditions and low discharge. Our study indicates that two remnant tallgrass prairie streams along a longitudinal gradient are fairly similar in terms of physicochemical features and have good water quality relative to agricultural watersheds but can differ considerably in macroinvertebrate and amphibian abundance. PMID:23673759

  1. Chicago's Columbus Park: The Prairie Idealized. Teaching with Historic Places.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bachrach, Julia Sniderman; Nathan, Jo Ann

    Twenty-four year old Jens Jensen came to the United States, settled in Chicago (Illinois), and promptly fell in love with the Midwest's prairie landscape. Although some thought that prairie was boring, monotonous, and ordinary, Jensen saw great beauty in the tree-filled groves, long winding rivers, natural rock formations and waterfalls, and the…

  2. Isotopic signatures of vegetation change on northern mixed grass prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    National analyses have shown invasion of northern mixed-grass prairie by nonnative grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Invasion of native prairie by nonnative grasses may compromise ecosystem function and limit potential ecosystem services. Recent data from a long-term (100 year) ...

  3. Development of soil microbial communities during tallgrass prairie restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil microbial communities were examined in a chronosequence of four different land-use treatments at the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas. The time series comprised a conventionally tilled cropland (CTC) developed on former prairie soils, two restored grasslands that were initiated on forme...

  4. Plant Guide: Western Prairie Clover [Dalea Ornata (Douglas) Eaton & Wright

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas) Eaton & Wright] is a perennial North American legume that is non-toxic to livestock and wildlife. It can be found in Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and California. Western prairie is tap-rooted and reaches a height of 30 to 61 cm. A cluster of st...

  5. Effects of prairie dogs on livestock gains in shortgrass steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There are few empirical data addressing the important and controversial question of the effects of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) on livestock weight gains in western rangelands. This is particularly relevant in the shortgrass steppe where the area occupied by prairie dogs has increased substantially i...

  6. Cardiochilinae and Ichneutinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) of Konza Prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The results of a survey of Cardiochilinae and Ichneutinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) at Konza Prairie near Manhattan, Kansas are reported. Eleven sites representing prairie and woodland/wetland areas, including gallery forest, were sampled in 2001 and 2005 using Malaise traps and a canopy trap. Selec...

  7. The Prairie Science Class: Pioneering a Trail in Interdisciplinary Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ernst, Julie; Ellis, Dave

    2005-01-01

    What happens when an old farmstead, native tall-grass prairie, and middle school students are mixed together? Would one guess learning? That is exactly what is happening in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where students from a rural middle school have joined with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to restore native tallgrass prairie. In the…

  8. 77 FR 61594 - Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-10

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing Take notice that on October 1, 2012, Prairie Power, Inc. filed its Revised and Superseding Proposed Revenue Requirement for reactive...

  9. 77 FR 47061 - Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-07

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing Take notice that on July 30, 2012, Prairie Power, Inc. filed a Proposed Revenue Requirement for reactive supply service under...

  10. A view looking southeast over the Camas Prairie with Bridges ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    A view looking southeast over the Camas Prairie with Bridges 46-1 and 46-2 at Milepost 47 - Camas Prairie Railroad, Second Subdivision, From Spalding in Nez Perce County, through Lewis County, to Grangeville in Idaho County, Spalding, Nez Perce County, ID

  11. Effects of Prairie Restoration on Soil Quality Indicators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Characterization of soil ecosystem functioning based on soil quality assessments of native prairie may provide a reference for evaluating improvement in soil quality of cultivated agroecosystems converted to perennial vegetation during prairie restoration. Our objective was to determine the effect o...

  12. Use of ecological sites in managing wildlife and livestock: An example with prairie dogs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prairie dogs are a native rodent found in the mixed grass prairie of the northern Great Plains. Prairie dogs can have an adverse impact on the amount of forages available for grazing livestock. In the Native American community, prairie dogs are often valued as a cultural resource and as an importan...

  13. 75 FR 7470 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-19

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application February 3, 2010. Take notice that on January 26, 2010, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC (Pine Prairie), 333 Clay Street... Pine Prairie to: (1) Install six 5,750 hp electric motor drive compressor units instead of the four...

  14. 77 FR 33239 - Prairie Stewardship Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, San Juan Island National Historical Park

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-05

    ... National Park Service Prairie Stewardship Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, San Juan Island National... Impact Statement for Prairie Stewardship Plan, San Juan Island National Historical Park, Washington... Prairie Stewardship Plan, as called for in the 2008 General Management Plan. The Prairie Stewardship...

  15. 75 FR 65310 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-22

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application October 15, 2010. Take notice that on October 4, 2010, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC (Pine Prairie), 333 Clay Street... convenience and necessity to construct and operate its Phase III Expansion Project. Pine Prairie's Phase...

  16. Reflections on the prairie as a creative teaching-learning place.

    PubMed

    Bunkers, Sandra Schmidt

    2006-01-01

    In this column, the author reflects on characteristics of the prairie land of South Dakota and how it contributes to a creative teaching-learning place. Attributes of the prairie that are linked with creative teaching-learning include prairie as a space of aloneness and solitude, prairie as a boundless seeing what may be, prairie as contradiction and paradox, and prairie as possibility. These attributes of the prairie are explored through the author's personal experience, theoretical literature on creativity and teaching-learning, and literature from Parse's theory of human becoming. PMID:16407596

  17. Prairie Monitoring Protocol Development: North Coast and Cascades Network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoy, Allen; Dalby, Craig

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the project was to conduct research that will guide development of a standard approach to monitoring several components of prairies within the North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) parks. Prairies are an important element of the natural environment at many parks, including San Juan Island National Historical Park (NHP) and Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve (NHR). Forests have been encroaching on these prairies for many years, and so monitoring of the prairies is an important resource issue. This project specifically focused on San Juan Island NHP. Prairies at Ebey's Landing NHR will be monitored in the future, but that park was not mapped as part of this prototype project. In the interest of efficiency, the Network decided to investigate two main issues before launching a full protocol development effort: (1) the imagery requirements for monitoring prairie components, and (2) the effectiveness of software to assist in extracting features from the imagery. Several components of prairie monitoring were initially identified as being easily tracked using aerial imagery. These components included prairie/forest edge, broad prairie composition (for example, shrubs, scattered trees), and internal exclusions (for example, shrubs, bare ground). In addition, we believed that it might be possible to distinguish different grasses in the prairies if the imagery were of high enough resolution. Although the areas in question at San Juan Island NHP are small enough that mapping on the ground with GPS (Global Positioning System) would be feasible, other applications could benefit from aerial image acquisition on a regular, recurring basis and thereby make the investment in aerial imagery worthwhile. The additional expense of orthorectifying the imagery also was determined to be cost-effective.

  18. The effect of cowpox virus infection on fecundity in bank voles and wood mice.

    PubMed Central

    Feore, S M; Bennett, M; Chantrey, J; Jones, T; Baxby, D; Begon, M

    1997-01-01

    Although epidemic infectious diseases are a recognized cause of changes in host population dynamics, there is little direct evidence for the effect of endemic infections on populations. Cowpox virus is an orthopoxvirus which is endemic in bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) and field voles (Microtus agrestis) in Great Britain. It does not cause obvious signs of disease nor does it affect survival, but in this study we demonstrate experimentally that it can reduce the fecundity of bank voles and wood mice by increasing the time to first litter by 20-30 days. The pathogenic mechanisms causing this effect are at present not known, but this finding suggests that natural subclinical infection could have a considerable effect on the dynamics of wild populations. PMID:9364786

  19. Genetic variability and structure of the water vole Arvicola amphibius across four metapopulations in northern Norway

    PubMed Central

    Melis, Claudia; Borg, Åsa Alexandra; Jensen, Henrik; Bjørkvoll, Eirin; Ringsby, Thor H; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2013-01-01

    Water vole Arvicola amphibius populations have recently experienced severe decline in several European countries as a consequence of both reduction in suitable habitat and the establishment of the alien predator American mink Neovison vison. We used DNA microsatellite markers to describe the genetic structure of 14 island populations of water vole off the coast of northern Norway. We looked at intra- and inter-population levels of genetic variation and examined the effect of distance among pairs of populations on genetic differentiation (isolation by distance). We found a high level of genetic differentiation (measured by FST) among populations overall as well as between all pairs of populations. The genetic differentiation between populations was positively correlated with geographic distance between them. A clustering analysis grouped individuals into 7 distinct clusters and showed the presence of 3 immigrants among them. Our results suggest a small geographic scale for evolutionary and population dynamic processes in our water vole populations. PMID:23610623

  20. Isla Vista virus: a genetically novel hantavirus of the California vole Microtus californicus.

    PubMed

    Song, W; Torrez-Martinez, N; Irwin, W; Harrison, F J; Davis, R; Ascher, M; Jay, M; Hjelle, B

    1995-12-01

    Prospect Hill virus (PH) was isolated from a meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) in 1982, and much of its genome has been sequenced. Hantaviruses of other New World microtine rodents have not been genetically characterized. We show that another Microtus species (the California vole M. californicus) from the United States is host to a genetically distinct PH-like hantavirus, Isla Vista virus (ILV). The nucleocapsid protein of ILV differs from that of PH by 11.1% and a portion of the G2 glycoprotein differs from that of PH by 19.6%. ILV antibodies were identified in five of 33 specimens of M. californicus collected in 1975 and 1994-1995. Enzymatic amplification studies showed that 1975 and 1994-1995 ILV genomes were highly similar. Secondary infection of Peromyscus californicus was identified in Santa Barbara County, California. A long-standing enzootic of a genetically distinct hantavirus lineage is present in California voles. PMID:8847529

  1. Intraspecific variation in the energetics of the Cabrera vole.

    PubMed

    Castellanos-Frías, Elena; García-Perea, Rosa; Gisbert, Julio; Bozinovic, Francisco; Virgós, Emilio

    2015-12-01

    Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is an intensively topic studied in ecophysiology for the purpose of understanding energy budgets of the species, variations of energy expenditure during their diary activities and physiological acclimatization to the environment. Establishing how the metabolism is assembled to the environment can provide valuable data to improve conservation strategies of endangered species. In this sense, metabolic differences associated to habitats have been widely reported in the interspecific level, however little is known about the intraspecific view of BMR under an environmental gradient. In this study, we researched the effect of the habitat on metabolic rate of an Iberian endemic species: Iberomys cabrerae. Animals were captured in different subpopulations of its altitudinal range and their MR was studied over a thermal gradient. MR was analyzed through a Linear Mixed Model (LMM) in which, in addition to thermal effects, the bioclimatic zone and sex also influenced the metabolism of the species. The beginning of thermoneutrality zone was set on 26.5°C and RMR was 2.3ml O2g(-1)h(-1), intermediate between both bioclimatic zones. Supramediterranean subpopulations started the Tlc earlier (24.9°C) and had higher RMR than the mesomediterranean ones (26.9°C). The thermal environment together with primary productivity conditions could explain this difference in the metabolic behaviour of the Cabrera voles. PMID:26319046

  2. Conflicting research on the demography, ecology, and social behavior of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoogland, John L.; Cully, Jack F., Jr.; Rayor, Linda S.; Fitzgerald, James P.

    2012-01-01

    Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) are rare, diurnal, colonial, burrowing, ground-dwelling squirrels. Studies of marked individuals living under natural conditions in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s showed that males are heavier than females throughout the year; that adult females living in the same territory are consistently close kin; and that females usually mate with the sexually mature male(s) living in the home territory. Research from 2007 through 2010 challenges all 3 of these findings. Here we discuss how different methods might have led to the discrepancies.

  3. Lead in tissue of cats fed pine voles from lead arsenate-treated orchards

    SciTech Connect

    Gilmartin, J.E.; Alo, D.K.; Richmond, M.E.; Bache, C.A.; Lisk, D.J.

    1985-02-01

    Lead arsenate has been used for many years for control of insects in apple orchards in the United States. In an earlier study, it was shown that such orchard soils may contain very high concentrations of lead and that orchards voles and mice inhibating such soils accumulate inordinately high levels of lead. It is of interest to learn the possible extent of deposition of lead in higher carnivores that may consume such orchard animals. In the work reported, cats were fed pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) captured in lead arsenate-treated orchards located in the vicinity of New Paltz, New York. Following sacrifice, the lead content of cat tissues was determined.

  4. Cholinesterase inhibition in meadow voles Microtus pennsylvanicus following field applications of Orthene

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jett, D.A.

    1986-01-01

    Brain acetylcholinesterase activity in field-caught meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) was depressed after a field-spray of Orthene (acephate: acetylphosphoramidothioic acid O,S-dimethyl ester) by as much as 32% in 1982 and 38% in 1983. Short-term recovery was demonstrated and occurred in a time-dependent fashion in 1982. Plasma cholinesterase levels were move variable but also were depressed. Residues were detected in vegetation samples and in the gastrointestinal tracts of exposed voles. Residues in vegetation were diluted or absent 7 to 8 d following the treatment.

  5. Prolactin counteracts effects of short day lengths on pelage growth in the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus.

    PubMed

    Smale, L; Lee, T M; Nelson, R J; Zucker, I

    1990-02-01

    To test whether growth of the winter coat in short day lengths is contingent on suppression of plasma prolactin (Prl) levels, female meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were kept in short day lengths for 12 weeks and were injected daily with saline or Prl; long-day animals were treated with either the dopamine agonist, bromocryptine (bromo), bromo plus Prl, or saline. Prl treatment prevented the growth of the winter coat normally observed after 12 weeks in short day lengths, but bromocryptine did not stimulate pelage growth in long-day voles. Pelage growth in short day lengths appears contingent upon decreased plasma prolactin levels. PMID:2179462

  6. Androgenic induction of brain sexual dimorphism depends on photoperiod in meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Kelly, K K

    1993-02-01

    Male meadow voles maintained in a long photoperiod (LP) from birth have heavier brains than do females, but in short photoperiods (SP) this sex dimorphism is absent. Testosterone propionate (TP) administration on the second day of postnatal life produced significant increases in brain weight of LP but not SP females at 35 days of age. Short daylengths reduce the responsiveness of the meadow vole nervous system to the masculinizing effects of perinatal testosterone and may, in part, mediate the seasonally reduced sex difference in brain weight. PMID:8446686

  7. Coastal Prairie Restoration Information System: Version 1 (Louisiana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allain, Larry

    2007-01-01

    The Coastal Prairie Restoration Information System (CPR) is a Microsoft Access database that allows users to query and view data about Louisiana coastal prairie species. Less than 0.1% of Louisiana's coastal prairie vegetation remains in a relatively undisturbed condition. Encompassing as much as 1 million hectares of land, coastal prairie is a hybrid of coastal wetlands and tall grass prairie. Over 550 plant species have been identified in Louisiana's coastal prairies to date. Efforts to conserve and restore this endangered ecosystem are limited by the ability of workers to identify and access knowledge about this diverse group of plants. In this database, a variety of data are provided for each of 650 coastal prairie species in Louisiana. The database was developed at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center by Larry Allain, with software development by Myra Silva. Additional funding was provided by the biology department of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL), the ULL Center for Environmental and Ecological Technology, and the National Science Foundation.

  8. Drought, Climate Change and the Canadian Prairies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, R. E.

    2010-03-01

    The occurrence of drought is a ubiquitous feature of the global water cycle. Such an extreme does not necessarily lead to an overall change in the magnitude of the global water cycle but it of course affects the regional cycling of water. Droughts are recurring aspects of weather and climate extremes as are floods and tornadoes, but they differ substantially since they have long durations and lack easily identified onsets and terminations. Drought is a relatively common feature of the North American and Canadian climate system and all regions of the continent are affected from time-to-time. However, it tends to be most common and severe over the central regions of the continent. The Canadian Prairies are therefore prone to drought. Droughts in the Canadian Prairies are distinctive in North America. The large scale atmospheric circulations are influenced by blocking from intense orography to the west and long distances from all warm ocean-derived atmospheric water sources; growing season precipitation is generated by a highly complex combination of frontal and convective systems; seasonality is severe and characterized by a relatively long snow-covered and short growing seasons; local surface runoff is primarily produced by snowmelt water; there is substantial water storage potential in the poorly drained, post-glacial topography; and aquifers are overlain by impermeable glacial till, but there are also important permeable aquifers. One example of Prairie drought is the recent one that began in 1999 with cessation of its atmospheric component in 2004/2005 and many of its hydrological components in 2005. This event produced the worst drought for at least a hundred years in parts of the Canadian Prairies. Even in the dust bowl of the 1930s, no single year over the central Prairies were drier than in 2001. The drought affected agriculture, recreation, tourism, health, hydro-electricity, and forestry in the Prairies. Gross Domestic Product fell some 5.8 billion and

  9. Seasonal acclimation of prairie deer mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, R. V.; Belknap, R. W.

    1993-12-01

    Prairie deer mice responded to long nights by reducing their metabolic rates, core temperatures, thermal conductances and incremental metabolic responses to cold stimulus, while increasing their capacities for nonshivering thermogenesis. Some winter animals spontaneously entered daily torpor in the mornings and thereby further reduced their metabolic rates and core temperatures. Provision of exogenous melatonin (by subdermal implants) mimiced short photoperiod effects on metabolic rates and core temperatures of wild-caught, laboratory maintained animals. Provision of supplemental dietary tryptophan to laboratory animals conditioned to natural light cycles mimiced metabolic effects of long nights in summer animals, and further reduced metabolic rates of winter mice, but did not affect their core temperature levels. Newly caught, laboratory maintained deer mice responded to natural seasonal clues of shortphotoperiod and increased dietary tryptophan by reducing their resting energy requirements through both lower metabolic and lower core temperature levels. Short photoperiod and seasonal change also promoted gonadal involution, and resulted in more socially tolerant huddling by mice with reduced core temperature. Reduced 24-hour LH excretion rates were also observed in winter animals which were exposed to seasonal light cycles at warm (25°C) room temperatures. We propose that seasonal acclimatization involves pineal effects on sex hormone-influenced social behaviors and on resting metabolism. These effects serve to conserve resting energy expenditure and promote hypothermic insulation by wild prairie deer mice.

  10. Drought, Climate Change and the Canadian Prairies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, R. E.

    2010-03-01

    The occurrence of drought is a ubiquitous feature of the global water cycle. Such an extreme does not necessarily lead to an overall change in the magnitude of the global water cycle but it of course affects the regional cycling of water. Droughts are recurring aspects of weather and climate extremes as are floods and tornadoes, but they differ substantially since they have long durations and lack easily identified onsets and terminations. Drought is a relatively common feature of the North American and Canadian climate system and all regions of the continent are affected from time-to-time. However, it tends to be most common and severe over the central regions of the continent. The Canadian Prairies are therefore prone to drought. Droughts in the Canadian Prairies are distinctive in North America. The large scale atmospheric circulations are influenced by blocking from intense orography to the west and long distances from all warm ocean-derived atmospheric water sources; growing season precipitation is generated by a highly complex combination of frontal and convective systems; seasonality is severe and characterized by a relatively long snow-covered and short growing seasons; local surface runoff is primarily produced by snowmelt water; there is substantial water storage potential in the poorly drained, post-glacial topography; and aquifers are overlain by impermeable glacial till, but there are also important permeable aquifers. One example of Prairie drought is the recent one that began in 1999 with cessation of its atmospheric component in 2004/2005 and many of its hydrological components in 2005. This event produced the worst drought for at least a hundred years in parts of the Canadian Prairies. Even in the dust bowl of the 1930s, no single year over the central Prairies were drier than in 2001. The drought affected agriculture, recreation, tourism, health, hydro-electricity, and forestry in the Prairies. Gross Domestic Product fell some 5.8 billion and

  11. Are there optimal densities for prairie birds?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skagen, S.K.; Adams, A.A.Y.

    2010-01-01

    The major forces of food and predation shape fitness-enhancing decisions of birds at all stages of their life cycles. During the breeding season, birds can minimize nest loss due to predation by selecting sites with a lower probability of predation. To understand the environmental and social aspects and consequences of breedingsite selection in prairie birds, we explored variation in nest-survival patterns of the Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) in the shortgrass prairie region of North America. Over four breeding seasons, we documented the survival of 405 nests, conducted 60 surveys to estimate bird densities, and measured several vegetative features to describe habitat structure in 24 randomly selected study plots. Nest survival varied with the buntings' density as described by a quadratic polynomial, increasing with density below 1.5 birds ha-1 and decreasing with density between 1.5 and 3 birds ha-1, suggesting that an optimal range of densities favors reproductive success of the Lark Bunting, which nests semi-colonially. Nest survival also increased with increasing vegetation structure of study plots and varied with age of the nest, increasing during early incubation and late in the nestling stage and declining slightly from mid-incubation to the middle of the nestling period. The existence of an optimal range of densities in this semi-colonial species can be elucidated by the "commodity-selection hypothesis" at low densities and density dependence at high densities. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.

  12. Sylvatic plague vaccine and management of prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2012-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin (UW), have developed a sylvatic plague vaccine that shows great promise in protecting prairie dogs against plague (Mencher and others, 2004; Rocke and others, 2010). Four species of prairie dogs reside in the United States and Canada, and all are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Along with habitat loss and poisoning, plague has contributed to a significant historical decline in prairie dog populations. By some estimates, prairie dogs now occupy only 1 to 2 percent of their former range (Proctor and others, 2006), with prairie dog colonies being now much smaller and fragmented than they were historically, making individual colonies more vulnerable to elimination by plague (Antolin and others, 2002). At least one species, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as "threatened." Controlling plague is a vital concern for ongoing management and conservation efforts for prairie dogs. Current efforts to halt the spread of plague in prairie dog colonies typically rely on dusting individual prairie dog burrows with pesticides to kill plague-infected fleas. Although flea-control insecticides, such as deltamethrin, are useful in stopping plague outbreaks in these prairie dog colonies, dusting of burrows is labor intensive and time consuming and may affect other insects and arthropods. As an alternative approach, NWHC and UW scientists developed a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) for prairie dogs that can be delivered via oral bait. Laboratory studies have shown that consumption of this vaccine-laden bait by different prairie dog species results in significant protection against plague infection that can last for at least 9 months (Rocke and others, 2010; Rocke, unpublished). Work has now shifted to optimizing baits and distribution methods for

  13. Late Pleistocene voles (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) from the Baranica Cave (Serbia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogićević, Katarina; Nenadić, Draženko; Mihailović, Dušan

    2012-02-01

    Baranica is a cave system situated in the south-eastern part of Serbia, four kilometers south to Knjaževac, on the right bank of the Trgovi\\vski Timok. The investigations in Baranica were conducted from 1994 to 1997 by the Faculty of Philosophy from Belgrade and the National Museum of Knjaževac. Four geological layers of Quaternary age were recovered. The abundance of remains of both large and small mammals was noticed in the early phase of the research. In this paper, the remains of eight vole species are described: Arvicola terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758), Chionomys nivalis (Martins, 1842), Microtus (Microtus) arvalis (Pallas, 1778) and Microtus (Microtus) agrestis (Linnaeus, 1761), Microtus (Stenocranius) gregalis (Pallas, 1779), Microtus (Terricola) subterraneus (de Sélys-Longchamps, 1836), Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber, 1780) and Lagurus lagurus (Pallas, 1773). Among them, steppe and open area inhabitants prevail. Based on the evolutionary level and dimensions of the Arvicola terrestris molars, as well as the overall characteristics of the fauna, it was concluded that the deposits were formed in the last glacial period of the Late Pleistocene. These conclusions are rather consistent with the absolute dating of large mammal bones (23.520 ± 110 B.P. for Layer 2 and 35.780 ± 320 B.P. for Layer 4).

  14. Prairie dog poisoning in northern Great Plains: An analysis of programs and policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roemer, David M.; Forrest, Steven C.

    1996-05-01

    This paper describes the programs and policies regarding prairie dog control in the northern Great Plains states of Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The poisoning programs of federal and state agencies are described, along with the statutes and legal mandates that shape agency management of prairie dogs. Current policies on National Grasslands and other federal lands typically limit prairie dogs to small percentages of available potential habitat, to the detriment of prairie dogs and associated species. State programs to assist landowners in prairie dog control differ greatly, employing cost-share incentives (Wyoming) and regulatory fines (South Dakota) to encourage the poisoning of prairie dogs. Prairie dog control is not actively funded or practiced by state or county agencies in Montana. We document federal and state involvement in more than 1 million acres of prairie dog poisoning in the study area during 1978 1992. In combination with undocumented poisoning by private landowners, plague, and shooting, prairie dogs may be experiencing net regional declines, contributing to the disintegration of the prairie dog ecosystem. We recommend that Animal Damage Control operations concerning prairie dogs be terminated, on the basis that they duplicate state programs and are at cross purposes with federal wildlife management programs that seek to perpetuate and/or recover wildlife species that depend on the prairie dog ecosystem. We further recommend that federal range improvement funds be offered as subsidies for the integration of prairie dogs in range management, as opposed to funding prairie dog eradication programs.

  15. IS THE MATRIX REALLY INHOSPITABLE? VOLE RUNWAY DISTRIBUTION IN AN EXPERIMENTALLY FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat fragmentation is a common feature of modern landscapes, with significant impacts on the population densities of and space use by animals. A frequest model system for studying these effects is that of voles (Microtus spp.) and other rodents in experimentally fragmented gr...

  16. Reproductive responses of male Brandt's voles ( Lasiopodomys brandtii) to 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) under short photoperiod

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Xin; Jiang, Lian Yu; Han, Mei; Ye, Man Hong; Wang, Ai Qin; Wei, Wan Hong; Yang, Sheng Mei

    2016-04-01

    The plant secondary metabolite 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) can stimulate and enhance animal reproduction. This compound has been successfully detected in Leymus chinensis, which is the main diet of Brandt's voles. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different 6-MBOA doses on the reproductive physiology of male Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. The results showed that 6-MBOA administration increased relative testis weight, regardless of the dose, but it had little effect on the body mass. Low and middle doses of 6-MBOA increased the concentrations of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in the serum and the mRNA levels of StAR and CYP11a1 in the testes. However, 6-MBOA did not cause any significant increase in the mRNA levels of KiSS-1, GPR54, and GnRH compared to those in the control group. The mRNA level of KiSS-1 in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) was higher than that in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV). Collectively, our results demonstrated that the number of KiSS-1-expressing neurons located in the ARC was the highest, and that 6-MBOA, which might modulate the reproductive activity along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, had a dose-dependent stimulatory effect on the reproductive activity of Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. Our study provided insights into the mechanism of 6-MBOA action and the factors influencing the onset of reproduction in Brandt's voles.

  17. Temporal dynamics of Puumala hantavirus infection in cyclic populations of bank voles

    PubMed Central

    Voutilainen, Liina; Kallio, Eva R.; Niemimaa, Jukka; Vapalahti, Olli; Henttonen, Heikki

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the dynamics of zoonotic pathogens in their reservoir host populations is a prerequisite for predicting and preventing human disease epidemics. The human infection risk of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) is highest in northern Europe, where populations of the rodent host (bank vole, Myodes glareolus) undergo cyclic fluctuations. We conducted a 7-year capture-mark-recapture study to monitor seasonal and multiannual patterns of the PUUV infection rate in bank vole populations exhibiting a 3-year density cycle. Infected bank voles were most abundant in mid-winter months during years of increasing or peak host density. Prevalence of PUUV infection in bank voles exhibited a regular, seasonal pattern reflecting the annual population turnover and accumulation of infections within each year cohort. In autumn, the PUUV transmission rate tracked increasing host abundance, suggesting a density-dependent transmission. However, prevalence of PUUV infection was similar during the increase and peak years of the density cycle despite a twofold difference in host density. This may result from the high proportion of individuals carrying maternal antibodies constraining transmission during the cycle peak years. Our exceptionally intensive and long-term dataset provides a solid basis on which to develop models to predict the dynamic public health threat posed by PUUV in northern Europe. PMID:26887639

  18. Spontaneous expression of magnetic compass orientation in an epigeic rodent: the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus.

    PubMed

    Oliveriusová, Ludmila; Němec, Pavel; Pavelková, Zuzana; Sedláček, František

    2014-07-01

    Magnetoreception has been convincingly demonstrated in only a few mammalian species. Among rodents, magnetic compass orientation has been documented in four species of subterranean mole rats and two epigeic (i.e. active above ground) species-the Siberian hamster and the C57BL/6J mouse. The mole rats use the magnetic field azimuth to determine compass heading; their directional preference is spontaneous and unimodal, and their magnetic compass is magnetite-mediated. By contrast, the primary component of orientation response is learned in the hamster and the mouse, but both species also exhibit a weak spontaneous bimodal preference in the natural magnetic field. To determine whether the magnetic compass of wild epigeic rodents features the same functional properties as that of laboratory rodents, we investigated magnetic compass orientation in the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Cricetidae, Rodentia). The voles exhibited a robust spontaneous bimodal directional preference, i.e. built nests and slept preferentially along the north-south axis, and deflected their directional preference according to a shift in the direction of magnetic north, clearly indicating that they were deriving directional information from the magnetic field. Thus, bimodal, axially symmetrical directional choice seems to be a common feature shared by epigeic rodents. However, spontaneous directional preference in the bank vole appeared to be more pronounced than that reported in the hamster and the mouse. These findings suggest that bank voles are well suited for future studies investigating the adaptive significance and mechanisms of magnetic orientation in epigeic rodents. PMID:24913128

  19. Sperm investment in male meadow voles is affected by the condition of the nearby male conspecifics

    PubMed Central

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H.

    2008-01-01

    Sperm competition occurs when 2 or more males copulate with a particular female during the same reproductive cycle, and their sperm compete to fertilize the female's available eggs. One strategy that male voles use to assess the risk and intensity of sperm competition involves responding to the presence of scent marks of conspecific males found near a sexually receptive female. Previously, we have shown that if a male vole copulated with a female while he was in the presence of the odors of another male he increased his sperm investment relative to his investment if another male's odors were not present. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that males assess differences in the relative quality of competing males and adjust their sperm investment accordingly. We did so by allowing males to copulate when they were exposed to the scent mark of a 24-h food-deprived male (low-quality male) or the scent mark of a male that was not food deprived (high-quality male). The data indicate that male meadow voles did not increase their sperm investment during copulation when exposed to the scent mark of a food-deprived male but did so when they were exposed to the scent mark of a male that was not food deprived. The results support the hypothesis that male voles are able to adjust sperm investment when they encounter the scent marks of males that differ in quality. PMID:19529815

  20. Temporal dynamics of Puumala hantavirus infection in cyclic populations of bank voles.

    PubMed

    Voutilainen, Liina; Kallio, Eva R; Niemimaa, Jukka; Vapalahti, Olli; Henttonen, Heikki

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the dynamics of zoonotic pathogens in their reservoir host populations is a prerequisite for predicting and preventing human disease epidemics. The human infection risk of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) is highest in northern Europe, where populations of the rodent host (bank vole, Myodes glareolus) undergo cyclic fluctuations. We conducted a 7-year capture-mark-recapture study to monitor seasonal and multiannual patterns of the PUUV infection rate in bank vole populations exhibiting a 3-year density cycle. Infected bank voles were most abundant in mid-winter months during years of increasing or peak host density. Prevalence of PUUV infection in bank voles exhibited a regular, seasonal pattern reflecting the annual population turnover and accumulation of infections within each year cohort. In autumn, the PUUV transmission rate tracked increasing host abundance, suggesting a density-dependent transmission. However, prevalence of PUUV infection was similar during the increase and peak years of the density cycle despite a twofold difference in host density. This may result from the high proportion of individuals carrying maternal antibodies constraining transmission during the cycle peak years. Our exceptionally intensive and long-term dataset provides a solid basis on which to develop models to predict the dynamic public health threat posed by PUUV in northern Europe. PMID:26887639

  1. [Adaptive reactions of dehydrogenation processes in root voles during additional impacts of the physical nature].

    PubMed

    Kudiasheva, A G; Taskaev, A I

    2011-01-01

    Variations of the dehydrogenation enzyme activity (succinate dehydrogenase, pyruvate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase) in the heart muscle, liver and brain of root voles (Microtus oeconomus Pall.) and their progeny associated with additional stress effects (chronic low-level gamma-irradiation, short-term exposure to cold) have been studied. Root voles (parents) were caught in the areas with a normal and high-level natural radioactivity in the Republic of Komi. It has been revealed that the direction of shifts of the dehydrogenation enzyme activity in response to the factors of the physical nature is determined by the initial level of the oxidation process in tissues of root voles and their progeny that haven't been subjected to these actions. The reaction of root voles and their progeny (1-3 generations) from the radium zone has lower reserve functional possibilities in relation to the additional exposure as compared with the animals from the control zone. In some cases, chronic low-level irradiation and short-term cooling lead to leveling of differences between groups of animals which initially varied from each other in biochemical indexes. PMID:22279768

  2. Spontaneous expression of magnetic compass orientation in an epigeic rodent: the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveriusová, Ludmila; Němec, Pavel; Pavelková, Zuzana; Sedláček, František

    2014-07-01

    Magnetoreception has been convincingly demonstrated in only a few mammalian species. Among rodents, magnetic compass orientation has been documented in four species of subterranean mole rats and two epigeic (i.e. active above ground) species—the Siberian hamster and the C57BL/6J mouse. The mole rats use the magnetic field azimuth to determine compass heading; their directional preference is spontaneous and unimodal, and their magnetic compass is magnetite-mediated. By contrast, the primary component of orientation response is learned in the hamster and the mouse, but both species also exhibit a weak spontaneous bimodal preference in the natural magnetic field. To determine whether the magnetic compass of wild epigeic rodents features the same functional properties as that of laboratory rodents, we investigated magnetic compass orientation in the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Cricetidae, Rodentia). The voles exhibited a robust spontaneous bimodal directional preference, i.e. built nests and slept preferentially along the north-south axis, and deflected their directional preference according to a shift in the direction of magnetic north, clearly indicating that they were deriving directional information from the magnetic field. Thus, bimodal, axially symmetrical directional choice seems to be a common feature shared by epigeic rodents. However, spontaneous directional preference in the bank vole appeared to be more pronounced than that reported in the hamster and the mouse. These findings suggest that bank voles are well suited for future studies investigating the adaptive significance and mechanisms of magnetic orientation in epigeic rodents.

  3. PREDATOR-PREY (VOLE-CRICKET) INTERACTIONS: THE EFFECTS OF WOOD PRESERVATIVES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The rate of loss of crickets (Acheta domestica), with and without the presence of an adventitious predator, the gray-tailed vole (Microtus canicaudus), has been studied in Terrestrial Microcosm Chambers (TMC-II) treated with pine stakes impregnated with creosote, bis(tri-n-butylt...

  4. Reproductive responses of male Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) to 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) under short photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Dai, Xin; Jiang, Lian Yu; Han, Mei; Ye, Man Hong; Wang, Ai Qin; Wei, Wan Hong; Yang, Sheng Mei

    2016-04-01

    The plant secondary metabolite 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) can stimulate and enhance animal reproduction. This compound has been successfully detected in Leymus chinensis, which is the main diet of Brandt's voles. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different 6-MBOA doses on the reproductive physiology of male Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. The results showed that 6-MBOA administration increased relative testis weight, regardless of the dose, but it had little effect on the body mass. Low and middle doses of 6-MBOA increased the concentrations of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in the serum and the mRNA levels of StAR and CYP11a1 in the testes. However, 6-MBOA did not cause any significant increase in the mRNA levels of KiSS-1, GPR54, and GnRH compared to those in the control group. The mRNA level of KiSS-1 in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) was higher than that in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV). Collectively, our results demonstrated that the number of KiSS-1-expressing neurons located in the ARC was the highest, and that 6-MBOA, which might modulate the reproductive activity along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, had a dose-dependent stimulatory effect on the reproductive activity of Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. Our study provided insights into the mechanism of 6-MBOA action and the factors influencing the onset of reproduction in Brandt's voles. PMID:26940061

  5. Septal oxytocin administration impairs peer affiliation via V1a receptors in female meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Anacker, Allison M J; Christensen, Jennifer D; LaFlamme, Elyssa M; Grunberg, Diana M; Beery, Annaliese K

    2016-06-01

    The peptide hormone oxytocin (OT) plays an important role in social behaviors, including social bond formation. In different contexts, however, OT is also associated with aggression, social selectivity, and reduced affiliation. Female meadow voles form social preferences for familiar same-sex peers under short, winter-like day lengths in the laboratory, and provide a means of studying affiliation outside the context of reproductive pair bonds. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the actions of OT in the lateral septum (LS) may decrease affiliative behavior, including greater density of OT receptors in the LS of meadow voles that huddle less. We infused OT into the LS of female meadow voles immediately prior to cohabitation with a social partner to determine its effects on partner preference formation. OT prevented the formation of preferences for the partner female. Co-administration of OT with a specific OT receptor antagonist did not reverse the effect, but co-administration of OT with a specific vasopressin 1a receptor (V1aR) antagonist did, indicating that OT in the LS likely acted through V1aRs to decrease partner preference. Receptor autoradiography revealed dense V1aR binding in the LS of female meadow voles. These results suggest that the LS is a brain region that may be responsible for inhibitory effects of OT administration on affiliation, which will be important to consider in therapeutic administrations of OT. PMID:26974500

  6. Bordetella bronchiseptica associated with pulmonary disease in mountain voles (Microtus montanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jensen, W.I.; Duncan, R.M.

    1980-01-01

    Bordetella bronchiseptica was isolated from the lungs of all of six mountain voles (Microtus montanus) found dead or dying of pulmonary infection near the Bear River Research Station in northern Utah in January, 1973. The possibility of concomitant viral or mycoplasmal infection was not ruled out.

  7. Genetic changes at the transferrin locus in the red-backed vole (Clethrionomys gapperi)

    SciTech Connect

    Mihok, S.; Fuller, W.A.; Canham, R.P.; McPhee, E.C.

    1983-01-01

    Genetic changes at the transferrin locus in Clethrionomys gapperi were intermittently monitored in a subarctic population from 1966 to 1978. Over this 13-year period, only minor fluctuations in gene frequency were observed. Gene frequency of Tf/sup J/ increased over winter during declines from high nonbreeding density in autumn. This phenomenon may have been responsible for a general negative correlation between the frequency of Tf/sup J/ and population density. Outside of winter, no frequency changes were detected within trappable age-classes of voles from relatively discrete seasonal generations. Excess of Tf/sup M/J/ heterozygotes occurred in three of four samples of young voles that matured in the year of their birth. A similar heterozygote excess occurred in one of six samples of overwintered voles taken in a year characterized by a high rate of population growth. These results suggest that selection may occur during ecologically different conditions of high density or population growth. A heterozygote advantage in early-season cohorts may account for the maintenance of transferrin polymorphism. This hypothesis requires further data on the breeding structure and early life history of voles.

  8. Environmental modulation of same-sex affiliative behavior in female meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus).

    PubMed

    Ondrasek, Naomi R; Wade, Adam; Burkhard, Tracy; Hsu, Kacie; Nguyen, Tiffany; Post, Jessica; Zucker, Irving

    2015-03-01

    The effects of temperature and food availability on social bonds and group formation are poorly understood. Because seasonal transitions in female social behavior facilitate the assembly of winter groups in meadow voles, we explored the role of same-sex female associations in winter sociality. To examine the effects of winter typical environmental conditions on same-sex female affiliative behavior, paired female meadow voles were housed in varying combinations of day length, temperature, and food availability for 7weeks and then tested for social preference. In short days (SDs), lower ambient temperature increased huddling with unfamiliar females without interfering with existing social bonds, whereas lower temperature disrupted the retention of bonds in long days (LDs). Mild food restriction with no discernible effects on body mass enhanced affiliative behavior in SDs, but not LDs. A second experiment examined the effects of sex and day length on the propensity to aggregate with unfamiliar same-sex voles. Compared to LD females and SD males, SD females spent more time in group huddles with unfamiliar voles and displayed no social preference. These outcomes indicate that winter-like conditions enhance affiliative behavior between females and that pre-existing social bonds do not preclude integration into new winter social groups. The adaptive value of these behaviors is discussed. PMID:25497080

  9. Ecological disturbance in a sandhills prairie: impact and importance to the lizard community on Arapaho Prairie in western Nebraska

    SciTech Connect

    Ballinger, R.E.; Jones, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Lizard species occurring in the sandhills prairie of western Nebraska are typically restricted to microhabitats which have sparse vegetation. The fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) and the lesser earless lizard (Holbrookia maculata) are especially abundant in open blowouts. Only the six-lined racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus) occupies microhabitats with dense grass. Since cattle grazing was discontinued on Arapaho Prairie in 1977, associated vegetational changes have tended to reduce the microhabitats available for lizards. As a result of the decreased disturbance to the vegetation, lizards have become more restricted and less abundant on Arapaho Prairie. 19 references, 1 figure, 3 tables.

  10. The spectral emissivity of prairie and pasture grasses at Konza Prairie, Kansas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palluconi, Frank; Kahle, Anne B.; Hoover, Gordon; Conel, James E.

    1990-01-01

    Field measurements of spectral radiances are used to determine precise values of the spectral emissivity of grass-thatch-soil complexes to facilitate remote temperature determinations. The emissivity variation with wavelength is very small, emissivity is close to unity, and emissivity is fairly constant in terms of emission angle, land practice, and season. The prairie surface is therefore similar to a grey body and a quasiideal emitter, although determinations of the kinetic temperature are required to confirm the results.

  11. Revisiting the “visible burrow system”: The impact of the group, social rank, and gender on voles under owl attack.

    PubMed

    Bodek, Sivan; Eilam, David

    2015-07-01

    In the present study, corticosterone levels and behavior were compared between voles (Microtus socialis) that were attacked by a barn owl (Tyto alba) and voles that did not experience such attack. Both female and male voles were exposed to the owl either together with their group mates or when socially isolated. As hypothesized, corticosterone levels were higher in voles after the owl attack, and were higher in females than in males. However, blood corticosterone was higher in voles that experienced the attack in groups compared with the socially-isolated voles. The latter result seems enigmatic, since group members usually benefit from the “social buffering” conferred by their group-mates. It is suggested that contagious vigilance among group members accounts for the higher mean corticosterone level in grouped compared to socially-isolated voles, overshadowing the possible impact of social buffering. We also found a negative correlation between body mass and corticosterone level, with more high-mass voles showing low corticosterone levels compared with low mass voles. This finding accords with a previous study in which the behavior of high-mass voles was less affected by owl attack compared to low-mass voles. The novelty of the present results therefore lies in supporting, at the hormonal level, past behavioral findings in rats and voles, and in demonstrating that high-mass voles, by virtue of their physical strength and perhaps also their life experience, are less stressed by the owl attack and become the leaders and stabilizers of their groups. PMID:26066727

  12. 18. SOUTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, RUNNING SOUTHWEST UNDER FENCE, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    18. SOUTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, RUNNING SOUTHWEST UNDER FENCE, TOWARD US HWY. 50 IN DISTANCE. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  13. AmeriFlux US-Kon Konza Prairie LTER (KNZ)

    SciTech Connect

    Brunsell, Nathaniel

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Kon Konza Prairie LTER (KNZ). Site Description - Burned on an annual basis. Bison reintroduced in 1987. Experimental cattle herds in 1992

  14. 23. MADISON GRANT TABLET AT PRAIRIE CREEK STATE PARK. HUMBOLDT ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    23. MADISON GRANT TABLET AT PRAIRIE CREEK STATE PARK. HUMBOLDT COUNTY, CALIFORNIA. LOOKING W. - Redwood National & State Parks Roads, California coast from Crescent City to Trinidad, Crescent City, Del Norte County, CA

  15. 17. PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, NEAR ITS JUNCTION WITH RHODES DITCH, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    17. PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, NEAR ITS JUNCTION WITH RHODES DITCH, CUT THROUGH SLATY BEDROCK. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  16. Two decades of prairie restoration at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois

    SciTech Connect

    Betz, R.F.; Lootens, R.J.; Becker, M.K.

    1996-12-31

    Successional Restoration is the method being used to restore the prairie at Fermilab on the former agricultural fields. This involves an initial planting, using aggressive species that have wide ecological tolerances which will grow well on abandoned agricultural fields. Collectively, these species are designated as the prairie matrix. The species used for this prairie matrix compete with and eventually eliminate most weedy species. They also provide an adequate fuel load capable of sustaining a fire within a few years after a site has been initially planted. Associated changes in the biological and physical structure of the soil help prepare the way for the successful introduction of plants of the later successional species. Only after the species of the prairie matrix are well established, is the species diversity increased by introducing species with narrower ecological tolerances. These species are thus characteristic of the later successional stages.

  17. Temporal connectivity in a prairie pothole complex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leibowitz, S.G.; Vining, K.C.

    2003-01-01

    A number of studies have noted the occurrence of intermittent surface-water connections between depressional wetlands in general and prairie potholes in particular. Yet, the ecological implications of such connections remain largely unexplored. In 1995, we observed spillage into and out of a North Dakota wetland during two field visits. Between May 3 and May 26, there was a positive relationship between specific conductance and water level at this site, suggesting an external source of dissolved ions. We estimated that specific conductance may have increased at the site by as much as 614 ??S cm-1 due to spillage from the upslope wetland. Based on a spatial analysis that compared National Wetlands Inventory maps with 1996 color infrared imagery, we estimated that 28% of the area's wetlands had a temporary surface water connection to at least one other wetland at that time, including one complex of 14 interconnected wetlands. These results indicate that the connectivity observed in 1995 was not confined to the two wetlands nor to that single year. The degree of connectivity we observed would be expected to occur during the wetter portions of the region's 20-year wet-dry cycle. We hypothesize that intermittent surface-water connections between wetlands occur throughout the prairie pothole region. Given patterns in relief and precipitation, these connections most likely would have occurred in the eastern portion of the prairie pothole region. However, wetland drainage may have altered historical patterns. The implication of these spatial and temporal trends is that surface-water connections between depressional wetlands should be viewed as a probability event that has some distribution over time and space. We refer to connections that are impermanent, temporally discontinuous, or sporadic as temporal connectivity. The most intriguing feature of these temporary connections may be that they could affect biodiversity or population dynamics through transport of individuals

  18. Cowpox virus infection in natural field vole Microtus agrestis populations: significant negative impacts on survival

    PubMed Central

    Burthe, Sarah; Telfer, Sandra; Begon, Michael; Bennett, Malcolm; Smith, Andrew; Lambin, Xavier

    2010-01-01

    Summary Cowpox virus is an endemic virus circulating in populations of wild rodents. It has been implicated as a potential cause of population cycles in field voles Microtus agrestis L., in Britain, owing to a delayed density-dependent pattern in prevalence, but its impact on field vole demographic parameters is unknown. This study tests the hypothesis that wild field voles infected with cowpox virus have a lower probability of survival than uninfected individuals. The effect of cowpox virus infection on the probability of an individual surviving to the next month was investigated using longitudinal data collected over 2 years from four grassland sites in Kielder Forest, UK. This effect was also investigated at the population level, by examining whether infection prevalence explained temporal variation in survival rates, once other factors influencing survival had been controlled for. Individuals with a probability of infection, P(I), of 1 at a time when base survival rate was at median levels had a 22·4% lower estimated probability of survival than uninfected individuals, whereas those with a P(I) of 0·5 had a 10·4% lower survival. At the population level, survival rates also decreased with increasing cowpox prevalence, with lower survival rates in months of higher cowpox prevalence. Simple matrix projection models with 28 day time steps and two stages, with 71% of voles experiencing cowpox infection in their second month of life (the average observed seroprevalence at the end of the breeding season) predict a reduction in 28-day population growth rate during the breeding season from λ = 1·62 to 1·53 for populations with no cowpox infection compared with infected populations. This negative correlation between cowpox virus infection and field vole survival, with its potentially significant effect on population growth rate, is the first for an endemic pathogen in a cyclic population of wild rodents. PMID:18177331

  19. Aspirin Prevention of Cholesterol Gallstone Formation in Prairie Dogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sum P.; Carey, Martin C.; Lamont, J. Thomas

    1981-03-01

    When prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are fed a diet containing cholesterol, a marked increase in gallbladder mucin secretion parallels the evolution of cholesterol supersaturated bile. Gelation of mucin precedes the precipitation of cholesterol liquid and solid crystals and the development of gallstones. Aspirin given to prairie dogs inhibited mucin hypersecretion and gel accumulation and prevented gallstone formation without influencing the cholesterol content of supersaturated bile. This suggests that gallbladder mucin is a nucleation matrix for cholesterol gallstones.

  20. Hydrology affects carbon storage potential of prairie potholes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2013-06-01

    Prairie potholes, the small, dynamic, unconnected ponds that dot central Canada as well as parts of the north central United States, can store significant amounts of soil nutrients that can be transformed to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Scientists would like to better understand how these regions could contribute to climate warming, but there are challenges, given the large heterogeneity in greenhouse gas emissions over the prairie pothole landscape.

  1. Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens

    SciTech Connect

    Sandercock, Brett K.

    2013-05-22

    power development appears to affect movements in breeding habitats but not nest site selection of female prairie chickens during the breeding season. 5. We tested the effects of wind power development on five components of female fecundity: timing of clutch initiation, clutch size of first nests and renests, nest survival, and hatchability of eggs. Average date of clutch initiation was 26 April, clutch size was 12.7 and 10.6 eggs for first nests and renests, probability of nest survival was low at 0.18, but egg hatchability was high at 0.79. Wind power development had no impact on reproductive effort or nesting success, and all five components of fecundity were not related to treatment period or distance to turbine. Nest survival was the main factor limiting reproductive output of female prairie chickens and most losses were due to predation. Daily nest survival was strongly related to vegetative cover at the nest. Changes to rangeland management practices that would double nesting cover from 2.5 to 5 dm would triple the probability of nest survival from 0.17 to 0.52. Grass and forb cover had weak positive effects on daily nest survival whereas shrub cover, proximity to woodlands, and recent rainfall had negative effects. Reproductive performance of prairie chickens is low in managed rangelands in northcentral Kansas and efforts to improve range conditions and reduce predator activity would aid recovery of prairie chicken populations. 6. We used molecular methods to investigate patterns of natal dispersal in prairie chickens. High rates of nest failure limited the number of young that we could sample. Direct detections of natal dispersal were limited because survival of newly hatched chicks to become adults were low and because we were unable to detect dispersal distances outside of our study area. Direct observations of natal movements were limited and were inadequate to make conclusions about the potential impacts of wind energy development on natal dispersal. Spatial

  2. Interspecific comparisons of sylvatic plague in prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F., Jr.; Williams, E.S.

    2001-01-01

    Of the 3 major factors (habitat loss, poisoning, and disease) that limit abundance of prairie dogs today, sylvatic plague caused by Yersinia pestis is the 1 factor that is beyond human control. Plague epizootics frequently kill >99% of prairie dogs in infected colonies. Although epizootics of sylvatic plague occur throughout most of the range of prairie dogs in the United States and are well described, long-term maintenance of plague in enzootic rodent species is not well documented or understood. We review dynamics of plague in white-tailed (Cynomys leucurus), Gunnison's (C. gunnisoni), and black-tailed (C. ludovicianus) prairie dogs, and their rodent and flea associates. We use epidemiologic concepts to support an enzootic hypothesis in which the disease is maintained in a dynamic state, which requires transmission of Y. pestis to be slower than recruitment of new susceptible mammal hosts. Major effects of plague are to reduce colony size of black-tailed prairie dogs and increase intercolony distances within colony complexes. In the presence of plague, black-tailed prairie dogs will probably survive in complexes of small colonies that are usually >3 km from their nearest neighbor colonies.

  3. Disease limits populations: plague and black-tailed prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, Jack F., Jr.; Johnson, T.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.

    2010-01-01

    Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present.

  4. Perceptual specificity in the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Kiriazis, Judith; Slobodchikoff, C N

    2006-07-01

    Gunnison's prairie dogs have a complex alarm communication system. We show that the escape responses of prairie dogs to naturally occurring live predators differed depending upon the species of predator. We also show that playbacks of alarm calls that were elicited originally by the live predators produced the same escape responses as the live predators themselves. The escape responses fell into two qualitatively different categories: running to the burrow and diving inside for hawks and humans, and standing upright outside the burrow for coyotes and dogs. Within these two categories there were differences in response. For hawks, only the prairie dogs that were in the direct flight path of a stooping red-tailed hawk ran to their burrows and dove inside, while for humans and human alarm call playbacks there was a colony-wide running to the burrows and diving inside. For coyotes and coyote alarm call playbacks there was a colony-wide running to the burrows and standing alert at the burrow rims, while for domestic dogs and playbacks of alarm calls for domestic dogs the prairie dogs assumed an alert posture wherever they were feeding, but did not run to their burrows. These responses to both the live predators and to predator-elicited alarm calls suggest that the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs contain meaningful referential information about the categories of predators that approach a colony of prairie dogs. PMID:16529880

  5. Disease Limits Populations: Plague and Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tammi L.; Collinge, Sharon K.; Ray, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present. PMID:20158327

  6. Microwave experiments on Prairie View Rotamak

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, R. J.; Xu, M.; Huang, Tian-Sen

    2015-05-15

    A 6 kW/2.45 GHz microwave system has been added on Prairie View Rotamak, and a series of experiments with microwave heating in both O-mode and X-mode configurations have been performed. Effective ionization of hydrogen in the two configurations is observed when filling pressure of the hydrogen gas is under p{sub f}=0.1 Pa. Clear oscillations in plasma current I{sub p} and magnetic field B{sub R} are excited when microwaves are injected into plasma in the X-mode configuration. The higher the injected microwave power, the sooner the emergence of the magnetic oscillations in B{sub R}, which implies the microwave may have decreased the elongation of the plasma. In the experiments, the efficiency of the current drive mechanism due to the injected microwave is about 0.2 kA/kW.

  7. Wind training in some prairie trees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bogan, M.A.; Mollhagen, T.R.

    1969-01-01

    Asymmetry in tree crowns has been established for some time. Lawrence (Ecol. Monogr. 9:217-257, 1939) studied wind training, one cause of asymmetry, in the Columbia River Gorge. He and Boyce (Ecol. Monogr. 24: 29-67, 1954) cite the intensity and direction of wind during the growing season as the causative agents. In their study of trunk asymmetry, Potter and Green (Cology 45: 10-23, 1964) mention crown deformity in the open stands of trees. Prairie trees are typically found in open stands, and to our knowledge no quantitative studies have been done on their crown asymmetry. The present study on the nature of this asymmetry, is an attempt to fill the void.

  8. Nitrogen transport from tallgrass prairie watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodds, W.K.; Blair, J.M.; Henebry, G.M.; Koelliker, J.K.; Ramundo, R.; Tate, C.M.

    1996-01-01

    Discharge and N content of surface water flowing from four Karat watersheds on Konza Prairie Research Natural Area, Kansas, managed with different burn frequencies, were monitored from 1986 to 1992. The goal was to establish the influence of natural processes (climate, fire, and bison grazing) on N transport and concentration in streams. Streams were characterized by variable flow, under conditions that included an extreme flood and a drought during which all channels were dry for over a year. The estimated groundwater/stream water discharge ratio varied between 0.15 to 6.41. Annual N transport by streams, averaged across all watersheds and years, was 0.16 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Annual N transport per unit area also increased as the watershed area increased and as precipitation increased. Total annual transport of N horn the prairie via streams ranged from 0.01 to 6.0% of the N input from precipitation. Nitrate and total N concentrations in surface water decreased (P < 0.001, r values ranged from 0.140.26) as length of time since last fire increased. Increased watershed area was correlated negatively (P < 0.0001) to stream water concentrations of NO3-N and total N (r values = -0.43 and -0.20, respectively). Low N concentration is typical of these streams, with NH4/+-N concentrations below 1.0 ??g L-1, NO3-N ranging from below 1.4 to 392 ??g L-1, and total N from 3.0 to 714 ??g L-1. These data provide an important baseline for evaluating N transport and stream water quality from unfertilized grasslands.

  9. Exogenous Melatonin Administration Affects Self-grooming and Conspecific Odor Preferences in Long-Photoperiod Meadow Voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus)

    PubMed Central

    Ferkin, Michael H.; Leonard, Stuart T.; Gilless, Jerry P.

    2007-01-01

    For meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, seasonal differences exist in self-grooming and in odor preferences for conspecifics, two behaviors which facilitate sexual interactions in this species. Both behaviors are mediated by photoperiodically-induced changes in circulating gonadal steroid hormone titers which, in turn, can be transduced by the duration of the melatonin signal that a seasonally breeding animal receives. The goal of this study was to determine whether exogenous melatonin administration affects circulating gonadal steroid hormone titers in meadow voles, and whether it influences their odor preferences and self-grooming behavior to same-and opposite-sex conspecifics. Long-photoperiod voles that did not receive exogenous melatonin had higher testosterone (males) and estradiol (females) titers than did short-photoperiod voles and long-photoperiod voles treated with melatonin for 12 weeks; the latter had similar estradiol and testosterone titers. Long-photoperiod voles that did not receive melatonin preferred the scent marks of long-photoperiod opposite-sex conspecifics and spent more time self-grooming in response to their odors than those of either long-photoperiod same-sex, short photoperiod same-sex, or short-photoperiod opposite-sex conspecifics. Long-photoperiod voles that received melatonin, however, no longer preferred the marks of long-photoperiod opposite-sex conspecifics and no longer spent more time self-grooming in response to their odors, not unlike the odor preferences and self-grooming behavior of short-photoperiod voles. As a whole, the data suggest that the duration of the melatonin signal is likely involved in mediating the photoperiodically-induced changes in gonadal steroid hormones that mediate a meadow vole’s odor preferences for opposite-sex conspecifics and its self-grooming response to those marks. PMID:17449071

  10. Accumulation of moisture and soil erosion in the territory of social vole ( Microtus socialis) settlements in the northern Caspian Lowland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bykov, A. V.; Kolesnikov, A. V.; Kulakova, N. Yu.; Shabanova, N. P.

    2008-08-01

    In the clay semidesert of the Caspian Lowland, the surface runoff is transformed to soil runoff due to the presence of a system of social vole ( Microtus socialis Pall.) passageways in the soils that promotes the retention of soil moisture and prevents the development of soil erosion. A quantitative assessment of this process is given. We describe the mechanism of intense soil erosion arising after the disturbance of vole underground passageways responsible for the formation of specific relief elements and plant communities.

  11. The persistence of endangered Florida Salt Marsh Voles in salt marshes of the central Florida Gulf Coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hotaling, A.S.; Percival, H.F.; Kitchens, W.M.; Kasbohm, J.W.

    2010-01-01

    Two endangered Microtus pennsylvanicus dukecampbelli (Florida Salt Marsh Vole) were captured at a new location, in February of 2009, at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Since the species discovery in 1979, only 43 Florida Salt Marsh Voles (hereafter FSM Vole) have been captured. Outside of the type locality, this is only the second documented location for the FSM Vole. Given the difficulty in trapping this species and the lack of information about its life history, its discovery in a new location lends itself to the possibility that it is more widespread in the Central Florida Gulf Coast than previously thought. Although much of the salt marsh in the area is in public ownership, a good deal of it has already been altered by logging or development and is threatened by global climate change. More research is needed to adequately protect and manage the habitat for the FSM Vole. A study of FSM Vole coastal salt marsh habitat could also serve as a valuable monitoring tool for subtle changes in salt marsh habitats as global climate change progresses.

  12. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    PubMed

    Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; Davidson, Ana; Fredrickson, Ed L; Luna-Soria, Hugo; Suzan-Azpiri, Humberto; Ponce-Guevara, Eduardo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands. PMID:25760377

  13. Characterization of reticuloendotheliosis virus isolates obtained from chickens, turkeys and prairie chickens in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Twelve reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) isolates obtained from chickens, turkeys and prairie chickens in the United States were characterized using ploymerase chain reaction (PCR) and indirect immunofluoresence (IFA) assays. This study included five REV isolates from Prairie chickens in Texas, two ...

  14. Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs, Cattle, and the Conservation of North America’s Arid Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Sierra–Corona, Rodrigo; Davidson, Ana; Fredrickson, Ed L.; Luna-Soria, Hugo; Suzan-Azpiri, Humberto; Ponce-Guevara, Eduardo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands. PMID:25760377

  15. Tradeoffs in ecosystem services of prairies managed for bioenergy production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarchow, Meghann Elizabeth

    The use of perennial plant materials as a renewable source of energy may constitute an important opportunity to improve the environmental sustainability of managed land. Currently, the production of energy from agricultural products is primarily in the form of ethanol from corn grain, which used more than 45% of the domestic U.S. corn crop in 2011. Concomitantly, using corn grain to produce ethanol has promoted landscape simplification and homogenization through conversion of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands to annual row crops, and has been implicated in increasing environmental damage, such as increased nitrate leaching into water bodies and increased rates of soil erosion. In contrast, perennial prairie vegetation has the potential to be used as a bioenergy feedstock that produces a substantial amount of biomass as well as numerous ecosystem services. Reincorporating prairies to diversify the landscape of the Midwestern U.S. at strategic locations could provide more habitat for animals, including beneficial insects, and decrease nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment movement into water bodies. In this dissertation, I present data from two field experiments that examine (1) how managing prairies for bioenergy production affects prairie ecology and agronomic performance and (2) how these prairie systems differ from corn systems managed for bioenergy production. Results of this work show that there are tradeoffs among prairie systems and between corn and prairie systems with respect to the amount of harvested biomass, root production, nutrient export, feedstock characteristics, growing season utilization, and species and functional group diversity. These results emphasize the need for a multifaceted approach to fully evaluate bioenergy feedstock production systems.

  16. Twenty-Five-Year Outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infecting Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis: Identification of the Prairie Epidemic Strain

    PubMed Central

    Glezerson, Bryan A.; Sibley, Christopher D.; Sibley, Kristen A.; Duong, Jessica; Purighalla, Swathi; Mody, Christopher H.; Workentine, Matthew L.; Storey, Douglas G.; Surette, Michael G.; Rabin, Harvey R.

    2014-01-01

    Transmissible strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa have been described for cystic fibrosis (CF) and may be associated with a worse prognosis. Using a comprehensive strain biobank spanning 3 decades, we sought to determine the prevalence and stability of chronic P. aeruginosa infection in an adult population. P. aeruginosa isolates from sputum samples collected at initial enrollment in our adult clinic and at the most recent clinic visit were examined by a combination of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing and compared against a collection of established transmissible and local non-CF bronchiectasis (nCFB) isolates. A total of 372 isolates from 107 patients, spanning 674 patient-years, including 66 patients with matched isolates from initial and final encounters, were screened. A novel clone with increased antibacterial resistance, termed the prairie epidemic strain (PES), was found in 29% (31/107 patients) of chronically infected patients referred from multiple prairie-based CF centers. This isolate was not found in those diagnosed with CF as adults or in a control population with nCFB. While 90% (60/66 patients) of patients had stable infection over a mean of 10.8 years, five patients experienced strain displacement of unique isolates, with PES occurring within 2 years of transitioning to adult care. PES has been present in our cohort since at least 1987, is unique to CF, generally establishes chronic infection during childhood, and has been found in patients at the time of transition of patients from multiple prairie-based CF clinics, suggesting broad endemicity. Studies are under way to evaluate the clinical implications of PES infection. PMID:24452167

  17. Response of mountain plovers to plague-driven dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sylvatic plague is a major factor influencing prairie dog colony dynamics in the western Great Plains. We studied the nesting response of the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus), a grassland bird that nests on prairie dog colonies, to plague-driven dynamics of prairie dog colonies at three sites i...

  18. The EcoSun Prairie Farm: An experiment in bioenergy production, landscape restoration, and ecological sustainability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2008, the non-profit corporation, EcoSun Prairie Farms (hereafter EcoSun), began establishing mixtures and monocultures of native prairie species in eastern South Dakota on a section of land (hereafter Prairie Farm) that had been conventionally farmed with annual crops for more than a century. T...

  19. Impact of soil type on vegetation response to prairie dog herbivory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prairie dogs and their impact on vegetation have been the focus of numerous research projects. However, the effect of soil from this interaction has been less thoroughly documented. We evaluated prairie dog colonies (on-colony) and nearby sites without prairie dogs (off-colony) on Wayden, Cabba an...

  20. Spatiotemporal dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by plague

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are a key component of the disturbance regime in semi-arid grasslands of central North America. Many studies have compared community and ecosystem characteristics on prairie dog colonies to grasslands without prairie dogs, but little is known about la...

  1. 78 FR 35017 - Prairie Power, Inc. v. Ameren Services Company, Ameren Illinois Company, Ameren Transmission...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-11

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Power, Inc. v. Ameren Services Company, Ameren Illinois Company... Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, Prairie Power, Inc.... Prairie Power, Inc. certifies that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for the...

  2. 76 FR 81924 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-29

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application Take notice that on December 15, 2011, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC (Pine Prairie), 333 Clay Street, Suite 1500, Houston, TX... necessity to amend its certificate authority previously granted in CP04-379-000, et al. Pine...

  3. Pineal and photoperiodic influences on fat deposition, pelage, and testicular activity in male meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Smale, L; Dark, J; Zucker, I

    1988-01-01

    Pinealectomy completely prevented gonadal regression as well as reduction in body weight and white adipose tissue content of the gonadal and retroperitoneal fat deposits in male meadow voles transferred from long to short day lengths. Pineal influences on pelage characteristics depended on which parameter was assessed. For instance, the increase in guard hair length observed in short-day control voles was blocked by pinealectomy; however, a similar increase in underhair length was unaffected by removal of the pineal gland. Photoperiod-dependent changes in fat deposition, testicular activity, and guard hair length presumably rely on altered pineal secretory activity to transduce the effects of day length on the neuroendocrine axis; however, mechanisms independent of pineal activity may be capable of mediating photoperiodic control of underhair growth. PMID:2979644

  4. Photoperiod and gonadal hormones influence odor preferences of the male meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus.

    PubMed

    Ferkin, M H; Gorman, M R

    1992-05-01

    Male meadow voles housed in a long photoperiod (14 h light/day, LP) preferred female to male odors, whereas males maintained in a short photoperiod (10 h light/day, SP) did not display preferences for odors of either sex. These odor-preference patterns matched those of free-living males during spring and autumn, respectively. The preference of LP male voles for female over male odors was eliminated by gonadectomy and reinstated by treatment with testosterone. In SP males, although gonadectomy did not affect odor choices, a preference for female odors was induced by testosterone treatment. Treatment with estradiol did not alter odor preferences of LP or SP males. In conjunction with previous result, the present findings suggest that hormonal responsiveness of neural substrates that control odor preferences are sexually dimorphic and may reflect sex differences in reproductive strategies. PMID:1615048

  5. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R.; Busch, Joseph D.; Antolin, Michael F.; Wagner, David M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  6. Prairie dogs increase fitness by killing interspecific competitors.

    PubMed

    Hoogland, John L; Brown, Charles R

    2016-03-30

    Interspecific competition commonly selects for divergence in ecology, morphology or physiology, but direct observation of interspecific competition under natural conditions is difficult. Herbivorous white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) employ an unusual strategy to reduce interspecific competition: they kill, but do not consume, herbivorous Wyoming ground squirrels (Urocitellus elegans) encountered in the prairie dog territories. Results from a 6-year study in Colorado, USA, revealed that interspecific killing of ground squirrels by prairie dogs was common, involving 47 different killers; 19 prairie dogs were serial killers in the same or consecutive years, and 30% of female prairie dogs killed at least one ground squirrel over their lifetimes. Females that killed ground squirrels had significantly higher annual and lifetime fitness than non-killers, probably because of decreased interspecific competition for vegetation. Our results document the first case of interspecific killing of competing individuals unrelated to predation (IK) among herbivorous mammals in the wild, and show that IK enhances fitness for animals living under natural conditions. PMID:27009223

  7. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skagen, Susan; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011). Sensitivity encompasses the innate characteristics of a species and, in this context, is related to a species’ tolerance to changes in weather patterns. Groundnesting birds, including prairie birds, are particularly responsive to heat waves combined with drought conditions, as revealed by abundance and distribution patterns (Albright et al. 2010). To further assess sensitivity, we estimated reproductive parameters of nearly 3000 breeding attempts of a suite of prairie birds relative to prevailing weather. Fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado, 1997-2014, influenced breeding performance of a suite of avian species endemic to the shortgrass prairie, many of which have experienced recent population declines. High summer temperatures and intense rain events corresponded with lower nest survival for most species. Although dry conditions favored nest survival of Burrowing Owls and Mountain Plovers (Conrey 2010, Dreitz et al. 2012), drought resulted in smaller clutch sizes and lower nest survival for passerines (Skagen and Yackel Adams 2012, Conrey et al. in review). Declining summer precipitation may reduce the likelihood that some passerine species can maintain stable breeding populations in this region of the shortgrass prairie.

  8. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Williamson, J.; Cobble, K.R.; Busch, J.D.; Antolin, M.F.; Wagner, D.M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance. ?? 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

  9. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R; Busch, Joseph D; Antolin, Michael F; Wagner, David M

    2012-02-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogeneous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance. PMID:21923261

  10. The Status of Heligmosomoides americanus, Representative of an American Clade of Vole-Infecting Nematodes.

    PubMed

    Harris, P D; Zaleśny, G; Hildebrand, J; Paziewska-Harris, A; Behnke, J M; Tkach, V; Hwang, Y-T; Kinsella, J M

    2015-06-01

    Heligmosomoides americanus is shown by molecular phylogenetic analysis of 3 nuclear (28S, ITS1, and ITS2) and 2 mitochondrial (cytochrome oxidase 1 and cytochrome b) loci to be a distinct species of heligmosomid nematode with a long-independent evolutionary history, and not a subspecies of Heligmosomoides polygyrus . Rather than being a recent arrival in North America, the species probably originated as a Beringian immigrant with the host vole Phenacomys, approximately 2 million years ago (MYA). PMID:25574753

  11. Frequencies of micronuclei in bank voles from zones of high radiation at Chernobyl, Ukraine

    SciTech Connect

    Rodgers, B.E.; Baker, R.J.

    2000-06-01

    A population of Clethrionomys glareolus (bank vole) from a highly radioactive area within the Chernobyl, Ukraine exclusion zone was sampled in June 1997 and in June and October 1998. Internal radiation doses from radiocesium were estimated to be as high as 8 rads/d. Total dose, which takes into account the internal dose form radiostrontium and the surrounding environment, was estimated to be 15 to 20 rads/d. In contrast, individuals from a reference population lying outside of the exclusion zone registered negligible levels of contamination. The authors used the micronucleus test in a double-blind study to analyze blood samples from 58 individuals. They scored more than 600,000 polychromatic erythrocytes (PCEs) but could not reject the null hypothesis that the frequency of micronucleated PCEs in voles exposed to radiation was equal to the frequency in unexposed voles. Results of their study stand in sharp contrast to earlier reports of increased frequencies of micronuclei in rodents exposed to fallout of the Chernobyl accident, but with radiation doses that were orders of magnitude lower than those reported here. Radio resistance and experimental methods are possible explanations for these differences in the results.

  12. An experimental field approach to parasitism and immune defence in voles.

    PubMed

    Schwarzenbach, G A; Hegglin, D; Stieger, C; Deplazes, P; Ward, P I

    2004-07-01

    The fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis is typically perpetuated in a cycle with red foxes as definitive hosts and various rodent species as intermediate hosts. In this study, foxes were baited with a highly efficient drug against cestodes (praziquantel) in 5 blocks of 1 km2. Voles, Arvicola terrestris, the most abundant intermediate host species, were trapped in the 5 baited blocks and in 5 non-baited control blocks. Baiting the foxes reduced the prevalence of E. multilocularis in fox faecal samples in the baited blocks, but voles trapped in the two blocks did not differ in their infection rates. However, voles from the baited blocks had significantly smaller spleen masses and were more likely to be infested with mites than those from the control blocks, possibly reflecting different immunological activities. Our study suggests that the environmental contamination with E. multilocularis eggs, and perhaps those of other tapeworms, influences the immune system of the intermediate host species A. terrestris in the wild. PMID:15267116

  13. Habitat evaluation for outbreak of Yangtze voles (Microtus fortis) and management implications.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhenggang; Zhao, Yunlin; Li, Bo; Zhang, Meiwen; Shen, Guo; Wang, Yong

    2015-05-01

    Rodent pests severely damage agricultural crops. Outbreak risk models of rodent pests often do not include sufficient information regarding geographic variation. Habitat plays an important role in rodent-pest outbreak risk, and more information about the relationship between habitat and crop protection is urgently needed. The goal of the present study was to provide an outbreak risk map for the Dongting Lake region and to understand the relationship between rodent-pest outbreak variation and habitat distribution. The main rodent pests in the Dongting Lake region are Yangtze voles (Microtus fortis). These pests cause massive damage in outbreak years, most notably in 2007. Habitat evaluation and ecological details were obtained by analyzing the correlation between habitat suitability and outbreak risk, as indicated by population density and historical events. For the source-sink population, 96.18% of Yangtze vole disaster regions were covered by a 10-km buffer zone of suitable habitat in 2007. Historical outbreak frequency and peak population density were significantly correlated with the proportion of land covered by suitable habitat (r = 0.68, P = 0.04 and r = 0.76, P = 0.03, respectively). The Yangtze vole population tends to migrate approximately 10 km in outbreak years. Here, we propose a practical method for habitat evaluation that can be used to create integrated pest management plans for rodent pests when combined with basic information on the biology, ecology and behavior of the target species. PMID:25316099

  14. Ovarian hormones influence odor cues emitted by female meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus.

    PubMed

    Ferkin, M H; Gorman, M R; Zucker, I

    1991-12-01

    During the spring-summer breeding season female meadow voles emit odors that are preferred by males, whereas in the autumn-winter season of reproductive quiescence females emit odors that are not preferred by males, but are attractive to females. The effects of daylength and ovarian hormones on salience of female odors were determined by assaying male responses to odors. Females housed in long and short photoperiods transmitted odors that elicited responses similar to those of spring and autumn female voles, respectively. The odor cues emitted by ovariectomized (OVX) females, irrespective of photoperiodic history, were similar to those generated by females during the nonbreeding season. In the absence of ovarian hormones, long daylengths were not sufficient to induce females to broadcast the spring odors preferred by males. Spring-type odor cues were, however, emitted by OVX voles housed in either photoperiod and treated with estradiol. Ovarian hormones appear necessary and sufficient to generate breeding season odor cues and sufficient to induce production of such cues during the nonbreeding season. We conclude that daylength affects odor cues emitted by females by altering ovarian hormone activity. PMID:1813382

  15. Maternal dietary protein supplement confers long-term sex-specific beneficial consequences of obesity resistance and glucose tolerance to the offspring in Brandt's voles.

    PubMed

    Lou, Mei-Fang; Shen, Wei; Fu, Rong-Shu; Zhang, Xue-Ying; Wang, De-Hua

    2015-04-01

    Maternal under- or over-nutrition not only alters neonatal body mass but also increases the risk of metabolic disorders in adulthood. Little is known about how maternal dietary protein affects offspring fitness in wild rodents. The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that maternal dietary protein supplement has a long-term beneficial effect on offspring fitness in Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii), a herbivorous rodent model. The vole dams were fed either a control (18% protein) or high-protein (36% protein) diet throughout pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, all offspring received a control diet till 14 weeks old. Energetic parameters, serum leptin concentration and glucose tolerance were measured. The adult offspring were fed high-fat diet for 8 weeks, and body weight and food intake were measured. No difference was observed in litter size, litter mass or pup mass before weaning. Maternal protein supplement increased body mass and the mass of reproductive organ but decreased digestibility and fat deposition and alleviated HFD-induced obesity especially in the males. Glucose tolerance was elevated in the offspring from maternal protein supplement, especially in the females. The accelerated growth may be associated with high serum leptin concentration at weaning, a state of leptin resistance, and the low digestibility may predispose obesity resistance especially in male offspring from maternal high-protein diet. These data demonstrate that maternal protein supplement confers the long-term sex-specific beneficial consequences of accelerated growth and improved obesity resistance and glucose tolerance of their offspring. PMID:25499237

  16. Spent fuel storage at Prairie Island: January 1995 status

    SciTech Connect

    Closs, J.; Kress, L.

    1995-12-31

    The disposal of spent nuclear fuel has been an issue for the US since the inception of the commercial nuclear power industry. In the past decade, it has become a critical factor in the continued operation of some nuclear power plants, including the two units at Prairie Island. As the struggles and litigation over storage alternatives wage on, spent fuel pools continue to fill and plants edge closer to premature shutdown. Due to the delays in the construction of a federal repository, many nuclear power plants have had to seek interim storage alternatives. In the case of Prairie Island, the safest and most feasible option is dry cask storage. This paper discusses the current status of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) Project at Prairie Island. It provides a historical background to the project, discusses the notable developments over the past year, and presents the projected plans of the Northern States Power Company (NSP) in regards to spent fuel storage.

  17. Simulated grazing responses on the proposed prairies National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parton, William J.; Wright, R. Gerald; Risser, Paul G.

    1980-03-01

    The tallgrass prairie version of the ELM Grassland Model was used to evaluate the potential impact of establishing a tallgrass prairie National Park in the Flint Hills region of Kansas. This total ecosystem model simulates ( a) the flow of water, heat, nitrogen, and phosphorus through the ecosystem and( b) the biomass dynamics of plants and consumers. It was specifically developed to study the effects of levels and types of herbivory, climatic variation, and fertilization upon grassland ecosystems. The model was used to simulate the impact of building up herds of bison, elk, antelope, and wolves on a tallgrass prairie. The results show that the grazing levels in the park should not be decreased below the prepark grazing levels (moderate grazing with cattle) and that the final grazing levels in the park could be maintained at a slightly higher level than the prepark grazing levels.

  18. Canopy Interception for a Tallgrass Prairie under Juniper Encroachment.

    PubMed

    Zou, Chris B; Caterina, Giulia L; Will, Rodney E; Stebler, Elaine; Turton, Donald

    2015-01-01

    Rainfall partitioning and redistribution by canopies are important ecohydrological processes underlying ecosystem dynamics. We quantified and contrasted spatial and temporal variations of rainfall redistribution for a juniper (Juniperus virginiana, redcedar) woodland and a tallgrass prairie in the south-central Great Plains, USA. Our results showed that redcedar trees had high canopy storage capacity (S) ranging from 2.14 mm for open stands to 3.44 mm for closed stands. The canopy funneling ratios (F) of redcedar trees varied substantially among stand type and tree size. The open stands and smaller trees usually had higher F values and were more efficient in partitioning rainfall into stemflow. Larger trees were more effective in partitioning rainfall into throughfall and no significant changes in the total interception ratios among canopy types and tree size were found. The S values were highly variable for tallgrass prairie, ranging from 0.27 mm at early growing season to 3.86 mm at senescence. As a result, the rainfall interception by tallgrass prairie was characterized by high temporal instability. On an annual basis, our results showed no significant difference in total rainfall loss to canopy interception between redcedar trees and tallgrass prairie. Increasing structural complexity associated with redcedar encroachment into tallgrass prairie changes the rainfall redistribution and partitioning pattern at both the temporal and spatial scales, but does not change the overall canopy interception ratios compared with unburned and ungrazed tallgrass prairie. Our findings support the idea of convergence in interception ratio for different canopy structures under the same precipitation regime. The temporal change in rainfall interception loss from redcedar encroachment is important to understand how juniper encroachment will interact with changing rainfall regime and potentially alter regional streamflow under climate change. PMID:26544182

  19. Canopy Interception for a Tallgrass Prairie under Juniper Encroachment

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Chris B.; Caterina, Giulia L.; Will, Rodney E.; Stebler, Elaine; Turton, Donald

    2015-01-01

    Rainfall partitioning and redistribution by canopies are important ecohydrological processes underlying ecosystem dynamics. We quantified and contrasted spatial and temporal variations of rainfall redistribution for a juniper (Juniperus virginiana, redcedar) woodland and a tallgrass prairie in the south-central Great Plains, USA. Our results showed that redcedar trees had high canopy storage capacity (S) ranging from 2.14 mm for open stands to 3.44 mm for closed stands. The canopy funneling ratios (F) of redcedar trees varied substantially among stand type and tree size. The open stands and smaller trees usually had higher F values and were more efficient in partitioning rainfall into stemflow. Larger trees were more effective in partitioning rainfall into throughfall and no significant changes in the total interception ratios among canopy types and tree size were found. The S values were highly variable for tallgrass prairie, ranging from 0.27 mm at early growing season to 3.86 mm at senescence. As a result, the rainfall interception by tallgrass prairie was characterized by high temporal instability. On an annual basis, our results showed no significant difference in total rainfall loss to canopy interception between redcedar trees and tallgrass prairie. Increasing structural complexity associated with redcedar encroachment into tallgrass prairie changes the rainfall redistribution and partitioning pattern at both the temporal and spatial scales, but does not change the overall canopy interception ratios compared with unburned and ungrazed tallgrass prairie. Our findings support the idea of convergence in interception ratio for different canopy structures under the same precipitation regime. The temporal change in rainfall interception loss from redcedar encroachment is important to understand how juniper encroachment will interact with changing rainfall regime and potentially alter regional streamflow under climate change. PMID:26544182

  20. Neonatal manipulation of oxytocin influences the partner preference in mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus).

    PubMed

    Jia, Rui; Tai, Fadao; An, Shucheng; Broders, Hugh; Sun, Ruyong

    2008-01-01

    Neonatal manipulation of oxytocin (OT) has long-term effects on behavior and physiology. The objective of this research was to determine if neonatal exposure to OT can affect partner preferences and to characterize the mechanisms underlying social behavior such as neural activities of relevant brain regions in socially monogamous mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus). After receiving a subcutaneous injection of isotonic saline (SAL) or OT within 24h of birth, mandarin vole at 60 days of age was paired with an unfamiliar opposite sex for 24h, followed immediately by an examination of their partner preference and 30 days later by the second examination of their partner preference and Fos expression in some brain regions. The results indicated that (1) while 24h cohabitation was insufficient for both female and male SAL-treated mandarin voles to form partner preference, neonatal exposure to OT significantly facilitate female, but not male mandarin voles to form partner preference within 24h of cohabitation; (2) the maintenance of partner preference in females was suppressed by neonatal OT treatment, while neonatal OT-treated males showed significant partner preference as neonatal SAL-treated males and females; in addition, the tendency of aggression to the strangers was impaired in both females and males, and neonatal OT-treated males showed significantly higher mounting behavior to the partner; (3) in comparison with saline-treated females, OT-treated females showed a significant decrease in Fos expression in all brain regions examined in response to partner preference. Relative to saline treatment, neonatal OT treatment induced to males a significant decrease of Fos expression in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD) as well as a significant increase in the medial preoptic area (MPOA), the dorsal part of the lateral septal nucleus (LSD) and the central amygdaloid

  1. Convergent Ecosystems from Divergent Environmental Drivers: Revisiting Drivers of the Past Prairie-Forest Ecotone Across the North American Prairie Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heilman, K.; McLachlan, J. S.; Feng, X.

    2015-12-01

    The Prairie Peninsula in North America refers to the eastward extension of prairie and savanna ecosystems from western tallgrass prairie into deciduous forests of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. Historically, the Prairie Peninsula border defined one of the largest shifts in vegetation and biomass in North America. Today, the fertile soils of the Prairie Peninsula have been transformed into a large agricultural center of national economic importance. The existence and location of prairie and savanna on the Northwest border of the Prairie Peninsula has previously been attributed to strong, dry westerly winds, low precipitation, and high fire frequencies. However, these drivers remain untested with historical vegetation across the whole Prairie Peninsula. We use recently digitized historical survey data of vegetation at the time of European settlement (the Public Land Survey (PLS)) to test these hypotheses with past structure and composition data of the entire Prairie Peninsula region. We demonstrate that commonly cited hypotheses for the existence of these ecosystems (westerly winds, low precipitation, and fire) cannot predict the extent and composition of the pre-settlement landscape in the Prairie Peninsula. Using the PLS data in a statistical model of biomass run with environmental covariates (precipitation, soil hydrology parameters, and topography), we test which covariates best explain the distribution of biomass and species composition across the region. Explanatory power of each covariate is spatially variable, suggesting that a single environmental factor alone did not drive prairie and savanna vegetation in the Prairie Peninsula. Rather, this work suggests that variable interactions between climate, soil hydrology properties, and disturbances promote similar vegetation structure across space.

  2. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  3. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies.

    PubMed

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest. PMID:26604009

  4. Phenological and climatic patterns in three tallgrass prairies

    SciTech Connect

    Kebart, K.K.; Anderson, R.C.

    1987-03-07

    Flowering patterns for a central Illinois tallgrass prairie were studied during the 1983 growing season and compared with those for prairies in Wisconsin and Oklahoma. The distribution of species in flower per month was significantly different (p < 0.05) between the Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Illinois sites. Species that initiated flowering after July 15 tended to flower earlier at northern locations than at southern ones. The number of species in flower per month was correlated with long-term mean monthly temperature and precipitation at all three locations.

  5. Out of the Reservoir: Phenotypic and Genotypic Characterization of a Novel Cowpox Virus Isolated from a Common Vole

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Donata; Franke, Annika; Jenckel, Maria; Tamošiūnaitė, Aistė; Schluckebier, Julia; Granzow, Harald; Hoffmann, Bernd; Fischer, Stefan; Ulrich, Rainer G.; Höper, Dirk; Goller, Katja; Osterrieder, Nikolaus

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The incidence of human cowpox virus (CPXV) infections has increased significantly in recent years. Serological surveys have suggested wild rodents as the main CPXV reservoir. We characterized a CPXV isolated during a large-scale screening from a feral common vole. A comparison of the full-length DNA sequence of this CPXV strain with a highly virulent pet rat CPXV isolate showed a sequence identity of 96%, including a large additional open reading frame (ORF) of about 6,000 nucleotides which is absent in the reference CPXV strain Brighton Red. Electron microscopy analysis demonstrated that the vole isolate, in contrast to the rat strain, forms A-type inclusion (ATI) bodies with incorporated virions, consistent with the presence of complete ati and p4c genes. Experimental infections showed that the vole CPXV strain caused only mild clinical symptoms in its natural host, while all rats developed severe respiratory symptoms followed by a systemic rash. In contrast, common voles infected with a high dose of the rat CPXV showed severe signs of respiratory disease but no skin lesions, whereas infection with a low dose led to virus excretion with only mild clinical signs. We concluded that the common vole is susceptible to infection with different CPXV strains. The spectrum ranges from well-adapted viruses causing limited clinical symptoms to highly virulent strains causing severe respiratory symptoms. In addition, the low pathogenicity of the vole isolate in its eponymous host suggests a role of common voles as a major CPXV reservoir, and future research will focus on the correlation between viral genotype and phenotype/pathotype in accidental and reservoir species. IMPORTANCE We report on the first detection and isolation of CPXV from a putative reservoir host, which enables comparative analyses to understand the infection cycle of these zoonotic orthopox viruses and the relevant genes involved. In vitro studies, including whole-genome sequencing as well as in

  6. [Structure and seasonal dynamics of the biotic community ectoparasites of the bank vole in the Il'men'-Volkhov lowland].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S; Bochkov, A V; Vashchenok, V S; Grigor'eva, L A; Tret'iakov, K A

    2002-01-01

    A biodiversity, seasonal dynamics and parasite load of a single individual and local population of the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) were studied in coniferous and mixed forests of the Ilmen-Volkhov lowland (neighborhood of Oskuy village, Chudovo region, Novgorod Province) in the period from June 1999 till May 2002. The Gero's traps were used for collecting the host. Lines of traps stood in each place during 3-5 days and were checked twice a day. Trapping of micromammalian hosts and collecting of parasites took place each month, except a few gaps. Total number of collected animals 2854 including 1405 bank voles. The 29 ectoparasite species were recorded on the bank vole in the area of study. Among some mites and fleas a few species are accidental parasites probably accepted by voles from other species of animals. In the Oskuy area, the bank voles are the main and additional hosts of 25 ectoparasite species: fleas--8, lice--1, ixodid ticks--2, gamasid mites--7, acariform mites 7. Species composition of ectoparasites, their occurrence and abundance change during the year. Seasonal changes of abundance and occurrence indices are most expressed in the temporary ectoparasites (ixodid ticks, chiggers, gamasid mites), while in the permanent parasites (lice, acariform mites: Myobiidae, Myocoptidae, Listrophoridae), the seasonal fluctuations of indices are displayed in a less scale. Most vole specimens were infected with this or that ectoparasite species. The parasitocenosis on an individual specimen usually included less than 10 species of the total number 29 species recorded on the bank vole in the area investigated. One ectoparasite species was recorded on 21% of host specimens, 2-5 ectoparasite species were found on 71% of host individuals. Maximal number of ectoparasite species (10 species) was registered on one specimen only. The parasite load was dispersed unevenly among the infected voles. Mean number of parasites of all species on a host individual varied

  7. A temporal dilution effect: hantavirus infection in deer mice and the intermittent presence of voles in Montana.

    PubMed

    Carver, Scott; Kuenzi, Amy; Bagamian, Karoun H; Mills, James N; Rollin, Pierre E; Zanto, Susanne N; Douglass, Richard

    2011-07-01

    The effect of intermittently occurring, non-reservoir host species on pathogen transmission and prevalence in a reservoir population is poorly understood. We investigated whether voles, Microtus spp., which occur intermittently, influenced estimated standing antibody prevalence (ESAP) to Sin Nombre hantavirus (SNV, Bunyaviridae: Hantavirus) among deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, whose populations are persistent. We used 14 years of data from central Montana to investigate whether ESAP among deer mice was related to vole presence or abundance while controlling for the relationship between deer mouse abundance and ESAP. We found a reduction in deer mouse ESAP associated with the presence of voles, independent of vole abundance. A number of studies have documented that geographic locations which support a higher host diversity can be associated with reductions in pathogen prevalence by a hypothesized dilution effect. We suggest a dilution effect may also occur in a temporal dimension at sites where host richness fluctuates. Preservation of host diversity and optimization of environmental conditions which promote occurrence of ephemeral species, such as voles, may result in a decreased ESAP to hantaviruses among reservoir hosts. Our results may extend to other zoonotic infectious diseases. PMID:21170746

  8. A temporal dilution effect: hantavirus infection in deer mice and the intermittent presence of voles in Montana

    PubMed Central

    Kuenzi, Amy; Bagamian, Karoun H.; Mills, James N.; Rollin, Pierre E.; Zanto, Susanne N.; Douglass, Richard

    2011-01-01

    The effect of intermittently occurring, non-reservoir host species on pathogen transmission and prevalence in a reservoir population is poorly understood. We investigated whether voles, Microtus spp., which occur intermittently, influenced estimated standing antibody prevalence (ESAP) to Sin Nombre hantavirus (SNV, Bunyaviridae: Hantavirus) among deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, whose populations are persistent. We used 14 years of data from central Montana to investigate whether ESAP among deer mice was related to vole presence or abundance while controlling for the relationship between deer mouse abundance and ESAP. We found a reduction in deer mouse ESAP associated with the presence of voles, independent of vole abundance. A number of studies have documented that geographic locations which support a higher host diversity can be associated with reductions in pathogen prevalence by a hypothesized dilution effect. We suggest a dilution effect may also occur in a temporal dimension at sites where host richness fluctuates. Preservation of host diversity and optimization of environmental conditions which promote occurrence of ephemeral species, such as voles, may result in a decreased ESAP to hantaviruses among reservoir hosts. Our results may extend to other zoonotic infectious diseases. PMID:21170746

  9. Effects of ungulates and prairie dogs on seed banks and vegetation in a North American mixed-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fahnestock, J.T.; Larson, D.L.; Plumb, G.E.; Detling, J.K.

    2003-01-01

    The relationship between vegetation cover and soil seed banks was studied in five different ungulate herbivoreprairie dog treatment combinations at three northern mixed-grass prairie sites in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. There were distinct differences in both the seed bank composition and the aboveground vegetation between the off-prairie dog colony treatments and the on-colony treatments. The three on-colony treatments were similar to each other at all three sites with vegetation dominated by the forbs Dyssodia papposa, Hedeoma spp., Sphaeralcea coccinea, Conyza canadensis, and Plantago patagonica and seed banks dominated by the forbs Verbena bracteata and Dyssodia papposa. The two off-colony treatments were also similar to each other at all three sites. Vegetation at these sites was dominated by the grasses Pascopyrum smithii, Bromus tectorum and Bouteloua gracilis and the seed banks were dominated by several grasses including Bromus tectorum, Monroa squarrosa, Panicum capillare, Sporobolus cryptandra and Stipa viridula. A total of 146 seedlings representing 21 species germinated and emerged from off-colony treatments while 3069 seedlings comprising 33 species germinated from on-colony treatments. Fifteen of the forty species found in soil seed banks were not present in the vegetation, and 57 of the 82 species represented in the vegetation were not found in the seed banks. Few dominant species typical of mixed-grass prairie vegetation germinated and emerged from seed banks collected from prairie dog colony treatments suggesting that removal of prairie dogs will not result in the rapid reestablishment of representative mixed-grass prairie unless steps are taken to restore the soil seed bank.

  10. [Genetic Diversity of the Cytochrome b Gene Fragment Haplotypes in Red-Backed Vole Myodes (Clethrionomys) rutilus Pallas, 1779].

    PubMed

    Pereverzeva, V V; Primak, A A

    2016-02-01

    For the first time, genetic analysis of the cytochrome b gene fragment haplotypes encoding the identical and the most common cytochrome b polypeptide (F1) in M. rutilus from Eastern and Beringian mateml lineages was carried out. The F1 frequencies for the vole populations from Northern Priokhotye and the Kolyma basin were calculated. Considerable polymorphism of the cytochrome b F1 haplotypes within two major phylo- groups of red-backed vole was supported by high molecular diversity indices for these clades. The proportion of genetic variation between the maternal lineages of F1 red-backed vole individuals (60.71%) was considerably higher than inter-(24.44%) and intrapopulation (14.85%) components. The data obtained make it possible to advance a hypothesis on the convergence of the cytochrome b polypeptide structure upon sequence divergence of the corresponding gene. PMID:27215033

  11. Time course of androgenic modulation of odor preferences and odor cues in male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus.

    PubMed

    Ferkin, M H

    1992-12-01

    During the breeding season, male meadow voles prefer female over male odors and females prefer male over female odors. Testosterone control of males' odor preferences and production of odors attractive to females differ. A male meadow vole's preference for female versus male odor was still evident 1 week after castration, but not 1 week later. This preference was reinstated in testosterone-treated male voles 2 weeks after the onset of hormone replacement. The attractiveness of male odors to females did not disappear until 3 weeks after castration. The attractiveness of male odors was reinstated 1 week after castrated males were treated with testosterone. The time course for the androgenic modulation of production of odors attractive to females may facilitate breeding. For example, at the end of the breeding season males may emit an odor that is still attractive to females. Similarly, at the beginning of the breeding season males may emit an odor that is attractive to females. PMID:1478635

  12. Butterfly responses to prairie restoration through fire and grazing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Debinski, Diane M.; Koford, Rolf R.; Miller, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    The development of land for modern agriculture has resulted in losses of native prairie habitat. The small, isolated patches of prairie habitat that remain are threatened by fire suppression, overgrazing, and invasion by non-native species. We evaluated the effects of three restoration practices (grazing only, burning only, and burning and grazing) on the vegetation characteristics and butterfly communities of remnant prairies. Total butterfly abundance was highest on prairies that were managed with burning and grazing and lowest on those that were only burned. Butterfly species richness did not differ among any of the restoration practices. Butterfly species diversity was highest on sites that were only burned. Responses of individual butterfly species to restoration practices were highly variable. In the best predictive regression model, total butterfly abundance was negatively associated with the percent cover of bare ground and positively associated with the percent cover of forbs. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that sites with burned only and grazed only practices could be separated based on their butterfly community composition. Butterfly communities in each of the three restoration practices are equally species rich but different practices yield compositionally different butterfly communities. Because of this variation in butterfly species responses to different restoration practices, there is no single practice that will benefit all species or even all species within habitat-specialist or habitat-generalist habitat guilds. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The Great American Prairie: An Integrated Fifth Grade Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stange, Terrence V.; Wyant, Susan L.

    1999-01-01

    Maintains that children's literature broadens students views and understanding of the past while also offering teachers a means for integrating the elementary curriculum. Provides an integrated unit using a literture-social studies connection that focuses on the Great American Prairie during the pioneer period and gives a list of supporting…

  14. Guide to the 2004 Prairie State Achievement Examination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Board of Education, 2004

    2004-01-01

    The Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) measures student achievement relative to the Illinois Learning Standards. It recognizes the excellent achievement of individual students whose scores qualify them for honors, and it measures the progress that schools have made in helping their students meet the Illinois Learning Standards. The PSAE…

  15. Prairie State Achievement Examination: Teacher's Handbook, 2003-2004

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Board of Education, 2004

    2004-01-01

    This handbook contains information for high school educators--teachers, curriculum coordinators, counselors, and principals--as they prepare students to take the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE). The first section explains the purpose of the PSAE, gives timelines and test-day schedules, and shows how the PSAE is constructed. The rest…

  16. Increased snow facilitates plant invasion in mixed grass prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although global change is known to influence plant invasion, relatively little is known about interactions between altered precipitation and invasion. In the North American Mixedgrass prairie, invasive species are often abundant in wet and nitrogen rich areas, suggesting that predicted changes in pr...

  17. Canopy-Coverage Method Compares Pasture and Prairie

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jantzen, Paul G.

    1973-01-01

    Describes the procedures used by a high school biology class in an ecological study related to the degeneration of grasslands. The canopy-coverage method of vegetational analysis was used to compare a low-grade, over-grazed pasture with a nearby high-quality prairie. An interpretation of the results is also presented. (JR)

  18. Wetland Ecosystem Services Vary With Climate for Prairie Pothole Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hydrology is the primary mechanism for the cyclic vegetation dynamics collectively known as the wetland cover cycle, which drives ecosystem services for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). These palustrine, depressional basin waters vacillate with regional drought and deluge, so surface water fluctuat...

  19. Profiling Cover Cycle Dynamics for Prairie Pothole Wetland Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The national call to assess effects of conservation requires wetland profiles reflect current and long-term natural variability, which poses a significant challenge for over 3 million wetlands located in the U.S. portion of the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). One of the conservation goals in the PPR ...

  20. 21. LOOKING EAST ALONG NORTH BRANCH PRAIRIE CITY DITCH TO ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    21. LOOKING EAST ALONG NORTH BRANCH PRAIRIE CITY DITCH TO POINT (AT WIRE ROLL) WHERE IT IS CUT BY A ROCK WALL. DITCH IS ALSO VISIBLE RUNNING ALONG BASE OF KNOLL IN DISTANCE, BELOW AND TO RIGHT OF DEAD TREE. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  1. Remote Wetland Assessment for Missouri Coteau Prairie Glacial Basins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Missouri Coteau prairie glacial wetlands are subject to numerous anthropogenic disturbances, such as cultivation, construction, and chemical inputs from upland land-use practices. High wetland density and temporal variability among these ecosystems necessitate synoptic tools for watershed-scale wetl...

  2. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  3. 23. TERMINUS, NORTH BRANCH PRAIRIE CITY DITCH. DITCH COMES FROM ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    23. TERMINUS, NORTH BRANCH PRAIRIE CITY DITCH. DITCH COMES FROM ISOLATED GROUP OF TREES IN MIDDLE DISTANCE, AND ENDS AT CENTER RIGHT. WATER THEN PROCEEDED DOWN SWALE, INTO TREES AT LEFT. VIEW TO NORTH. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  4. 22. NORTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, CONTOURING AROUND SIDE OF ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    22. NORTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, CONTOURING AROUND SIDE OF KNOLL. DITCH LIES BETWEEN OAK TREE AND POINTED ROCKS, AND EXITS PHOTOGRAPH AT LOWER RIGHT CORNER. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  5. Recommended methods for range-wide monitoring of prairie dogs in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDonald, Lyman L.; Stanley, Thomas R.; Otis, David L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Stevens, Patricia D.; Koprowski, John L.; Ballard, Warren

    2011-01-01

    One of the greatest challenges for conserving grassland, prairie scrub, and shrub-steppe ecosystems is maintaining prairie dog populations across the landscape. Of the four species of prairie dogs found in the United States, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened, the Gunnison's prairie dog (C. gunnisoni) is a candidate for listing in a portion of its range, and the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) and white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) have each been petitioned for listing at least once in recent history. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined listing is not warranted for either the black-tailed prairie dog or white-tailed prairie dog, the petitions and associated reviews demonstrated the need for the States to monitor and manage for self-sustaining populations. In response to these findings, a multi-State conservation effort was initiated for the nonlisted species which included the following proposed actions: (1) completing an assessment of each prairie dog species in each State, (2) developing a range-wide monitoring protocol for each species using a statistically valid sampling procedure that would allow comparable analyses across States, and (3) monitoring prairie dog status every 3-5 years depending upon the species. To date, each State has completed an assessment and currently is monitoring prairie dog status; however, for some species, the inconsistency in survey methodology has made it difficult to compare data year-to-year or State-to-State. At the Prairie Dog Conservation Team meeting held in November 2008, there was discussion regarding the use of different methods to survey prairie dogs. A recommendation from this meeting was to convene a panel in a workshop-type forum and have the panel review the different methods being used and provide recommendations for range-wide monitoring protocols for each species of prairie dog. Consequently, the Western

  6. Successive sheep grazing reduces population density of Brandt's voles in steppe grassland by altering food resources: a large manipulative experiment.

    PubMed

    Li, Guoliang; Yin, Baofa; Wan, Xinrong; Wei, Wanhong; Wang, Guiming; Krebs, Charles J; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has shaped grassland ecosystems around the world. Previous studies indicated grazing showed various impacts on small rodents; however, most studies were conducted over 1-2 years without controlling for confounding factors such as immigration/emigration and predation in rodents. Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) are generally recognized as pests because of food overlap with domestic herbivores, but are also important for biodiversity conservation because they provide nests or food to many birds. Fully understanding the ecological relationship between domestic herbivores and small mammals is essential to making ecosystem management decisions. To address these needs, we carried out a field experiment during the period 2010-2013 to assess the effects of sheep grazing on vegetation and the population density of Brandt's voles along a gradient of three grazing intensities by using 12 large-scale enclosures. Responses of Brandt's voles to livestock grazing varied with grazing intensity and year. As compared to the control group, sheep grazing had no effect on vole abundance in the first year but an overall negative effect on vole abundance in the following 3 years. Successive grazing caused decreases in survival and male body mass of voles, but had no significant effect on fecundity. Negative effects of grazing were associated with a grazing-induced deterioration in both food quantity (reflected by biomass and cover of less-preferred plants), and food quality (measured by tannin and total phenol content). Our findings highlight the urgent need for more flexible management of yearly rotational grazing to optimize livestock production while maintaining species diversity and ecosystem health. PMID:26446568

  7. Intracerebral Borna Disease Virus Infection of Bank Voles Leading to Peripheral Spread and Reverse Transcription of Viral RNA

    PubMed Central

    Kinnunen, Paula Maria; Inkeroinen, Hanna; Ilander, Mette; Kallio, Eva Riikka; Heikkilä, Henna Pauliina; Koskela, Esa; Mappes, Tapio; Palva, Airi; Vaheri, Antti; Kipar, Anja; Vapalahti, Olli

    2011-01-01

    Bornaviruses, which chronically infect many species, can cause severe neurological diseases in some animal species; their association with human neuropsychiatric disorders is, however, debatable. The epidemiology of Borna disease virus (BDV), as for other members of the family Bornaviridae, is largely unknown, although evidence exists for a reservoir in small mammals, for example bank voles (Myodes glareolus). In addition to the current exogenous infections and despite the fact that bornaviruses have an RNA genome, bornavirus sequences integrated into the genomes of several vertebrates millions of years ago. Our hypothesis is that the bank vole, a common wild rodent species in traditional BDV-endemic areas, can serve as a viral host; we therefore explored whether this species can be infected with BDV, and if so, how the virus spreads and whether viral RNA is transcribed into DNA in vivo. We infected neonate bank voles intracerebrally with BDV and euthanized them 2 to 8 weeks post-infection. Specific Ig antibodies were detectable in 41%. Histological evaluation revealed no significant pathological alterations, but BDV RNA and antigen were detectable in all infected brains. Immunohistology demonstrated centrifugal spread throughout the nervous tissue, because viral antigen was widespread in peripheral nerves and ganglia, including the mediastinum, esophagus, and urinary bladder. This was associated with viral shedding in feces, of which 54% were BDV RNA-positive, and urine at 17%. BDV nucleocapsid gene DNA occurred in 66% of the infected voles, and, surprisingly, occasionally also phosphoprotein DNA. Thus, intracerebral BDV infection of bank vole led to systemic infection of the nervous tissue and viral excretion, as well as frequent reverse transcription of the BDV genome, enabling genomic integration. This first experimental bornavirus infection in wild mammals confirms the recent findings regarding bornavirus DNA, and suggests that bank voles are capable of

  8. Intracerebral Borna disease virus infection of bank voles leading to peripheral spread and reverse transcription of viral RNA.

    PubMed

    Kinnunen, Paula Maria; Inkeroinen, Hanna; Ilander, Mette; Kallio, Eva Riikka; Heikkilä, Henna Pauliina; Koskela, Esa; Mappes, Tapio; Palva, Airi; Vaheri, Antti; Kipar, Anja; Vapalahti, Olli

    2011-01-01

    Bornaviruses, which chronically infect many species, can cause severe neurological diseases in some animal species; their association with human neuropsychiatric disorders is, however, debatable. The epidemiology of Borna disease virus (BDV), as for other members of the family Bornaviridae, is largely unknown, although evidence exists for a reservoir in small mammals, for example bank voles (Myodes glareolus). In addition to the current exogenous infections and despite the fact that bornaviruses have an RNA genome, bornavirus sequences integrated into the genomes of several vertebrates millions of years ago. Our hypothesis is that the bank vole, a common wild rodent species in traditional BDV-endemic areas, can serve as a viral host; we therefore explored whether this species can be infected with BDV, and if so, how the virus spreads and whether viral RNA is transcribed into DNA in vivo.We infected neonate bank voles intracerebrally with BDV and euthanized them 2 to 8 weeks post-infection. Specific Ig antibodies were detectable in 41%. Histological evaluation revealed no significant pathological alterations, but BDV RNA and antigen were detectable in all infected brains. Immunohistology demonstrated centrifugal spread throughout the nervous tissue, because viral antigen was widespread in peripheral nerves and ganglia, including the mediastinum, esophagus, and urinary bladder. This was associated with viral shedding in feces, of which 54% were BDV RNA-positive, and urine at 17%. BDV nucleocapsid gene DNA occurred in 66% of the infected voles, and, surprisingly, occasionally also phosphoprotein DNA. Thus, intracerebral BDV infection of bank vole led to systemic infection of the nervous tissue and viral excretion, as well as frequent reverse transcription of the BDV genome, enabling genomic integration. This first experimental bornavirus infection in wild mammals confirms the recent findings regarding bornavirus DNA, and suggests that bank voles are capable of

  9. Beech Fructification and Bank Vole Population Dynamics - Combined Analyses of Promoters of Human Puumala Virus Infections in Germany

    PubMed Central

    Reil, Daniela; Imholt, Christian; Eccard, Jana Anja; Jacob, Jens

    2015-01-01

    The transmission of wildlife zoonoses to humans depends, amongst others, on complex interactions of host population ecology and pathogen dynamics within host populations. In Europe, the Puumala virus (PUUV) causes nephropathia epidemica in humans. In this study we investigated complex interrelations within the epidemic system of PUUV and its rodent host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). We suggest that beech fructification and bank vole abundance are both decisive factors affecting human PUUV infections. While rodent host dynamics are expected to be directly linked to human PUUV infections, beech fructification is a rather indirect predictor by serving as food source for PUUV rodent hosts. Furthermore, we examined the dependence of bank vole abundance on beech fructification. We analysed a 12-year (2001-2012) time series of the parameters: beech fructification (as food resource for the PUUV host), bank vole abundance and human incidences from 7 Federal States of Germany. For the first time, we could show the direct interrelation between these three parameters involved in human PUUV epidemics and we were able to demonstrate on a large scale that human PUUV infections are highly correlated with bank vole abundance in the present year, as well as beech fructification in the previous year. By using beech fructification and bank vole abundance as predictors in one model we significantly improved the degree of explanation of human PUUV incidence. Federal State was included as random factor because human PUUV incidence varies considerably among states. Surprisingly, the effect of rodent abundance on human PUUV infections is less strong compared to the indirect effect of beech fructification. Our findings are useful to facilitate the development of predictive models for host population dynamics and the related PUUV infection risk for humans and can be used for plant protection and human health protection purposes. PMID:26214509

  10. Selenium concentration, speciation and behavior in surface waters of the Canadian prairies.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiaoxi; Wang, Feiyue; Hanson, Mark L

    2009-11-01

    Similar to the San Joaquin Valley of California, the Canadian prairies are underlain with seleniferous shale and have recently witnessed a significant expansion in irrigated agriculture. The irrigated acreage in the prairies is expected to further increase due to global warming and changes in human use patterns. This raises concerns over potential selenium (Se) contamination in prairie surface waters and risk of adverse biological effects. To test the potential for elevated Se in the prairies, Se concentrations and speciation were examined in surface water, sediments, and sediment porewater in three water bodies in southern Manitoba, Canada, along a north-south transect with a gradient of irrigation and agricultural activities. A selenite addition experiment was also performed in mesocosms in a prairie wetland to assess the risk of increasing Se loading to the prairie waters. Overall, our results indicate that Se concentrations in the prairie waters of southern Manitoba are presently low except during the snowmelt season, that Se speciation is dominated by selenate which is of lower toxicity than selenite, and that if additional selenite is discharged into the prairie waters, it will be quickly removed from the surface water to the sediment. The low Se risk in the Canadian prairies is attributed to high soil drainability and relatively small scale of irrigation at present. The Se problem as being experienced in central California is thus unlikely to occur in surface waters of the Canadian prairies, although Se contamination in ground water is possible should the irrigated acreage continue to increase. PMID:19732939

  11. Diets of swift foxes (Vulpes velox) in continuous and fragmented prairie in Northwestern Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kamler, J.F.; Ballard, W.B.; Wallace, M.C.; Gipson, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    Distribution of the swift fox (Vulpes velox) has declined dramatically since the 1800s, and suggested causes of this decline are habitat fragmentation and transformation due to agricultural expansion. However, impacts of fragmentation and human-altered habitats on swift foxes still are not well understood. To better understand what effects these factors have on diets of swift foxes, scats were collected in northwestern Texas at two study sites, one of continuous native prairie and one representing fragmented native prairie interspersed with agricultural and fields in the Conservation Reserve Program. Leporids, a potential food source, were surveyed seasonally on both sites. Diets of swift foxes differed between sites; insects were consumed more on continuous prairie, whereas mammals, birds, and crops were consumed more on fragmented prairie. Size of populations of leporids were 2-3 times higher on fragmented prairie, and swift foxes responded by consuming more leporids on fragmented (11.1% frequency occurrence) than continuous (3.8%) prairie. Dietary diversity was greater on fragmented prairie during both years of the study. Differences in diets between sites suggested that the swift fox is an adaptable and opportunistic feeder, able to exploit a variety of food resources, probably in relation to availability of food. We suggest that compared to continuous native prairie, fragmented prairie can offer swift foxes a more diverse prey base, at least within the mosaic of native prairie, agricultural, and fields that are in the Conservation Reserve Program.

  12. Black-tailed prairie dogs and the structure of avian communities on the shortgrass plains.

    PubMed

    Smith, Gregory A; Lomolino, Mark V

    2004-03-01

    We tested the hypothesis that black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) influence avian community structure on the shortgrass prairie. We surveyed 36 prairie dog towns and 36 paired sites without prairie dogs during summer and fall of 1997, 1998, and 1999 in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Our surveys totaled 9,040 individual observations for 73 avian species. Significantly distinct avian communities were present on prairie dog towns when compared to sites within four different macrohabitats of the surrounding landscape: open rangeland, scrub/sandsage (Artemisia filifolia) habitats, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) plots, and fallow crop fields. Relative densities of all bird species combined was higher on prairie dog towns versus paired sites in summer and fall. Mean species richness of birds was significantly higher on prairie dog towns than paired sites during summer, but there were no significant differences in fall. Open rangeland had the highest mean species richness in fall. Assemblages of avian communities differed significantly between prairie dog towns and the four macrohabitat types during summer. Burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia), killdeer (Charadrius vociferous), horned larks (Eremophila alpestris), and meadowlarks (Sturnella spp.) were positively and significantly associated with prairie dog towns during summer, while horned larks and ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis) were significantly associated with prairie dog towns during fall. Even in their current remnant state, black-tailed prairie dogs continue to play a significant role in the assembly of ecological communities across the Great Plains. Conservation of prairie dogs goes well beyond a single species, and is an important strategy for the preservation of the prairie ecosystem as a whole. PMID:14685848

  13. Effect of seed scarification and seeding depth on greenhouse seedling emergence in western prairie clover, Searls prairie clover, and Basalt milkvetch

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only a few North American legumes are commercially available for rangeland revegetation in the western U.S. Basalt milkvetch (Astragalus filipes, Asfi)), western prairie clover (Dalea ornata, Daor) and Searls' prairie clover (D. searlsiae, Dase) are three North American legumes that hold promise for...

  14. Comparative toxicity of acephate in laboratory mice, white-footed mice, and meadow voles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Hoffman, D.J.

    1984-01-01

    The LD50 (95% confidence limits) of the organophosphorus insecticide acephate was estimated to be 351, 380, and 321 mg/kg (295?416, 280?516, and 266?388 mg/kg) for CD-1 laboratory mice (Mus musculus), white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis), and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), respectively. In a second study, these species were provided mash containing 0, 25, 100, and 400 ppm acephate for five days. Brain and plasma cholinesterase activities were reduced in a dose-dependent manner to a similar extent in the three species (inhibition of brain acetyl-cholinesterase averaged for each species ranged from 13 to 22% at 25 ppm, 33 to 42% at 100 ppm, and 56 to 57% at 400 ppm). Mash intake, body or liver weight, plasma enzyme activities (alkaline phosphatase, alanine and aspartate aminotransferase), hepatic enzyme activities (aniline hydroxylase, 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase, and glutathione S-transferase), and cytochrome content (P-450 and b5) were not affected by acephate ingestion, although values differed among species. In a third experiment, mice and voles received 400 ppm acephate for 5 days followed by untreated food for up to 2 weeks. Mean inhibition of brain acetylcholin-esterase for the three species ranged from 47 to 58% on day 5, but by days 12 and 19, activity had recovered to 66 to 76% and 81 to 88% of concurrent control values. These findings indicate that CD-1 laboratory mice, white-footed mice, and meadow voles are equally sensitive to acephate when maintained under uniform laboratory conditions. Several factors (e.g., behavior, food preference, habitat) could affect routes and degree of exposure in the field, thereby rendering some species of wild rodents ecologically more vulnerable to organophosphorus insecticides.

  15. Comparative toxicity of acephate in laboratory mice, white-footed mice and meadow voles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Hoffman, D.J.

    1983-01-01

    The LD50 (95% confidence limits) of the organophosphorus insecticide acephate was estimated to be 351, 380, and 321 mg/kg (295?416, 280?516, and 266?388 mg/kg) for CD-1 laboratory mice (Mus musculus), white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis), and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), respectively. In a second study, these species were provided mash containing 0, 25, 100, and 400 ppm acephate for five days. Brain and plasma cholinesterase activities were reduced in a dose-dependent manner to a similar extent in the three species (inhibition of brain acetyl-cholinesterase averaged for each species ranged from 13 to 22% at 25 ppm, 33 to 42% at 100 ppm, and 56 to 57% at 400 ppm). Mash intake, body or liver weight, plasma enzyme activities (alkaline phosphatase, alanine and aspartate aminotransferase), hepatic enzyme activities (aniline hydroxylase, 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase, and glutathione S-transferase), and cytochrome content (P-450 and b5) were not affected by acephate ingestion, although values differed among species. In a third experiment, mice and voles received 400 ppm acephate for 5 days followed by untreated food for up to 2 weeks. Mean inhibition of brain acetylcholin-esterase for the three species ranged from 47 to 58% on day 5, but by days 12 and 19, activity had recovered to 66 to 76% and 81 to 88% of concurrent control values. These findings indicate that CD-1 laboratory mice, white-footed mice, and meadow voles are equally sensitive to acephate when maintained under uniform laboratory conditions. Several factors (e.g., behavior, food preference, habitat) could affect routes and degree of exposure in the field, thereby rendering some species of wild rodents ecologically more vulnerable to organophosphorus insecticides.

  16. Evidence that bank vole PrP is a universal acceptor for prions.

    PubMed

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Patel, Smita; Oehler, Abby; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2014-04-01

    Bank voles are uniquely susceptible to a wide range of prion strains isolated from many different species. To determine if this enhanced susceptibility to interspecies prion transmission is encoded within the sequence of the bank vole prion protein (BVPrP), we inoculated Tg(M109) and Tg(I109) mice, which express BVPrP containing either methionine or isoleucine at polymorphic codon 109, with 16 prion isolates from 8 different species: humans, cattle, elk, sheep, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and meadow voles. Efficient disease transmission was observed in both Tg(M109) and Tg(I109) mice. For instance, inoculation of the most common human prion strain, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) subtype MM1, into Tg(M109) mice gave incubation periods of ∼200 days that were shortened slightly on second passage. Chronic wasting disease prions exhibited an incubation time of ∼250 days, which shortened to ∼150 days upon second passage in Tg(M109) mice. Unexpectedly, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant CJD prions caused rapid neurological dysfunction in Tg(M109) mice upon second passage, with incubation periods of 64 and 40 days, respectively. Despite the rapid incubation periods, other strain-specified properties of many prion isolates--including the size of proteinase K-resistant PrPSc, the pattern of cerebral PrPSc deposition, and the conformational stability--were remarkably conserved upon serial passage in Tg(M109) mice. Our results demonstrate that expression of BVPrP is sufficient to engender enhanced susceptibility to a diverse range of prion isolates, suggesting that BVPrP may be a universal acceptor for prions. PMID:24699458

  17. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Père David's Vole, Eothenomys melanogaster (Rodentia: Arvicolinae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Shunde; Chen, Guiying; Wei, Haixue; Wang, Qiong

    2016-07-01

    The Père David's Vole, Eothenomys melanogaster belongs to subfamily Arvicolinae. It is widespread in south China, and ranges into northern Southeast Asia. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Eothenomys melanogaster was determined. The mitogenome is 16,331 base pairs in length. The nucleotide sequence data of 12 heavy-strand protein-coding genes of E. melanogaster and other 17 rodents were used for phylogenetic analyses. Tree constructed using Bayesian phylogenetic methods demonstrated that E. melanogaster as a sister to E. chinensis, was clustered in subfamily Arvicolinae. The monophyly of the genus Eothenomys was supported as well with Eothenomys sister to the genus Myodes. PMID:26024146

  18. Severe ulceronecrotic dermatitis associated with mite infestation in the critically endangered Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis).

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet; Branston, Tammy; Woods, Leslie; Clifford, Deana

    2013-08-01

    The entire range of the critically endangered Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis) consists of less than 20 km(2) of riparian habitat in the Amargosa River drainage of the Mojave Desert in southern California. In September 2010, deformities on ears and chiggers on the ears and genitalia were detected, with some individuals so severely affected that they were missing ear pinnae altogether. Follow-up trapping was performed to document the presence of mites and mite-associated disease, and molecular characterization was performed on the mites. Of 151 Amargosa voles sampled from February to April of 2011, 60 (39.7%) voles had hard orange mites adhered to some part of their bodies, on ears of 46 (76.7%), on genitalia of 11 (18.3%), and near mammary tissue of 13 (21.7%) voles. Gross lesions were not detected on genitalia, but 47% of all individuals examined showed pinnal lesions and deformities, which included alopecia, swelling, marginal necrosis, and ulceration, as well as scarring, scabbing, and loss of pinna mass covering 25-100% of the pinnae. Biopsies revealed parakeratotic hyperkeratosis and acanthosis with diffuse neutrophilic exocytosis and dense necrotic granulocytes in the epidermis and superficial dermis associated with focal erosion and ulceration. In the underlying dermis, there were dense pleocellular inflammatory cell infiltrates composed primarily of necrotic granulocytes and multifocal hemorrhage. In some samples, mite mouthparts could be seen penetrating the superficial epidermis associated with focal necrosis, and mite fragments were found on the surface epidermis and within hair follicles. Microscopic examination of the mites documented that they were a larval trombiculid in the genus Neotrombicula with anatomical features that most closely resemble Neotrombicula microti, based on scutal shape, setation, and texture. PCR of 2 mite pools (each consisting of 3 mites from an individual animal) amplified 331 bp amplicons, which had 92

  19. Maternal melatonin treatment influences rates of neonatal development of meadow vole pups.

    PubMed

    Lee, T M; Spears, N; Tuthill, C R; Zucker, I

    1989-03-01

    Meadow vole dams, housed in a 14L:10D photoperiod were injected daily 3 h before onset of darkness with 10 micrograms melatonin. Treatment during gestation or lactation produced offspring that exhibited altered somatic, testicular, and pelage growth. Gestational melatonin treatment decreased preweaning weight gain, delayed testicular development, and increased pelage growth in offspring, whereas melatonin treatment during lactation increased pelage depth at weaning and increased post-weaning somatic growth. These results suggest that pre- and postnatal maternal melatonin secretory patterns influence postnatal development of photosensitive traits in offspring. PMID:2667649

  20. Ecosystem engineering varies spatially: a test of the vegetation modification paradigm for prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Bruce W.; Augustine, David J.; Sedgwick, James A.; Lubow, Bruce C.

    2013-01-01

    Colonial, burrowing herbivores can be engineers of grassland and shrubland ecosystems worldwide. Spatial variation in landscapes suggests caution when extrapolating single-place studies of single species, but lack of data and the need to generalize often leads to ‘model system’ thinking and application of results beyond appropriate statistical inference. Generalizations about the engineering effects of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) developed largely from intensive study at a single complex of black-tailed prairie dogs C. ludovicianus in northern mixed prairie, but have been extrapolated to other ecoregions and prairie dog species in North America, and other colonial, burrowing herbivores. We tested the paradigm that prairie dogs decrease vegetation volume and the cover of grasses and tall shrubs, and increase bare ground and forb cover. We sampled vegetation on and off 279 colonies at 13 complexes of 3 prairie dog species widely distributed across 5 ecoregions in North America. The paradigm was generally supported at 7 black-tailed prairie dog complexes in northern mixed prairie, where vegetation volume, grass cover, and tall shrub cover were lower, and bare ground and forb cover were higher, on colonies than at paired off-colony sites. Outside the northern mixed prairie, all 3 prairie dog species consistently reduced vegetation volume, but their effects on cover of plant functional groups varied with prairie dog species and the grazing tolerance of dominant perennial grasses. White-tailed prairie dogs C. leucurus in sagebrush steppe did not reduce shrub cover, whereas black-tailed prairie dogs suppressed shrub cover at all complexes with tall shrubs in the surrounding habitat matrix. Black-tailed prairie dogs in shortgrass steppe and Gunnison's prairie dogs C. gunnisoni in Colorado Plateau grassland both had relatively minor effects on grass cover, which may reflect the dominance of grazing-tolerant shortgrasses at both complexes. Variation in modification of

  1. Beyond the Mediterranean peninsulas: evidence of central European glacial refugia for a temperate forest mammal species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus).

    PubMed

    Deffontaine, V; Libois, R; Kotlík, P; Sommer, R; Nieberding, C; Paradis, E; Searle, J B; Michaux, J R

    2005-05-01

    This study details the phylogeographic pattern of the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus, a European rodent species strongly associated with forest habitat. We used sequences of 1011 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b gene from 207 bank voles collected in 62 localities spread throughout its distribution area. Our results reveal the presence of three Mediterranean (Spanish, Italian and Balkan) and three continental (western, eastern and 'Ural') phylogroups. The endemic Mediterranean phylogroups did not contribute to the post-glacial recolonization of much of the Palaearctic range of species. Instead, the major part of this region was apparently recolonized by bank voles that survived in glacial refugia in central Europe. Moreover, our phylogeographic analyses also reveal differentiated populations of bank voles in the Ural mountains and elsewhere, which carry the mitochondrial DNA of another related vole species, the ruddy vole (Clethrionomys rutilus). In conclusion, this study demonstrates a complex phylogeographic history for a forest species in Europe which is sufficiently adaptable that, facing climate change, survives in relict southern and northern habitats. The high level of genetic diversity characterizing vole populations from parts of central Europe also highlights the importance of such regions as a source of intraspecific genetic biodiversity. PMID:15836645

  2. Guidelines for managing lesser prairie-chicken populations and their habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hagen, C.A.; Jamison, B.E.; Giesen, K.M.; Riley, T.Z.

    2004-01-01

    Lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) populations have declined by >90% since the 1800s. These declines have concerned both biologists and private conservation groups and led to a petition to list the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Most of the land in the current range of the lesser prairie-chicken is privately owned, and declines have been primarily attributed to anthropogenic factors. Conversion of native rangeland to cropland and excessive grazing have been implicated as leading causes in the species' decline. Periodic drought probably has exacerbated these problems. Little research on habitat requirements was conducted prior to 1970. Despite recent advances in the knowledge of lesser prairie-chicken ecology, no comprehensive guidelines for management of the species have been published. In these guidelines, we provide a synopsis of our current knowledge of lesser prairie-chicken habitat requirements and suggest management strategies to monitor, maintain, and enhance lesser prairie-chicken populations.

  3. Foods and foraging of prairie striped skunks during the avian nesting season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenwood, R.J.; Sargeant, A.B.; Piehl, J.L.; Buhl, D.A.; Hanson, B.A.

    1999-01-01

    Food habits of prairie skunks are not well understood, yet such knowledge might provide insight into factors influencing nest depredation. We studied food habits of radiocollared adult striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) during 1976-78 in North Dakota, where skunks are regarded as important predators of ground-nesting birds. Plant foods, primarily grain and sunflower seeds, occurred in a larger percentage of scats in spring (15 Apr 31 May) than summer (1 Jun 15 July, P=0.04), but overall, plant foods were a minor part of skunk diets. Animal foods, primarily birds (including eggs), small rodents, and insects occurred annually in a large percentage of scats of all skunks. These foods were acquired nearly exclusively in grasslands. Percentage of scats containing animal foods was similar, irrespective of sex, season, or year (P>0.45). In spring, vertebrates occurred in a smaller percentage of scats of females than males (P0.15). Insects were mostly adult and larval Coleoptera, larval Lepidoptera, and adult and nymph Orthoptera.

  4. Diabetes in Danish Bank Voles (M. glareolus): Survivorship, Influence on Weight, and Evaluation of Polydipsia as a Screening Tool for Hyperglycaemia

    PubMed Central

    Schønecker, Bryan; Freimanis, Tonny; Sørensen, Irene Vejgaard

    2011-01-01

    Background Previous studies have concluded that the development of polydipsia (PD, a daily water intake ≥21 ml) among captive Danish bank voles, is associated with the development of a type 1 diabetes (T1D), based on findings of hyperglycaemia, glucosuria, ketonuria/-emia, lipemia, destroyed beta cells, and presence of autoantibodies against GAD65, IA-2, and insulin. Aim and Methods We retrospectively analysed data from two separate colonies of Danish bank voles in order to 1) estimate survivorship after onset of PD, 2) evaluate whether the weight of PD voles differed from non-PD voles, and, 3), evaluate a state of PD as a practical and non-invasive tool to screen for voles with a high probability of hypeglycaemia. In addition, we discuss regional differences related to the development of diabetes in Scandinavian bank voles and the relevance of the Ljungan virus as proposed etiological agent. Results We found that median survival after onset of PD is at least 91 days (lower/upper quartiles = 57/134 days) with a maximum recording of at least 404 days survivorship. The development of PD did not influence the weight of Danish bank voles. The measures of accuracy when using PD as predictor of hyperglycaemia, i.e. sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value, equalled 69%, 97%, 89%, and 89%, respectively. Conclusion The relatively long survival of Danish PD bank voles suggests potentials for this model in future studies of the long-term complications of diabetes, of which some observations are mentioned. Data also indicates that diabetes in Danish bank is not associated with a higher body weight. Finally, the method of using measurements of daily water intake to screen for voles with a high probability of hyperglycaemia constitutes a considerable refinement when compared to the usual, invasive, methods. PMID:21829666

  5. Prairie basin wetlands of the Dakotas: a community profile

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kantrud, H.A.; Krapu, G.L.; Swanson, G.A.

    1989-01-01

    This description of prairie basin wetlands of the Dakotas is part of a series of community profiles on ecologically important wetlands of national significance. The shallow wetlands of the Dakotas form the bulk of the portion of the Prairie Pothole Region lying within the United States. This region is famous as the producer of at least half of North America's waterfowl and an unknown, but large, proportion of other prairie-dwelling marsh and aquatic birds.The wetlands described here lie in relatively small, shallow basins that vary greatly in their ability to maintain surface water, and in their water chemistry, which varies from fresh to hypersaline. These wetlands occur in a wide variety of hydrological settings, in an area where annual and seasonal precipitation varies greatly in form and amount. Thus the presence of surface water in these wetlands is largely unpredictable. Superimposed on these phenomena are the effects of a variety of land uses, including pasture, cultivation, mechanical forage removal, idle conditions and burning. All those factors greatly affect the plant and animal communities found in these basins.This profile covers lacustrine and palustrine basins with temporarily flooded, seasonally flooded, and semipermanently flooded water regimes. Basins with these water regimes compose about 90% of the basins in the Prairie Pothole Region of the Dakotas. This profile outlines the wetland subsystems, classes and subclasses that occur in these basins, and provides a useful reference to their geologic, climatic, hydrologic, and pedologic setting.Detailed information on the biotic environment of the wetlands dealt with in this profile will be useful to scientists and resource managers. Special recognition is paid to the macrophyte and invertebrate communities, which have dynamic qualities found in few other of the world's wetland ecosystems.The most noteworthy animal inhabitants of these basins are waterfowl, which are a resource of international

  6. Habitat management for red tree voles in douglas-fir forests. Biology and management of old-growth forests. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Huff, M.H.; Holthausen, R.S.; Aubry, K.B.

    1992-09-01

    The relations between arboreal rodents and trees causes the animals to be particularly sensitive to the effects of timber harvesting. Among arboreal rodents, the authors consider the red tree vole to be the most vulnerable to local extinctions resulting from the loss or fragmentation of old-growth Douglas-fir forests. Red tree voles are nocturnal, canopy dwelling, and difficult to study. The following habitat characteristics are potentially important for the species: tree species, stand development, tree size, moisture conditions, topographic positions, elevation, and stand size. Based on these characteristics, the authors developed interim management strategies to help sustain or expand existing populations of red tree voles.

  7. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features. Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands. Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads. Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat. Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area. Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  8. AmeriFlux US-IB2 Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory- Batavia (Prairie site)

    SciTech Connect

    Matamala, Roser

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-IB2 Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory- Batavia (Prairie site). Site Description - Two eddy correlation systems are installed at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: one on a restored prairie (established October 2004) and one on a corn/soybean rotation agricultural field (established in July 2005). The prairie site had been farmed for more than 100 years, but was converted to prairie in 1989. April annual to bi-annual prescribed burns have taken place from 1994 - 2007.

  9. The three subtypes of tick-borne encephalitis virus induce encephalitis in a natural host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Tonteri, Elina; Kipar, Anja; Voutilainen, Liina; Vene, Sirkka; Vaheri, Antti; Vapalahti, Olli; Lundkvist, Åke

    2013-01-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) infects bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in nature, but the relevance of rodents for TBEV transmission and maintenance is unclear. We infected colonized bank voles subcutaneously to study and compare the infection kinetics, acute infection, and potential viral persistence of the three known TBEV subtypes: European (TBEV-Eur), Siberian (TBEV-Sib) and Far Eastern (TBEV-FE). All strains representing the three subtypes were infective and highly neurotropic. They induced (meningo)encephalitis in some of the animals, however most of the cases did not present with apparent clinical symptoms. TBEV-RNA was cleared significantly slower from the brain as compared to other organs studied. Supporting our earlier findings in natural rodent populations, TBEV-RNA could be detected in the brain for up to 168 days post infection, but we could not demonstrate infectivity by cell culture isolation. Throughout all time points post infection, RNA of the TBEV-FE was detected significantly more often than RNA of the other two strains in all organs studied. TBEV-FE also induced prolonged viremia, indicating distinctive kinetics in rodents in comparison to the other two subtypes. This study shows that bank voles can develop a neuroinvasive TBEV infection with persistence of viral RNA in brain, and mount an anti-TBEV IgG response. The findings also provide further evidence that bank voles can serve as sentinels for TBEV endemicity. PMID:24349041

  10. The Three Subtypes of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Induce Encephalitis in a Natural Host, the Bank Vole (Myodes glareolus)

    PubMed Central

    Tonteri, Elina; Kipar, Anja; Voutilainen, Liina; Vene, Sirkka; Vaheri, Antti; Vapalahti, Olli; Lundkvist, Åke

    2013-01-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) infects bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in nature, but the relevance of rodents for TBEV transmission and maintenance is unclear. We infected colonized bank voles subcutaneously to study and compare the infection kinetics, acute infection, and potential viral persistence of the three known TBEV subtypes: European (TBEV-Eur), Siberian (TBEV-Sib) and Far Eastern (TBEV-FE). All strains representing the three subtypes were infective and highly neurotropic. They induced (meningo)encephalitis in some of the animals, however most of the cases did not present with apparent clinical symptoms. TBEV-RNA was cleared significantly slower from the brain as compared to other organs studied. Supporting our earlier findings in natural rodent populations, TBEV-RNA could be detected in the brain for up to 168 days post infection, but we could not demonstrate infectivity by cell culture isolation. Throughout all time points post infection, RNA of the TBEV-FE was detected significantly more often than RNA of the other two strains in all organs studied. TBEV-FE also induced prolonged viremia, indicating distinctive kinetics in rodents in comparison to the other two subtypes. This study shows that bank voles can develop a neuroinvasive TBEV infection with persistence of viral RNA in brain, and mount an anti-TBEV IgG response. The findings also provide further evidence that bank voles can serve as sentinels for TBEV endemicity. PMID:24349041

  11. COMPARATIVE TOXICITY OF AZINPHOS-METHYL TO HOUSE MICE, LABORATORY MICE, DEER MICE, AND GRAY-TAILED VOLES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The authors conducted a laboratory toxicity study on house mice and laboratory mice, gray-tailed voles, and deer mice as part of a comprehensive laboratory and field study to field-validate laboratory-based risk assessment of agrichemicals. he single dose oral LD50 for the organo...

  12. Effects of dietary tannic acid on the growth, hepatic gene expression, and antioxidant enzyme activity in Brandt's voles (Microtus brandti).

    PubMed

    Ye, Man-Hong; Nan, Yan-Lei; Ding, Meng-Meng; Hu, Jun-Bang; Liu, Qian; Wei, Wan-Hong; Yang, Sheng-Mei

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate the physiological and biochemical responses of Brandt's voles to the persistent presence of dietary tannic acid. The diet for animals in the experimental group was supplemented with 3% dietary tannic acid for 5weeks. The control group received a commercial lab chow. No significant differences were detected in body weight, organ (heart, kidney, and liver) weights, and organ parameters between animals from two groups. However, voles in the experimental group had significantly higher daily food intake, increased contents of proline and histidine in saliva and feces after protein hydrolysis, and elevated hepatic expression of transferrin than the control. Our results suggested the existence of adaptive strategies developed in Brandt's voles to overcome the adverse effects of dietary tannic acid. (1) Food consumption was increased to satisfy their nutritional demands. (2) The secretion of tannic-acid-binding salivary proteins was promoted. (3) The absorption of iron was enhanced. These alterations contributed to neutralize the negative effects of tannic acid and maintain body mass in animals supplemented with tannic acid. As the result of the consumption of tannic acid, hepatic expression of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase was significantly decreased, while the overall potential of the antioxidant system, characterized by increased hepatic enzymatic activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase, was enhanced. Our results also implied the involvement of tannic acid in the regulation of lipid metabolism and oxidative stress in voles. PMID:26850644

  13. DETERMINATION OF GENETIC DIVERSITY AND PATERNITY IN THE GRAY-TAILED VOLE (MICROTUS CANICAUDUS) BY RAPD-PCR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Genetic relatedness of gray-tailed voles (Microtus canicaudus) was determined by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). This work is the first reported use of the RAPD method for pedigree analysis of M. canicaudus and demonstrates the feasibility of RAPD for assessing paternity...

  14. Sex preselection in mammals. Separation of sperm bearing Y and O chromosomes in the vole Microtus oregoni

    SciTech Connect

    Pinkel, D.; Gledhill, B.L.; Lake, S.; Stephenson, D.; Van Dilla, M.A.

    1982-11-26

    The two sex determining sperm populations of the vole Microtus oregoni were separated according to DNA content by use of flow sorting instrumentation. Although the sperm were not viable, they should be useful for addressing the question of haploid expression of genes linked to sex chromosomes and for efficiently searching for biochemical markers that differentiate the two populations.

  15. Pathogen infection and exposure, and ectoparasites of the federally endangered Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis), California, USA.

    PubMed

    Ott-Conn, Caitlin N; Clifford, Deana; Branston, Tammy; Klinger, Robert; Foley, Janet

    2014-10-01

    Abstract We surveyed pathogens and ectoparasites among federally endangered Amargosa voles (Microtus californicus scirpensis) and sympatric rodents in Tecopa Hot Springs, Inyo County, California, December 2011-November 2012. We aimed to assess disease and detect possible spillover from or connectivity with other hosts within and outside the Amargosa ecosystem. We assessed 71 individual voles and 38 individual sympatric rodents for current infection with seven vector-borne zoonotic pathogens and past exposure to five pathogens. Thirteen percent of Amargosa voles were PCR positive for Toxoplasma gondii, a zoonotic protozoan that may alter host behavior or cause mortality. Additionally, we found antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (SL) spp. in 21% of voles, against Anaplasma phagocytophilum in 2.6%, Rickettsia spp. in 13%, relapsing fever Borrelia (3.9%), and T. gondii (7.9%). Sympatric rodents also had active infections with Borrelia SL spp. (15%). Of the ectoparasites collected, the tick Ixodes minor is of particular interest because the study area is well outside of the species' reported range and because I. minor ticks infest migratory birds as well as rodents, showing a potential mechanism for pathogens to be imported from outside the Amargosa ecosystem. PMID:25121407

  16. Noise trauma induced by a mousetrap--sound pressure level measurement of vole captive bolt devices.

    PubMed

    Frank, Matthias; Napp, Matthias; Lange, Joern; Grossjohann, Rico; Ekkernkamp, Axel; Beule, Achim G

    2010-05-01

    While ballistic parameters of vole captive bolt devices have been reported, there is no investigation on their hazardous potential to cause noise trauma. The aim of this experimental study was to measure the sound pressure levels of vole captive bolt devices. Two different shooting devices were examined with a modular precision sound level meter on an outdoor firing range. Measurements were taken in a semi-circular configuration with measuring points 0 degrees in front of the muzzle, 90 degrees at right angle of the muzzle, and 180 degrees behind the shooting device. Distances between muzzle and microphone were 0.5, 1, 2, 10, and 20 m. Sound pressure levels exceeded 130 dB(C) at any measuring point within the 20-m area. Highest measurements (more than 172 dB[C]) were taken in the 0 degrees direction at the 0.5-m distance for both shooting devices proving the hazardous potential of these gadgets to cause noise trauma. PMID:20345785

  17. Individual variation and repeatability of basal metabolism in the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus.

    PubMed Central

    Labocha, Marta K.; Sadowska, Edyta T.; Baliga, Katarzyna; Semer, Aleksandra K.; Koteja, Paweł

    2004-01-01

    Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is a fundamental energetic trait and has been measured in hundreds of birds and mammals. Nevertheless, little is known about the consistency of the population-average BMR or its repeatability at the level of individual variation. Here, we report that average mass-independent BMR did not differ between two generations of bank voles or between two trials separated by one month. Individual differences in BMR were highly repeatable across the one month interval: the coefficient of intraclass correlation was 0.70 for absolute log-transformed values and 0.56 for mass-independent values. Thus, BMR can be a meaningful measure of an individual physiological characteristic and can be used to test hypotheses concerning relationships between BMR and other traits. On the other hand, mass-independent BMR did not differ significantly across families, and the coefficient of intraclass correlation for full sibs did not differ from zero, which suggests that heritability of BMR in voles is not high. PMID:15101695

  18. Accumulation of lead and organochlorine residues in captive American kestrels fed pine voles from apple orchards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stendell, R.C.; Beyer, W.N.; Stehn, R.A.

    1989-01-01

    Pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) were collected from pesticide-treated orchards in New York and fed to 3 captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) for 60 days to evaluate potential hazards from soil-borne persistent insecticides. Three control kestrels were fed uncontaminated laboratory mice (Mus musculus). The pine voles contained an average of 38 ppm lead, 48 ppm DDE and 1.2 ppm dieldrin (dry weight). The kestrels accumulated sublethal amounts of lead (1 ppm lead wet weight) in their livers. In contrast, DDE and dieldrin accumulated in the tissues and brains of kestrels to toxicologically significant concentrations. Control kestrels remained healthy and accumulated insignificant concentrations of the contaminants. The results indicated raptors may not be significantly at risk from lead residues in soil and biota following field applications of lead arsenate. However, sublethal effects may be expected from the level of contamination by organochlorine pesticides. raptors may not be significantly at risk from lead residues in soil and biota following field applications of lead arsenate. However, sublethal effects may be expected from the level of contamination byorganochlorine pesticides. lead wet weight) in their livers.

  19. Adaptive phylogeography: functional divergence between haemoglobins derived from different glacial refugia in the bank vole

    PubMed Central

    Kotlík, Petr; Marková, Silvia; Vojtek, Libor; Stratil, Antonín; Šlechta, Vlastimil; Hyršl, Pavel; Searle, Jeremy B.

    2014-01-01

    Over the years, researchers have used presumptively neutral molecular variation to infer the origins of current species' distributions in northern latitudes (especially Europe). However, several reported examples of genic and chromosomal replacements suggest that end-glacial colonizations of particular northern areas may have involved genetic input from different source populations at different times, coupled with competition and selection. We investigate the functional consequences of differences between two bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) haemoglobins deriving from different glacial refugia, one of which partially replaced the other in Britain during end-glacial climate warming. This allows us to examine their adaptive divergence and hence a possible role of selection in the replacement. We determine the amino acid substitution Ser52Cys in the major expressed β-globin gene as the allelic difference. We use structural modelling to reveal that the protein environment renders the 52Cys thiol a highly reactive functional group and we show its reactivity in vitro. We demonstrate that possessing the reactive thiol in haemoglobin increases the resistance of bank vole erythrocytes to oxidative stress. Our study thus provides striking evidence for physiological differences between products of genic variants that spread at the expense of one another during colonization of an area from different glacial refugia. PMID:24827438

  20. Effect of copper exposure on reproductive ability in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Miska-Schramm, Agata; Kruczek, Małgorzata; Kapusta, Joanna

    2014-10-01

    The amount of copper in natural ecosystems is steadily increasing, due to human activities. It accumulates in plants, posing a threat to herbivores. In polluted areas the population density of small rodents is observed to be lower. The decline in rodent numbers may be caused by increased mortality or diminished fertility. This study examined the effect of copper on the reproductive activity of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), a small rodent which during foraging often wanders into fields where it might be exposed to pollution. The animals were treated with solutions of 0, 150 or 600 ppm Cu. After 12 weeks of exposure the quality and quantity of the male's sperm was tested. To assess morphological development we compared the experimental groups for body weight, the weight of the male's testes and accessory sex glands, the female's uterus, and the number of matured ovary follicles in tested females. At both doses, copper administration led to lower sperm count and caused sperm head anomalies. The higher dose compromised sperm tail membrane integrity, viability and motility. No effect of copper on morphological development was observed in males, and only the lower dose increased testes weight. In females the higher dose had a negative effect on morphological development, and the lower dose increased uterus weight. No effect of copper on ovarian follicle number was found. For the first time, the morphology of the most typical ovarian follicles of the bank vole is presented. PMID:25098774

  1. Ultrasonic vocalization and body temperature maintenance in infant voles of three species (Rodentia: Arvicolidae).

    PubMed

    Blake, B H

    1992-12-01

    Infant voles thermoregulate poorly and produce ultrasonic vocalizations when cooled. Vocalizing and the ability to maintain body temperature in isolated pups cold-challenged at 5 degrees C or 22 degrees C were studied in nestling Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus agrestis, and Arvicola terrestris. The tendency to vocalize varied with age, since pups vocalized more in their 2nd week than in their 1st or 3rd weeks. Rate of vocalizing was correlated with sound pressure level of vocalizations. Their was no apparent relation between vocalizing rate and deep body temperature. M. agrestis pups vocalized most and A. terrestris pups least, and all three species vocalized more at the lower temperature. Maximal vocalizing occurred in mid aged M. agrestis (at 5 degrees C) with mean of 1291 vocalizations/20 min and mean SPL of 80 dB (decibels re: 20 microN/m2). It is suggested that the vocalizing response is an adaptation related to risk from hypothermia in infant voles. PMID:1487083

  2. The effect of chlorpyrifos on thermogenic capacity of bank voles selected for increased aerobic exercise metabolism.

    PubMed

    Dheyongera, Geoffrey; Grzebyk, Katherine; Rudolf, Agata M; Sadowska, Edyta T; Koteja, Paweł

    2016-04-01

    Agro-chemicals potentially cause adverse effects in non-target organisms. The rate of animal energy metabolism can influence their susceptibility to pesticides by influencing food consumption, biotransformation and elimination rates of toxicants. We used experimental evolution to study the effects of inherent differences in energy metabolism rate and exposure to the organophosphate insecticide, chlorpyrifos (CPF) on thermogenic capacity in a wild rodent, the bank vole (Myodes = Clethrionomys glareolus). The voles were sampled from four replicate lines selected for high swim-induced aerobic metabolism (A) and four unselected control (C) lines. Thermogenic capacity, measured as the maximum cold-induced rate of oxygen consumption (VO2cold), was higher in the A - than C lines, and it decreased after continuous exposure to CPF via food or after a single dose administered via oral gavage, but only when measured shortly after exposure. VO2cold measured 24 h after repeated exposure was not affected. In addition, gavage with a single dose led to decreased food consumption and loss in body mass. Importantly, the adverse effects of CPF did not differ between the selected and control lines. Therefore, exposure to CPF has adverse effects on thermoregulatory performance and energy balance in this species. The effects are short-lived and their magnitude is not associated with the inherent level of energy metabolism. Even without severe symptoms of poisoning, fitness can be compromised under harsh environmental conditions, such as cold and wet weather. PMID:26878110

  3. Influence of gonadal hormones on odours emitted by male meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus).

    PubMed

    Ferkin, M H; Gorman, M R; Zucker, I

    1992-08-01

    Free-living male meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) emit odours that are attractive to females at the beginning, but not at the end, of the breeding season. The effect of gonadal hormones on female-attractant cues was examined in males born and reared in long (14 h light day-1) and short (10 h light day-1) photoperiods that simulate daylengths in the breeding and nonbreeding seasons, respectively. Gonadectomy affected the attractant properties of odours emitted by long photoperiod, but not short photoperiod, males. Long photoperiod females preferred odours of intact rather than those of gonadectomized long photoperiod males, and odours of gonadectomized long photoperiod males rather than those of intact short photoperiod males. Females did not show a preference between the odours of intact and castrated short photoperiod males. Gonadal hormone replacement in males affected female responses to the odours emitted by long photoperiod, but not short photoperiod, gonadectomized males. Long photoperiod females did not display a preference between odours of intact long photoperiod males and gonadectomized long photoperiod males treated with testosterone or oestradiol. We conclude that in spring and summer gonadal hormones increase attractiveness of male odours; this effect may require aromatization of testosterone to oestradiol. Substrates that control attractiveness of odour cues in male voles appear to be unresponsive to androgens during the nonbreeding season. PMID:1404090

  4. Long day lengths enhance myelination of midbrain and hindbrain regions of developing meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Spears, N; Meyer, J S; Whaling, C S; Wade, G N; Zucker, I; Dark, J

    1990-08-01

    Rates of brain growth differed in meadow voles maintained in long (LP) or short (SP) photoperiods postnatally. At 35 days of age, brain weight was greater by 6.6% in LP males and by 4.7% in LP females as compared to their SP counterparts. Whole brain galactolipid content, an index of brain myelin, was greater by 15.6% in LP as compared to SP males. At 70 days of age, brains of LP males were 4% heavier than those of SP males. Differences attributable to photoperiod were most pronounced in midbrain and hindbrain (8% and 14%, respectively). DNA and galactolipid contents were greater by 11% and 15%, respectively, in hindbrain of LP males. Photoperiod did not affect any of these measures in diencephalon, striatum, or cerebellum. Short day lengths reduce myelination in meadow voles, presumably by decreasing proliferation rates of oligodendroglia. This is one facet of a general delay in somatic development associated with being born at the end of the normal breeding season when day lengths are decreasing or below a critical threshold. PMID:2208634

  5. Insights into recently fragmented vole populations from combined genetic and demographic data.

    PubMed

    Tallmon, D A; Draheim, H M; Mills, L Scott; Allendorf, F W

    2002-04-01

    We combined demographic and genetic data to evaluate the effects of habitat fragmentation on the population structure of the California red-backed vole (Clethrionomys californicus). We analysed variation in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and five nuclear microsatellite loci in small samples collected from two forest fragments and an unfragmented control site in 1990-91. We intensively sampled the same forest fragments and two different control sites in 1998 and 1999. Vole abundances fluctuated greatly at sizes below 50 individuals per fragment. Fragment populations had significantly lower mtDNA allelic diversity than controls, but not nuclear heterozygosity or numbers of alleles. The use of only trapping and/or mtDNA marker data would imply that fragment populations are at least partially isolated and vulnerable to inbreeding depression. In contrast, the abundance estimates combined with microsatellite data show that small fragment populations must be linked to nearby forests by high rates of migration. These results provide evidence for the usefulness of combining genetic and demographic data to understand nonequilibrium population structure in recently fragmented habitats. PMID:11972758

  6. Influence of radio transmitters on prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vekasy, M.S.; Marzluff, J.M.; Kochert, Michael N.; Lehman, Robert N.; Steenhof, Karen

    1996-01-01

    We examined the effects of backpack radio transmitters on Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) reproduction (percentage of occupied territories producing young and number of nestlings produced) over four years. In addition, we observed falcon aeries during brood-rearing to determine attendance at the nest and in the territory, prey delivery rates, and prey composition. We found no effect of radio tagging on Prairie Falcon productivity (nesting success and brood size) among years, although productivity varied significantly among years. The sex of the falcon tagged did not affect productivity. Radio-tagged members of pairs did not differ significantly from un-tagged members of pairs in territory attendance, nest attendance, prey delivery rates, or caching rates. Nestlings raised by radio-tagged parents attained masses similar to those reared by control parents. During low prey years, radio-tagged males brought a greater proportion of small birds and reptiles, and fewer mammals to the nest area than control males.

  7. Prairie dogs disperse when all close kin have disappeared.

    PubMed

    Hoogland, John L

    2013-03-01

    Because competition decreases inclusive fitness among kin, Hamilton and May predicted that the presence of nearby kin should induce the dispersal of individuals from the natal territory, independent of pressures to avoid inbreeding. Many studies support this landmark prediction, but research over 31 years with prairie dogs reveals the opposite pattern: Young females are 12.5 times more likely to disperse in the absence of mother and siblings for one species, and 5.5 times more likely for another species. Such striking patterns probably occur because cooperation among kin is more important than competition among kin for young prairie dogs. The inability to cooperate with close kin, due to their absence, prompts a search for a new territory where cooperation might be less crucial for survival and reproduction. PMID:23471407

  8. Energy balance components from six sites in a native prairie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritschen, Leo J.; Qian, Ping

    1990-01-01

    The surface-flux stations investigated are of similar design and operation, but are located on different slopes and aspects and provided data with significant variations. The largest difference between sites is noticed in the data for soil heat-flux density, and the general variability is theorized to be related to treatment and locations. The number of surface-flux stations required for the prairie topography can be inferred from the results of the data analysis.

  9. Bidirectional reflectance, leaf optical and physiological properties of prairie vegetation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walter-Shea, E. A.; Blad, B. L.; Starks, P. J; Hays, C. J.; Mesarch, M. A.; Middleton, E. M.

    1990-01-01

    A modular multiband radiometer is used to measure reflected radiation from the vegetative surface of a prairie. The data are compared to estimates of incoming radiation by measuring the reflection from a molded halon panel, and the bidirectional reflectance factors are measured at seven view-zenith angles and various incidence angles. The canopy-reflectance results are compared to leaf-optical and other vegetative physiological properties, and a direct relationship is reported.

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black-Tailed Prairie Dog

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clippinger, Norman W.

    1989-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomus ludovicianus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  11. Do photoperiod and endocrine disruptor 4-tert-octylphenol effect on spermatozoa of bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus)?

    PubMed

    Kotula-Balak, Malgorzata; Grzmil, Pawel; Chojnacka, Katarzyna; Andryka, Katarzyna; Bilinska, Barbara

    2014-05-15

    Photoperiod is an environmental signal that controls physiology and behavior of all organisms. Bank voles, which are seasonal breeders, are stimulated to reproduce by the long photoperiod associated with spring and summer. To date, physiology of bank vole spermatozoa has not been explored, although they constitute an interesting model for examining the relationship between photoperiod and xenoestrogen on spermatozoa function. In an attempt to evaluate the acute effect of 4-tert-octylphenol (OP) an in vitro system was used. Spermatozoa isolated from the cauda epididymidies of long-day (LD; 18 h light: 6 h darkness) and short-day (SD; 6 h light: 18 h darkness) bank voles were treated with two OP concentrations (10(-4) M and 10(-8)M, respectively). OP-treated spermatozoa were used for the examination of motility parameters (computer-assisted semen analyzer CEROS), acrosome integrity (Commassie blue staining), cAMP production (immunoenzymatic assay) and cell viability (flow-cytometry analysis). The study revealed the photoperiod-dependent effect of short OP-treatment on motility parameters of vole spermatozoa. In LD spermatozoa, an increase of velocities: (curvilinear velocity [VCL], average path velocity [VAP] straight line velocity [VSL]) and head activity (amplitude of the lateral head displacement, [ALH]) was found. Interestingly, in SD spermatozoa opposite effect on VCL, VAP, VSL and ALH was observed, however only after treatment with 10(-4)M OP. The dose-dependent influence of OP upon acrosome integrity, as well as cAMP levels, in relation to the reproductive status of voles was observed. Moreover, OP exposure affected spermatozoa morphology rather than spermatozoa viability. PMID:24698786

  12. Measuring animal welfare within a reintroduction: an assessment of different indices of stress in water voles Arvicola amphibius.

    PubMed

    Gelling, Merryl; Johnson, Paul J; Moorhouse, Tom P; Macdonald, David W

    2012-01-01

    Reintroductions are an increasingly common conservation restoration tool; however, little attention has hitherto been given to different methods for monitoring the stress encountered by reintroduced individuals. We compared ten potential measures of stress within four different categories (neuroendocrine, cell function, body condition and immune system function) as proxies for animal welfare in water voles being reintroduced to the Upper Thames region, Oxfordshire, UK. Captive-bred voles were assessed pre-release, and each month post-release for up to five months. Wild-born voles were captured in the field and assessed from two months post-release. Plasma corticosteroid, hydration and body condition of captive-bred voles differed between their pre-release measures and both their first ("short-term") recapture, and their final recapture ("long-term" release), however only body condition and immunocompetence measured using the Nitroblue Tetrazolium (NBT) test were significantly different post-release between the first and last recaptures. Captive-bred animals had lower fat reserves, higher weight/length ratios and better immunocompetence (NBT) than did wild-born voles. Captive-bred males had higher ectoparasite burdens compared to wild-born males and, as reintroduction site quality decreased, became less hydrated. These observations indicate that some methods can identify changes in the stress response in individuals, highlighting areas of risk in a reintroduction programme. In addition, a single measure may not provide a full picture of the stress experienced; instead, a combination of measures of different physiological systems may give a more complete indication of stress during the reintroduction process. We highlight the need to monitor stress in reintroductions using measures from different physiological systems to inform on possible animal welfare improvements and thus the overall success rate of reintroductions. PMID:22815923

  13. Hierarchical spatial segregation of two Mediterranean vole species: the role of patch-network structure and matrix composition.

    PubMed

    Pita, Ricardo; Lambin, Xavier; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2016-09-01

    According to ecological theory, the coexistence of competitors in patchy environments may be facilitated by hierarchical spatial segregation along axes of environmental variation, but empirical evidence is limited. Cabrera and water voles show a metapopulation-like structure in Mediterranean farmland, where they are known to segregate along space, habitat, and time axes within habitat patches. Here, we assess whether segregation also occurs among and within landscapes, and how this is influenced by patch-network and matrix composition. We surveyed 75 landscapes, each covering 78 ha, where we mapped all habitat patches potentially suitable for Cabrera and water voles, and the area effectively occupied by each species (extent of occupancy). The relatively large water vole tended to be the sole occupant of landscapes with high habitat amount but relatively low patch density (i.e., with a few large patches), and with a predominantly agricultural matrix, whereas landscapes with high patch density (i.e., many small patches) and low agricultural cover, tended to be occupied exclusively by the small Cabrera vole. The two species tended to co-occur in landscapes with intermediate patch-network and matrix characteristics, though their extents of occurrence were negatively correlated after controlling for environmental effects. In combination with our previous studies on the Cabrera-water vole system, these findings illustrated empirically the occurrence of hierarchical spatial segregation, ranging from within-patches to among-landscapes. Overall, our study suggests that recognizing the hierarchical nature of spatial segregation patterns and their major environmental drivers should enhance our understanding of species coexistence in patchy environments. PMID:27167226

  14. Metal exposure and effects in voles and small birds near a mining haul road in Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brumbaugh, William G.; Mora, Miguel A.; May, Thomas W.; Phalen, David N.

    2010-01-01

    Voles and small passerine birds were live-captured near the Delong Mountain Regional Transportation System (DMTS) haul road in Cape Krusenstern National Monument in northwest Alaska to assess metals exposure and sub-lethal biological effects. Similar numbers of animals were captured from a reference site in southern Cape Krusenstern National Monument for comparison. Histopathological examination of selected organs, and analysis of cadmium, lead, and zinc concentrations in liver and blood samples were performed. Voles and small birds captured from near the haul road had about 20 times greater blood and liver lead concentrations and about three times greater cadmium concentrations when compared to those from the reference site, but there were no differences in zinc tissue concentrations. One vole had moderate metastatic mineralization of kidney tissue, otherwise we observed no abnormalities in internal organs or DNA damage in the blood of any of the animals. The affected vole also had the greatest liver and blood Cd concentration, indicating that the lesion might have been caused by Cd exposure. Blood and liver lead concentrations in animals captured near the haul road were below concentrations that have been associated with adverse biological effects in other studies; however, subtle effects resulting from lead exposure, such as the suppression of the activity of certain enzymes, cannot be ruled out for some individual animals. Results from our 2006 reconnaissance-level study indicate that overall, voles and small birds obtained from near the DMTS road in Cape Krusenstern National Monument were not adversely affected by metals exposure; however, because of the small sample size and other uncertainties, continued monitoring of lead and cadmium in terrestrial habitats near the DMTS road is advised.

  15. Increased snow facilitates plant invasion in mixedgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Blumenthlal, D; Chimner, R A; Welker, J M; Morgan, J A

    2008-07-01

    Although global change is known to influence plant invasion, little is known about interactions between altered precipitation and invasion. In the North American mixedgrass prairie, invasive species are often abundant in wet and nitrogen (N)-rich areas, suggesting that predicted changes in precipitation and N deposition could exacerbate invasion. Here, this possibility was tested by seeding six invasive species into experimental plots of mixedgrass prairie treated with a factorial combination of increased snow, summer irrigation, and N addition. Without added snow, seeded invasive species were rarely observed. Snow addition increased average above-ground biomass of Centaurea diffusa from 0.026 to 66 g m(-2), of Gypsophila paniculata from 0.1 to 7.3 g m(-2), and of Linaria dalmatica from 5 to 101 g m(-2). Given added snow, summer irrigation increased the density of G. paniculata, and N addition increased the density and biomass of L. dalmatica. Plant density responses mirrored those of plant biomass, indicating that increases in biomass resulted, in part, from increases in recruitment. In contrast to seeded invasive species, resident species did not respond to snow addition. These results suggest that increases in snowfall or variability of snowfall may exacerbate forb invasion in the mixedgrass prairie. PMID:19086291

  16. Does habitat fragmentation influence nest predation in the shortgrass prairie?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, M.N.; Skagen, S.K.; Kennedy, P.L.

    2001-01-01

    We examined the effects of habitat fragmentation and vegetation structure of shortgrass prairie and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands on predation rates of artificial and natural nests in northeastern Colorado. The CRP provides federal payments to landowners to take highly erodible cropland out of agricultural production. In our study area, CRP lands have been reseeded primarily with non-native grasses, and this vegetation is taller than native shortgrass prairie. We measured three indices of habitat fragmentation (patch size, degree of matrix fragmentation, and distance from edge), none of which influenced mortality rates of artificial or natural nests. Vegetation structure did influence predation rates of artificial nests; daily mortality decreased significantly with increasing vegetation height. Vegetation structure did not influence predation rates of natural nests. CRP lands and shortgrass sites did not differ with respect to mortality rates of artificial nests. Our study area is only moderately fragmented; 62% of the study area is occupied by native grassland. We conclude that the extent of habitat fragmentation in our study area does not result in increased predation in remaining patches of shortgrass prairie habitat.

  17. Tallgrass Prairie as a Source and Sink of Methyl Halides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abel, T.; Rhew, R. C.; Mazeas, O.; Atwood, A.; King, A. J.; Ma, L.; Whelan, M.

    2007-12-01

    Temperate grasslands are believed to be a globally significant sink for methyl bromide (CH3Br) and perhaps methyl chloride (CH3Cl), compounds which lead to stratospheric ozone destruction. Fluxes of these compounds were measured at Konza Prairie, a tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas, during June 2006 and August 2007. A stable isotope tracer technique was used to distinguish between simultaneous production and oxidation processes, allowing the first gross flux measurements of CH3Cl and CH3Br from a tallgrass prairie. Observed gross uptake rates of CH3Cl and CH3Br were similar to what we previously observed from the shortgrass steppe in Colorado and annual grasslands in California, but much lower than reported fluxes from a grassland in northeastern North America. A water manipulation experiment was performed both under controlled laboratory conditions, as well as in the field, demonstrating that uptake rates of both CH3Cl and CH3Br were strongly affected by soil moisture. On the production side, new sources of methyl halides were identified in association with certain plant species. Fluxes of these halogenated trace gases were compared to environmental variables, such as air temperature and volumetric water content. Net fluxes of methyl iodide (CH3I), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), and other halogenated volatile organic compounds (HVOCs), were also measured.

  18. Pesticide photolysis in prairie potholes: probing photosensitized processes.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Teng; Arnold, William A

    2013-07-01

    Prairie pothole lakes (PPLs) are glacially derived, ecologically important water bodies found in central North America and represent a unique setting in which extensive agriculture occurs within wetland ecosystems. In the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), elevated pesticide use and increasing hydrologic connectivity have raised concerns about the impact of nonpoint source agricultural pollution on the water quality of PPLs and downstream aquatic systems. Despite containing high dissolved organic matter (DOM) levels, the photoreactivity of the PPL water and the photochemical fate of pesticides entering PPLs are largely unknown. In this study, the photodegradation of sixteen pesticides was investigated in PPL waters sampled from North Dakota, under simulated and natural sunlight. Enhanced pesticide removal rates in the irradiated PPL water relative to the control buffer pointed to the importance of indirect photolysis pathways involving photochemically produced reactive intermediates (PPRIs). The steady-state concentrations of carbonate radical, hydroxyl radical, singlet oxygen, and triplet-excited state DOM were measured and second-order rate constants for reactions of pesticides with these PPRIs were calculated. Results from this study underscore the role of DOM as photosensitizer in limiting the persistence of pesticides in prairie wetlands through photochemical reactions. PMID:23116462

  19. Lead exposure in Canada geese of the Eastern Prairie Population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeStefano, S.; Brand, C.J.; Rusch, D.H.; Finley, Daniel L.; Gillespie, M.M.

    1991-01-01

    We monitored lead exposure in Eastern Prairie Population Canada geese during summer-winter, 1986-1987 and 1987-1988 at 5 areas. Blood lead concentrations in geese trapped during summer at Cape Churchill Manitoba were below levels indicative of recent lead exposure (0.18 ppm). Geese exposed to lead (≥0.18 ppm blood lead) increased to 7.6% at Oak Hammock Wildlife Management Area (WMA), southern Manitoba, where lead shot was still in use, and to 10.0% at Roseau River WMA, northern Minnesota, when fall-staging geese were close to a source of lead shot in Manitoba. Proportion of birds exposed to lead dropped to <2% at Lac Qui Parle WMA, Minnesota, a steel shot zone since 1980. On the wintering grounds at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri, 4.9% of all geese showed exposure to lead before the hunting season. Lead exposure rose to 10.0% after hunting ended and then decreased to 5.2% in late winter. Incidence of lead shot in gizzards and concentrations of lead in livers supported blood assay data. Soil samples indicated that lead shot continues to be available to geese at Swan Lake, even though the area was established as a non-toxic shot zone in 1978. Steel shot zones have reduced lead exposure in the Eastern Prairie Population, but lead shot persists in the environment and continues to account for lead exposure and mortality in Eastern Prairie Population Canada geese.

  20. Visual counts as an index of White-Tailed Prairie Dog density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Menkens, George E., Jr.; Biggins, Dean E.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1990-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are depended on prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) for food and shelter and were historically restricted to prairie dog towns (Anderson et al. 1986). Because ferrets and prairie dogs are closely associated, successful ferret management and conservation depends on successful prairie dog management. A critical component of any management program for ferrets will be monitoring prairie dog population dynamics on towns containing ferrets or on towns proposed as ferret reintroduction sites. Three techniques for estimating prairie dog population size and density are counts of plugged and reopened burrows (Tietjen and Matschke 1982), mark-recapture (Otis et al. 1978; Seber 1982, 1986; Menkens and Anderson 1989), and visual counts (Fagerstone and Biggins 1986, Knowles 1986). The technique of plugging burrows and counting the number reopened by prairie dogs is too time and labor intensive for population evaluation on a large number of towns or over large areas. Total burrow counts are not correlated with white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) densities and thus cannot be used for populated evaluation (Menkens et al. 1988). Mark-recapture requires trapping that is expensive and time and labor intensive. Monitoring a large number of prairie dog populations using mark-recapture would be difficult. Alternatively a large number of populations could be monitored in short periods of time using the visual count technique (Fagerstone and Biggins 1986, Knowles 1986). However, the accuracy of visual counts has only been evaluated in a few locations. Thus, it is not known whether the relationship between counts and prairie dog density is consistent throughout the prairie dog's range. Our objective was to evaluate the potential of using visual counts as a rapid means of estimating white-tailed prairie dog density in prairie dog towns throughout Wyoming. We studied 18 white-tailed prairie dog towns in 4 white-tailed prairie dog complexes in Wyoming near

  1. Duration of plague (Yersinia pestis) outbreaks in black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies of northern Colorado.

    PubMed

    St Romain, Krista; Tripp, Daniel W; Salkeld, Daniel J; Antolin, Michael F

    2013-09-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, triggers die-offs in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), but the time-frame of plague activity is not well understood. We document plague activity in fleas from prairie dogs and their burrows on three prairie dog colonies that suffered die-offs. We demonstrate that Y. pestis transmission occurs over periods from several months to over a year in prairie dog populations before observed die-offs. PMID:24057801

  2. Bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and house mice (Mus musculus musculus; M. m. domesticus) in Europe are each parasitized by their own distinct species of Aspiculuris (Nematoda, Oxyurida).

    PubMed

    Behnke, J M; Stewart, A; Bajer, A; Grzybek, M; Harris, P D; Lowe, A; Ribas, A; Smales, L; Vandegrift, K J

    2015-10-01

    The molecular phylogeny and morphology of the oxyuroid nematode genus Aspiculuris from voles and house mice has been examined. Worms collected from Myodes glareolus in Poland, Eire and the UK are identified as Aspiculuris tianjinensis, previously known only from China, while worms from Mus musculus from a range of locations in Europe and from laboratory mice, all conformed to the description of Aspiculuris tetraptera. Worms from voles and house mice are not closely related and are not derived from each other, with A. tianjinensis being most closely related to Aspiculuris dinniki from snow voles and to an isolate from Microtus longicaudus in the Nearctic. Both A. tianjinensis and A. tetraptera appear to represent recent radiations within their host groups; in voles, this radiation cannot be more than 2 million years old, while in commensal house mice it is likely to be less than 10,000 years old. The potential of Aspiculuris spp. as markers of host evolution is highlighted. PMID:26302680

  3. [Evaluation on the impacts of environmental changes and Three-Gorge engineering on the population of Yangtze voles (Microtus forits) in the Dongting Lake region].

    PubMed

    Zou, Shaolin; Guo, Cong; Liu, Xinping

    2002-05-01

    The relationships between the population of Yangtze voles (Microtus fortis) and the evolvement of the Dongting Lake beaches were analyzed based on historical data, and the impacts of the Three-Gorge Engineering on beach environment and water level of the lake were assessed according to the regulation scheme on downward discharge flux of the Three-Gorge dam. The results indicated that the population of the voles has been increasing since 1950's, owing to the continuous enlargement of the lake beach and prolonging successional emergence of the beach. The emergence date of the beach in Autumn would be earlier, its emergence area would be going up, the population of the voles would be also expanded at the initial post-construction stage, which would still increase with the continuous expansion of beach area in a middle and long period after the establishment of the dam. More voles would thus move to the farmland, and heavily harm crops. PMID:12181902

  4. Broadening diversity in the Arostilepis species complex: Arostrilepis kontrimavichusi in the western red-backed vole Myodes californicus from temperate latitudes of the Pacific Northwest, North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Specimens originally identified provisionally as Hymenolepis horrida (= Arostrilepis horrida) in Myodes californicus from near the Pacific coastal zone of southern Oregon are revised. Specimens in western red-backed voles represent an undescribed species of Arostrilepis, contributing to recognition ...

  5. COMPARISON OF THE POPULATIONS OF COMMON WOOD-NYMPH BUTTERFLIES IN BURNED PRAIRIE, UNBURNED PRAIRIE AND OLD FIELD GRASSES

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, M.; Walton, R.

    2007-01-01

    Common wood-nymph butterfl ies are found throughout the United States and Canada. However, not much is known about how they overwinter or their preferences for particular grasses and habitats. In this study, the impact of prairie management plans on the abundance of the wood-nymph population was assessed, as well as the preference of these butterfl ies for areas with native or non-native grasses. The abundance of common wood-nymph butterfl ies was determined using Pollard walks; more common wood-nymph butterfl ies were found in the European grasses than were found in the burned and unburned prairie sites. The majority of the vegetation at each of the three sites was identifi ed and documented. Using a 1 X 3 ANOVA analysis, it was determined there were signifi cantly more butterfl ies in the European grasses than in the burned and unburned prairie sites (p < 0.0005). There was no signifi cant difference between the burned and unburned treatments of the prairie on the common wood-nymph population. A multiple variable linear regression model described the effect of temperature and wind speed on the number of observed common wood-nymph butterfl ies per hour (p = 0.026). These preliminary results need to be supplemented with future studies. Quadrat analysis of the vegetation from all three sites should be done to search for a correlation between common wood-nymph butterfl y abundance per hour and the specifi c types or quantity of vegetation at each site. The effect of vegetation height and density on the observer’s visual fi eld should also be assessed.

  6. Towards an improved land surface scheme for prairie landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, M. A.; Wheater, H. S.; Ireson, A. M.; Spence, C.; Davison, B.; Pietroniro, A.

    2014-04-01

    The prairie region of Canada and the United States is characterized by millions of small depressions of glacial origin called prairie potholes. The transfer of surface runoff in this landscape is mainly through a “fill and spill” mechanism among neighboring potholes. While non-contributing areas, that is small internally drained basins, are common on this landscape, during wet periods these areas can become hydrologically connected to larger regional drainage systems. Accurate prediction of prairie surface runoff generation and streamflow thus requires realistic representation of the dynamic threshold-mediated nature of these contributing areas. This paper presents a new prairie surface runoff generation algorithm for land surface schemes and large scale hydrological models that conceptualizes a hydrologic unit as a combination of variable and interacting storage elements. The proposed surface runoff generation algorithm uses a probability density function to represent the spatial variation of pothole storages and assumes a unique relationship between storage and the fractional contributing area for runoff (and hence amount of direct runoff generated) within a grid cell. In this paper the parameters that define this relationship are obtained by calibration against streamflow. The model was compared to an existing hydrology-land surface scheme (HLSS) applied to a typical Canadian prairie catchment, the Assiniboine River. The existing configuration is based on the Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS) and WATROF (a physically-based overland and interflow scheme). The new configuration consists of CLASS coupled with the new PDMROF model. Results showed that the proposed surface runoff generation algorithm performed better at simulating streamflow, and appears to capture the dynamic nature of contributing areas in an effective and parsimonious manner. A pilot evaluation based on 1 m LiDAR data from a small (10 km2) experimental area suggests that the shape of the

  7. 76 FR 31906 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-02

    ... prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) was listed as an endangered species on June 4, 1973 (38 FR 14678... reclassified the Utah prairie dog from endangered to threatened (49 FR 22330) and developed a special rule... was inconsistent with the conservation of the Utah prairie dog (49 FR 22330, May 29, 1984). In...

  8. 75 FR 67358 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-02

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Intent to Prepare an... Expansion Project (Project), involving construction and operation of facilities by Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC (Pine Prairie) in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. This EA will be used by the Commission in...

  9. 76 FR 29279 - Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of Availability of the Final...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-20

    ... COMMISSION NORTHERN STATES POWER COMPANY Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of... Nuclear Plants Regarding the License Renewal of Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plants, Units 1 and 2... years of operation for Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and Unit 2 (PINGP 1 and 2)....

  10. 75 FR 11164 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-10

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Intent to Prepare an... Compressor Project (Project) involving construction and operation of facilities by Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC (Pine Prairie) in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. This EA will be used by the Commission in...

  11. High prevalence of Echinococcus multilocularis in urban red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and voles (Arvicola terrestris) in the city of Zürich, Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Hofer, S; Gloor, S; Müller, U; Mathis, A; Hegglin, D; Deplazes, P

    2000-02-01

    Over a period of 26 months from January 1996 to February 1998, 388 foxes from the city of Zürich, Switzerland, were examined for intestinal infections with Echinococcus multilocularis and other helminths. The prevalence of E. multilocularis in foxes sampled during winter increased significantly from 47% in the urban to 67% in the adjacent recreational area, whereas prevalence rates of other helminths were similar in both areas. Seasonal differences in the prevalence of E. multilocularis were only found in urban subadult male foxes which were significantly less frequently infected in summer than in winter. The distribution of the Echinococcus biomass, as expressed by worm numbers per fox was overdispersed in 133 infected foxes randomly sampled in winter. Ten of these foxes (8%) were infected with more than 10,000 specimens and carried 72% of the total biomass of E. multilocularis (398,653 worms). Prevalences did not differ significantly in these foxes in regard to age and sex but worm burdens were significantly higher in subadult foxes as compared with adult foxes. In voles (Arvicola terrestris) trapped in a city park of Zürich, E. multilocularis metacestodes were identified by morphological examination and by PCR. The prevalence was 20% among 60 rodents in 1997 and 9% among 75 rodents in 1998. Protoscoleces occurred in 2 of the cases from 1997. The possible risk for human infection is discussed with respect to the established urban E. multilocularis cycle. PMID:10726275

  12. Potential impacts of agricultural chemicals on waterfowl and other wildlife inhabiting prairie wetlands: An evaluation of research needs and approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; DeWeese, L.R.; Mineau, P.; Swanson, G.A.; Foster, J.R.; Arnold, P.M.; Huckins, J.N.; Sheenan, P.J.; Marshall, W.K.; Ludden, A.P.

    1986-01-01

    The potential for agricultural chemicals to enter prairie-pothole wetlands and impact wildlife dependent on these wetlands for survival and reproduction appears to be great. However, the actual risk to wetland wildlife from the inputs of these chemicals cannot be adequately assessed at this time, because of insufficient data. Available data on the use of pesticides in the prairie-pothole region and the toxicity of these pesticides suggest that insecticides pose the greatest hazard to wetland wildlife, particularly birds. The majority of the most widely used insecticides within the region are very toxic to aquatic invertebrates and birds. Of particular concern are the impacts of agricultural chemicals on the quality of the remaining wetlands in the region and whether or not these impacts have contributed to observed declines in waterfowl populations. Although existing data suggest that adult and juvenile waterfowl may not be more sensitive to these chemicals than are other wetland wildlife, their food habits and feeding behaviors may make them more vulnerable to direct toxic effects or chemical-induced changes in the abundance of aquatic invertebrates. Laboratory and field studies in the United States and Canada are critically needed to assess these potential impacts.

  13. Heart transcriptome of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus): towards understanding the evolutionary variation in metabolic rate

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Understanding the genetic basis of adaptive changes has been a major goal of evolutionary biology. In complex organisms without sequenced genomes, de novo transcriptome assembly using a longer read sequencing technology followed by expression profiling using short reads is likely to provide comprehensive identification of adaptive variation at the expression level and sequence polymorphisms in coding regions. We performed sequencing and de novo assembly of the bank vole heart transcriptome in lines selected for high metabolism and unselected controls. Results A single 454 Titanium run produced over million reads, which were assembled into 63,581 contigs. Searches against the SwissProt protein database and the ENSEMBL collection of mouse transcripts detected similarity to 11,181 and 14,051 genes, respectively. As judged by the representation of genes from the heart-related Gene Ontology categories and UniGenes detected in the mouse heart, our detection of the genes expressed in the heart was nearly complete (> 95% and almost 90% respectively). On average, 38.7% of the transcript length was covered by our sequences, with notably higher (45.0%) coverage of coding regions than of untranslated regions (24.5% of 5' and 32.7% of 3'UTRs). Lower sequence conservation between mouse and bank vole in untranslated regions was found to be partially responsible for poorer UTR representation. Our data might suggest a widespread transcription from noncoding genomic regions, a finding not reported in previous studies regarding transcriptomes in non-model organisms. We also identified over 19 thousand putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A much higher fraction of the SNPs than expected by chance exhibited variant frequency differences between selection regimes. Conclusion Longer reads and higher sequence yield per run provided by the 454 Titanium technology in comparison to earlier generations of pyrosequencing proved beneficial for the quality of assembly. An

  14. Notice of release of: 1)Majestic germplasm and 2) Spectrum germplasm western prairie clover

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two natural-track selected germplasms of western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas ex Hook.) Eaton & J. Wright] [Fabaceae] have been released for use in revegetation of semiarid rangelands in the western USA. Western prairie clover is a perennial leguminous forb that occurs naturally in Idaho, ...

  15. Physiologic Reference Ranges for Captive Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    PubMed Central

    Keckler, M Shannon; Gallardo-Romero, Nadia F; Langham, Gregory L; Damon, Inger K; Karem, Kevin L; Carroll, Darin S

    2010-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a member of the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae. Ecologically, prairie dogs are a keystone species in prairie ecology. This species is used as an animal model for human gallbladder disease and diseases caused by infection with Clostridium difficile, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and most recently, Orthopoxvirus. Despite increasing numbers of prairie dogs used in research and kept as pets, few data are available on their baseline physiology in animal facility housing conditions. To establish baseline physiologic reference ranges, we designed a study using 18 wild-caught black-tailed prairie dogs. Telemetry data were analyzed to establish circadian rhythms for activity and temperature. In addition, hematologic and serum chemistry analyses were performed. Baseline measurements were used to establish the mean for each animal, which then were compiled and analyzed to determine the reference ranges. Here we present physiologic data on serum chemistry and hematology profiles, as well as weight, core body temperature, and daily activity patterns for black-tailed prairie dogs. These results reflect the use of multiple measurements from species- and age-matched prairie dogs and likely will be useful to ecologists, scientists interested in using this animal model in research, and veterinarians caring for pet prairie dogs. PMID:20587156

  16. 75 FR 61414 - Basin Electric Power Cooperative: South Dakota PrairieWinds Project

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-05

    ... Rural Utilities Service Basin Electric Power Cooperative: South Dakota PrairieWinds Project AGENCY...) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed South Dakota PrairieWind Project...-megawatt wind-powered generation facility. ADDRESSES: To obtain copies of the ROD, or for...

  17. A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire: Teaching toward Transformation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayers, William

    2006-01-01

    The old saying, that a single spark can start a prairie fire, appears in many forms and in different cultures carrying a range of shifting implications and meanings. In this article, William Ayers writes that in some instances, prairie fires are not always catastrophic. They are naturally occurring events necessary and renewing; removing the thick…

  18. Plant Fact Sheet: Western Prairie Clover [Dalea Ornata (Douglas) Eaton & Wright

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dalea L. is a widespread genus of the legume family (Fabaceae), which is comprised of 62 species of prairie clovers in North America. Western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas) Eaton & Wright] is a perennial, insect-pollinated legume that is non-toxic and palatable to herbivores. It occures in...

  19. First Reported Prairie Dog–to-Human Tularemia Transmission, Texas, 2002

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Jeannine M.; Lindley, Connie M.; Schriefer, Martin E.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Cetron, Marty; DeMarcus, Thomas A.; Kim, David K.; Buck, Jan; Montenieri, John A.; Lowell, Jennifer L.; Antolin, Michael F.; Kosoy, Michael Y.; Carter, Leon G.; Chu, May C.; Hendricks, Katherine A.; Dennis, David T.; Kool, Jacob L.

    2004-01-01

    A tularemia outbreak, caused by Francisella tularensis type B, occurred among wild-caught, commercially traded prairie dogs. F. tularensis microagglutination titers in one exposed person indicated recent infection. These findings represent the first evidence for prairie-dog-to-human tularemia transmission and demonstrate potential human health risks of the exotic pet trade. PMID:15109417

  20. Western and Searls Prairie Clovers: North American Legumes for Rangeland Revegetation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only a few North American legumes are commercially available for rangeland revegetation in the western U.S. Western prairie clover (Dalea ornata) and Searls prairie clover (D. searlsiae) are two North American legumes that hold promise for use in rangeland revegetation and conservation. Seeds of w...

  1. Black-tailed prairie dogs affect livestock weight gains in shortgrass steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effect of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on livestock weight gains in shortgrass steppe is an important and controversial question. However, there are few empirical data addressing this. Area occupied by prairie dogs in the shortgrass steppe increased substantially from 1999-...

  2. Prairie Dog Decline Reduces the Supply of Ecosystem Services and Leads to Desertification of Semiarid Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Estévez, Lourdes; Balvanera, Patricia; Pacheco, Jesús; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well – being through the loss of ecosystem services. PMID:24130691

  3. Eddy covariance measurements of methane fluxes over grazed native and improved prairies in Oklahoma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although several studies have reported eddy covariance (EC) measurements at several tallgrass prairie sites to investigate the dynamics of carbon and water vapor fluxes, the EC measurements of methane (CH4) fluxes over grazed tallgrass prairie sites are lacking. CH4 fluxes were measured during the 2...

  4. Rural Schools on the Prairie Turn to Land for Learning and Inspiration. Rural Trust Featured Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Null, Elizabeth Higgins

    America's prairie land is under economic and ecological stress. Acting on the belief that rural schools can help revitalize their communities when schools' activities are related to the places where they are located, schools in Arizona, Kansas, and Nebraska are integrating prairie studies across the K-12 curricula. With the help of area…

  5. Influence of fire on black-tailed prairie dog colony expansion in shortgrass steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Factors influencing the distribution and abundance of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies are of interest to rangeland managers because of the significant influence prairie dogs can exert on both livestock and biodiversity. We examined the influence of four prescribed burns and ...

  6. Doryctinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) of Konza Prairie excluding species of Heterospilus Haliday

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The results of a survey of Doryctinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) at Konza Prairie, excluding species of Heterospilus Haliday, are reported. Eleven sites representing prairie and woodland/wetland areas, including gallery forest, were sampled in 2001 and 2005 using Malaise and canopy traps. Topographic...

  7. Transition of soil microbial communities in a tallgrass prairie restoration chronosequence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extensive agriculture since the 1830’s has led to a 82-99% decline of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem in North America. Restoration of these prairies is of great interest. Objectives were to: (1) investigate the change in soil microbial communities during grassland restoration and (2) study the in...

  8. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Estévez, Lourdes; Balvanera, Patricia; Pacheco, Jesús; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well - being through the loss of ecosystem services. PMID:24130691

  9. Mitogenomic phylogenetics of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus, a model system for studying end-glacial colonization of Europe.

    PubMed

    Filipi, Karolína; Marková, Silvia; Searle, Jeremy B; Kotlík, Petr

    2015-01-01

    We have revisited the mtDNA phylogeny of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus based on Sanger and next-generation Illumina sequencing of 32 complete mitochondrial genomes. The bank vole is a key study species for understanding the response of European fauna to the climate change following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and one of the most convincing examples of a woodland mammal surviving in cryptic northern glacial refugia in Europe. The genomes sequenced included multiple representatives of each of the eight bank vole clades previously described based on cytochrome b (cob) sequences. All clades with the exception of the Basque - likely a misidentified pseudogene clade - were highly supported in all phylogenetic analyses and the relationships between the clades were resolved with high confidence. Our data extend the distribution of the Carpathian clade, the marker of a northern glacial refugium in the Carpathian Mountains, to include Britain and Fennoscandia (but not adjacent areas of continental Europe). The Carpathian sub-clade that colonized Britain and Fennoscandia had a somewhat different history from the sub-clade currently found in or close to the Carpathians and may have derived from a more north-westerly refugial area. The two bank vole populations that colonized Britain at the end of the last glaciation are for the first time linked with particular continental clades, the first colonists with the Carpathian clade and the second colonists with the western clade originating in a more southerly refugium in the vicinity of the Alps. We however found no evidence that a functional divergence of proteins encoded in the mitochondrial genome promoted the partial genetic replacement of the first colonists by the second colonists detected previously in southern Britain. We did identify one codon site that changed more often and more radically in the tree than expected and where the observed amino acid change may affect the reductase activity of the cytochrome bc1

  10. Long-term spatiotemporal stability and dynamic changes in the haemoparasite community of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in NE Poland.

    PubMed

    Bajer, Anna; Welc-Falęciak, Renata; Bednarska, Małgorzata; Alsarraf, Mohammed; Behnke-Borowczyk, Jolanta; Siński, Edward; Behnke, Jerzy M

    2014-08-01

    Long-term field studies on parasite communities are rare but provide a powerful insight into the ecological and evolutionary processes shaping host-parasite interactions. The aim of our study was to identify the principal factors regulating long-term trends in the haemoparasite communities of bank voles, and to this end, we sampled three semi-isolated populations of bank voles (n = 880) in 1999, 2002, 2006 and 2010 in the Mazury lake district region of NE Poland. Overall, 90.8 % of the bank voles harboured at least one of the species of haemoparasites studied. Whilst overall prevalence (all species combined) did not vary significantly between the surveys, different temporal changes were detected among voles in each of the three sites. In voles from Urwitałt, prevalence increased consistently with successive surveys, whereas in Tałty, the peak years were 2002 and 2006, and in Pilchy, prevalence oscillated without a clear pattern. Across the study, bank voles harboured a mean of 1.75 ± 0.034 haemoparasite species, and species richness remained stable with no significant between-year fluctuations or trends. However, each of the five constituent species/genera showed a different pattern of spatio-temporal changes. The overall prevalence of Babesia microti was 4.9 %, but this varied significantly between years peaking in 2006 and declining again by 2010. For Bartonella spp., overall prevalence was 38.7 %, and this varied with year of study, but the temporal pattern of changes differed among the three sites. The overall prevalence of Haemobartonella (Mycoplasma) was 68.3 % with an increase in prevalence with year of study in all three sites. Hepatozoon erhardovae had an overall prevalence of 46.8 % but showed a marked reduction with each successive year of the study, and this was consistent in all three sites. The overall prevalence of Trypanosoma evotomys was 15.4 % varying significantly between sites, but showing temporal stability. While overall prevalence

  11. The evolutionary radiation of Arvicolinae rodents (voles and lemmings): relative contribution of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA phylogenies

    PubMed Central

    Galewski, Thomas; Tilak, Marie-ka; Sanchez, Sophie; Chevret, Pascale; Paradis, Emmanuel; Douzery, Emmanuel JP

    2006-01-01

    Background Mitochondrial and nuclear genes have generally been employed for different purposes in molecular systematics, the former to resolve relationships within recently evolved groups and the latter to investigate phylogenies at a deeper level. In the case of rapid and recent evolutionary radiations, mitochondrial genes like cytochrome b (CYB) are often inefficient for resolving phylogenetic relationships. One of the best examples is illustrated by Arvicolinae rodents (Rodentia; Muridae), the most impressive mammalian radiation of the Northern Hemisphere which produced voles, lemmings and muskrats. Here, we compare the relative contribution of a nuclear marker – the exon 10 of the growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene – to the one of the mitochondrial CYB for inferring phylogenetic relationships among the major lineages of arvicoline rodents. Results The analysis of GHR sequences improves the overall resolution of the Arvicolinae phylogeny. Our results show that the Caucasian long-clawed vole (Prometheomys schaposnikowi) is one of the basalmost arvicolines, and confirm that true lemmings (Lemmus) and collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx) are not closely related as suggested by morphology. Red-backed voles (Myodini) are found as the sister-group of a clade encompassing water vole (Arvicola), snow vole (Chionomys), and meadow voles (Microtus and allies). Within the latter, no support is recovered for the generic recognition of Blanfordimys, Lasiopodomys, Neodon, and Phaiomys as suggested by morphology. Comparisons of parameter estimates for branch lengths, base composition, among sites rate heterogeneity, and GTR relative substitution rates indicate that CYB sequences consistently exhibit more heterogeneity among codon positions than GHR. By analyzing the contribution of each codon position to node resolution, we show that the apparent higher efficiency of GHR is due to their third positions. Although we focus on speciation events spanning the last 10 million years

  12. Tula virus: a newly detected hantavirus carried by European common voles.

    PubMed Central

    Plyusnin, A; Vapalahti, O; Lankinen, H; Lehväslaiho, H; Apekina, N; Myasnikov, Y; Kallio-Kokko, H; Henttonen, H; Lundkvist, A; Brummer-Korvenkontio, M

    1994-01-01

    A novel hantavirus has been discovered in European common voles, Microtus arvalis and Microtus rossiaemeridionalis. According to sequencing data for the genomic RNA S segment and nucleocapsid protein and data obtained by immunoblotting with a panel of monoclonal antibodies, the virus, designated Tula virus, is a distinct novel member of the genus Hantavirus. Phylogenetic analyses of Tula virus indicate that it is most closely related to Prospect Hill, Puumala, and Muerto Canyon viruses. The results support the view that the evolution of hantaviruses follows that of their primary carriers. Comparison of strains circulating within a local rodent population revealed a genetic drift via accumulation of base substitutions and deletions or insertions. The Tula virus population from individual animals is represented by quasispecies, indicating the potential for rapid evolution of the agent. Images PMID:7966573

  13. Citizen knowledge of and attitudes toward black-tailed prairie dogs: completion report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lamb, B.L.; Cline, Kurt; Brinson, Ayeisha; Sexton, N.R.; Ponds, P.D.

    2001-01-01

    In the late summer of 2000, we canvassed a random sample of residents in the 11-sate short grass prairie region of the United States. We asked about peoplea??s attitude toward and knowledge of black-tailed prairie dogs and their management. The survey received 1,933 useable responses with a response rate of 56.4% (margin of error 2.2%). We developed a questionnaire (OMB Control Number: 1028-0073; see Appendix B) to answer the following questions: * What is the level of citizen knowledge regarding black-tailed prairie dogs? * What are citizensa?? attitudes and preferences regarding black-tailed prairie dogs and the environment in general? * What are the factors that explain difference in attitudes and knowledge about prairie dogs? * What are the factors that explain citizen participation in these types of issues? * What are the important differences between rural and urban citizens regarding their political participation and their knowledge and attitude about prairie dogs? In general, we found that citizens do not have a high regard for black-tailed prairie dogs. Citizens generally have a positive orientation towards the environment and favor a balanced or somewhat environmental approach on questions--like prairie dog management--that involve environmental protection and economic considerations. People having direct experience with prairie dogs are less inclined to view them as beneficial to society than are those who infrequently see or come in contact with the animals. When asked about prairie dogs specifically, most citizens did not believe the question of what to do about these animals was a highly important environmental issue.

  14. Life-long shedding of Puumala hantavirus in wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Voutilainen, Liina; Sironen, Tarja; Tonteri, Elina; Bäck, Anne Tuiskunen; Razzauti, Maria; Karlsson, Malin; Wahlström, Maria; Niemimaa, Jukka; Henttonen, Heikki; Lundkvist, Åke

    2015-06-01

    The knowledge of viral shedding patterns and viraemia in the reservoir host species is a key factor in assessing the human risk of zoonotic viruses. The shedding of hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae) by their host rodents has widely been studied experimentally, but rarely in natural settings. Here we present the dynamics of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) shedding and viraemia in naturally infected wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus). In a monthly capture-mark-recapture study, we analysed 18 bank voles for the presence and relative quantity of PUUV RNA in the excreta and blood from 2 months before up to 8 months after seroconversion. The proportion of animals shedding PUUV RNA in saliva, urine and faeces peaked during the first month after seroconversion, but continued throughout the study period with only a slight decline. The quantity of shed PUUV in reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) positive excreta was constant over time. In blood, PUUV RNA was present for up to 7 months but both the probability of viraemia and the virus load declined with time. Our findings contradict the current view of a decline in virus shedding after the acute phase and a short viraemic period in hantavirus infection - an assumption widely adopted in current epidemiological models. We suggest the life-long shedding as a means of hantaviruses to survive over host population bottlenecks, and to disperse in fragmented habitats where local host and/or virus populations face temporary extinctions. Our results indicate that the kinetics of pathogens in wild hosts may differ considerably from those observed in laboratory settings. PMID:25701819

  15. Population sex-ratio affecting behavior and physiology of overwintering bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Sipari, Saana; Haapakoski, Marko; Klemme, Ines; Palme, Rupert; Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu

    2016-05-15

    Many boreal rodents are territorial during the breeding season but during winter become social and aggregate for more energy efficient thermoregulation. Communal winter nesting and social interactions are considered to play an important role for the winter survival of these species, yet the topic is relatively little explored. Females are suggested to be the initiators of winter aggregations and sometimes reported to survive better than males. This could be due to the higher social tolerance observed in overwintering females than males. Hormonal status could also affect winter behavior and survival. For instance, chronic stress can have a negative effect on survival, whereas high gonadal hormone levels, such as testosterone, often induce aggressive behavior. To test if the winter survival of females in a boreal rodent is better than that of males, and to assess the role of females in the winter aggregations, we generated bank vole (Myodes glareolus) populations of three different sex ratios (male-biased, female-biased and even density) under semi-natural conditions. We monitored survival, spatial behavior and hormonal status (stress and testosterone) during two winter months. We observed no significant differences in survival between the sexes or among populations with differing sex-ratios. The degree of movement area overlap was used as an indicator of social tolerance and potential communal nesting. Individuals in male biased populations showed a tendency to be solitary, whereas in female biased populations there was an indication of winter aggregation. Females living in male-biased populations had higher stress levels than the females from the other populations. The female-biased sex-ratio induced winter breeding and elevated testosterone levels in males. Thus, our results suggest that the sex-ratio of the overwintering population can lead to divergent overwintering strategies in bank voles. PMID:26976741

  16. Identification of Hepatozoon erhardovae Krampitz, 1964 from bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and fleas in Southern Hungary.

    PubMed

    Rigó, Krisztina; Majoros, Gábor; Szekeres, Sándor; Molnár, Imola; Jablonszky, Mónika; Majláthová, Viktória; Majláth, Igor; Földvári, Gábor

    2016-06-01

    In order to investigate the prevalence and life cycle of apicomplexan parasites, small mammals were live-trapped with modified Sherman traps in Southern Hungary between 2010 and 2012. Altogether, 528 rodents (Apodemus flavicollis Melchior, 1834, Apodemus agrarius Pallas, 1771, Myodes glareolus Schreber, 1780, Microtus agrestis Linnaeus, 1761, Mus musculus Linnaeus, 1758 and Micromys minutus Pallas, 1771) were collected and four shrews (Sorex spp.) were by-catched. Captured animals belonging to non-protected species were euthanized, and spleen samples were preserved for histological and molecular analyses. During the examination of spleen smears, Hepatozoon parasites were observed in eight out of 48 bank voles (M. glareolus). DNA was isolated from altogether 221 spleen samples, and 18S rDNA was amplified using two different PCR protocols. The eight bank vole samples were positive with PCR, but none of the other M. glareolus spleen samples or any of the tissue samples from other species were found to be infected. Sequenced amplicons were very similar to Hepatozoon spp. detected in M. glareolus in Spain and Poland. Ectoparasites were collected from the small mammal carcasses and from the vegetation. Hepatozoon DNA was not found in the 181 ticks removed from the small mammals or in the 162 ticks collected with flagging, but was detected in all three flea species (4/43 Megabothris turbidus Rothschild, 1909, 3/10 Ctenophthalmus assimilis Taschenberg, 1880 and 7/78 Ctenophthalmus agyrtes Heller, 1896). Based on gamont morphology, vertebrate and arthropod host species and DNA sequences, the parasites in our study can be identified as Hepatozoon erhardovae. PMID:27003406

  17. Olfactory experience affects the response of meadow voles to the opposite-sex scent donor of mixed-sex over-marks

    PubMed Central

    Ferkin, Michael H.; Ferkin, Daniel A.; Ferkin, Benjamin D.; Vlautin, Christian T.

    2010-01-01

    Scent marking and over-marking are important forms of communication between the sexes for many terrestrial mammals. Over the course of three experiments, we determined whether the amount of time individuals investigate the scent marks of opposite-sex conspecifics is affected by four days of olfactory experience with those conspecifics. In experiment 1, female meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, spent more time investigating the scent mark of the novel male conspecific than that of the familiar male donor, whereas male voles spent similar amounts of time investigating the scent mark of the familiar female and a novel female conspecific. In experiment 2, voles were exposed to a mixed-sex over-mark in which subjects did not have four days of olfactory experience with either the top-scent donor or the bottom-scent donor. During the test phase, male and female voles spent more time investigating the scent mark of the opposite-sex conspecific that provided the top-scent mark than that of a novel, opposite-sex conspecific. Male and female voles spent similar amounts of time investigating the scent mark of the bottom-scent donor and that of a novel opposite-sex conspecific. In experiment 3, voles were exposed to a mixed-sex over-mark that contained the scent mark of an opposite-sex conspecific with which they had four days of olfactory experience. During the test phase, male voles spent more time investigating the mark of the familiar, top-scent female than the scent mark of a novel female donor but spent similar amounts of time investigating the mark of the familiar, bottom-scent female and that of a novel female donor. In contrast, female voles spent more time investigating the mark of a novel male donor than that of either the familiar, top-scent male or that of the familiar, bottom-scent male. The sex differences in the responses of voles to scent marks and mixed-sex over-marks are discussed in relation to the natural history and non-monogamous mating system of

  18. Utilization of satellite data for inventorying prairie ponds and lakes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Work, E. A., Jr.; Gilmer, D. S.

    1976-01-01

    ERTS-1 data were used in mapping open surface water features in the glaciated prairies. Emphasis was placed on the recognition of these features based upon water's uniquely low radiance in a single near-infrared waveband. On the basis of these results, thematic maps and statistics relating to open surface water were obtained. In a related effort, the added information content of multiple spectral wavebands was used for discriminating surface water at a level of detail finer than the virtual resolution of the data. The basic theory of this technique and some preliminary results are described.

  19. Enumeration of prairie wetlands with Landsat and aircraft data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilmer, D. S.; Work, E. A., Jr.; Colwell, J. E.; Rebel, D. L.

    1980-01-01

    A method is described for estimating wetland abundance in the 700,000 sq km prairie pothole region of North America. A double sampling procedure is described, incorporating the use of high resolution aircraft imagery, capable of delineating ponds as small as 5 m across, as a means of adjusting the count of surface water features derived from the low-resolution Landsat census over a 38,876 sq km area in east-central North Dakota. The regression expansion formula used to estimate the actual number of total wetlands is also presented.

  20. Enumeration of prairie wetlands with Landsat and aircraft data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilmer, D.S.; Work, E.A., Jr.; Colwell, J.E.; Rebel, D.L.

    1980-01-01

    A method is described for making an estimate of wetland numbers in the glaciated prairie region. A double-phase sampling approach is used which consists of first making a total census of wetlands using Landsat data, and then adjusting the Landsat results on the basis of samples derived from high resolution aircraft data. The method is relatively simple to use and has general applicability for estimating habitat features not consistently detectable or resolvable on Landsat imagery because their size range includes features less than the resolution capability of the satellite's sensor.

  1. Prairie restoration at the National Wildlife Health Laboratory (Wisconsin)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Windingstad, R.M.

    1986-01-01

    The National Wildlife Health Laboratory (NWHL), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Madison are in the process of a 7-ha prairie restoration project on their lands to create a microcosmic representation of presettlement Wisconsin. Visiting scientists, personnel from local schools and universities, and neighboring public will eventually be able to use this land for its educational and esthetic value while becoming more familiar with the goals and objectives of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the NWHL. Self-guiding nature trails and a kiosk will facilitate public use after the project is completed.

  2. Model-based prediction of nephropathia epidemica outbreaks based on climatological and vegetation data and bank vole population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Haredasht, S Amirpour; Taylor, C J; Maes, P; Verstraeten, W W; Clement, J; Barrios, M; Lagrou, K; Van Ranst, M; Coppin, P; Berckmans, D; Aerts, J-M

    2013-11-01

    Wildlife-originated zoonotic diseases in general are a major contributor to emerging infectious diseases. Hantaviruses more specifically cause thousands of human disease cases annually worldwide, while understanding and predicting human hantavirus epidemics pose numerous unsolved challenges. Nephropathia epidemica (NE) is a human infection caused by Puumala virus, which is naturally carried and shed by bank voles (Myodes glareolus). The objective of this study was to develop a method that allows model-based predicting 3 months ahead of the occurrence of NE epidemics. Two data sets were utilized to develop and test the models. These data sets were concerned with NE cases in Finland and Belgium. In this study, we selected the most relevant inputs from all the available data for use in a dynamic linear regression (DLR) model. The number of NE cases in Finland were modelled using data from 1996 to 2008. The NE cases were predicted based on the time series data of average monthly air temperature (°C) and bank voles' trapping index using a DLR model. The bank voles' trapping index data were interpolated using a related dynamic harmonic regression model (DHR). Here, the DLR and DHR models used time-varying parameters. Both the DHR and DLR models were based on a unified state-space estimation framework. For the Belgium case, no time series of the bank voles' population dynamics were available. Several studies, however, have suggested that the population of bank voles is related to the variation in seed production of beech and oak trees in Northern Europe. Therefore, the NE occurrence pattern in Belgium was predicted based on a DLR model by using remotely sensed phenology parameters of broad-leaved forests, together with the oak and beech seed categories and average monthly air temperature (°C) using data from 2001 to 2009. Our results suggest that even without any knowledge about hantavirus dynamics in the host population, the time variation in NE outbreaks in Finland

  3. The colonization history of British water vole (Arvicola amphibius (Linnaeus, 1758)): origins and development of the Celtic fringe.

    PubMed

    Brace, Selina; Ruddy, Mark; Miller, Rebecca; Schreve, Danielle C; Stewart, John R; Barnes, Ian

    2016-04-27

    The terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene, a period from 15 000 to 18 000 Before Present (BP), was critical in establishing the current Holarctic fauna, with temperate-climate species largely replacing cold-adapted ones at mid-latitudes. However, the timing and nature of this process remain unclear for many taxa, a point that impacts on current and future management strategies. Here, we use an ancient DNA dataset to test more directly postglacial histories of the water vole (Arvicola amphibius, formerly A terrestris), a species that is both a conservation priority and a pest in different parts of its range. We specifically examine colonization of Britain, where a complex genetic structure can be observed today. Although we focus on population history at the limits of the species' range, the inclusion of additional European samples allows insights into European postglacial colonization events and provides a molecular perspective on water vole taxonomy. PMID:27122559

  4. Mapping of Replication Origins in the X Inactivation Center of Vole Microtus levis Reveals Extended Replication Initiation Zone

    PubMed Central

    Sherstyuk, Vladimir V.; Shevchenko, Alexander I.; Zakian, Suren M.

    2015-01-01

    DNA replication initiates at specific positions termed replication origins. Genome-wide studies of human replication origins have shown that origins are organized into replication initiation zones. However, only few replication initiation zones have been described so far. Moreover, few origins were mapped in other mammalian species besides human and mouse. Here we analyzed pattern of short nascent strands in the X inactivation center (XIC) of vole Microtus levis in fibroblasts, trophoblast stem cells, and extraembryonic endoderm stem cells and confirmed origins locations by ChIP approach. We found that replication could be initiated in a significant part of XIC. We also analyzed state of XIC chromatin in these cell types. We compared origin localization in the mouse and vole XIC. Interestingly, origins associated with gene promoters are conserved in these species. The data obtained allow us to suggest that the X inactivation center of M. levis is one extended replication initiation zone. PMID:26038842

  5. Mapping of Replication Origins in the X Inactivation Center of Vole Microtus levis Reveals Extended Replication Initiation Zone.

    PubMed

    Sherstyuk, Vladimir V; Shevchenko, Alexander I; Zakian, Suren M

    2015-01-01

    DNA replication initiates at specific positions termed replication origins. Genome-wide studies of human replication origins have shown that origins are organized into replication initiation zones. However, only few replication initiation zones have been described so far. Moreover, few origins were mapped in other mammalian species besides human and mouse. Here we analyzed pattern of short nascent strands in the X inactivation center (XIC) of vole Microtus levis in fibroblasts, trophoblast stem cells, and extraembryonic endoderm stem cells and confirmed origins locations by ChIP approach. We found that replication could be initiated in a significant part of XIC. We also analyzed state of XIC chromatin in these cell types. We compared origin localization in the mouse and vole XIC. Interestingly, origins associated with gene promoters are conserved in these species. The data obtained allow us to suggest that the X inactivation center of M. levis is one extended replication initiation zone. PMID:26038842

  6. High-resolution G-banding and nucleolus-organizer regions of chromosomes of vole Microtus kirgisorum

    SciTech Connect

    Mazurok, N.A.; Rubtsov, N.B.; Ovechkina, Y.Y.

    1995-08-01

    The use of G-banding of chromosomes in combination with the pipette method of chromosome preparation at the early metaphase made it possible to distinguish about 520 segments in the haploid chromosome set of vole Microtus kirgisorum. The idiogram of M. kirgisorum chromosomes was obtained on the basis of detailed investigation of chromosomes at different condensation levels. Data of the localization and the number of nucleolus-organizer regions are given. 16 refs., 3 figs.

  7. Susceptibility to and transmission of H5N1 and H7N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Romero Tejeda, Aurora; Aiello, Roberta; Salomoni, Angela; Berton, Valeria; Vascellari, Marta; Cattoli, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    The study of influenza type A (IA) infections in wild mammals populations is a critical gap in our knowledge of how IA viruses evolve in novel hosts that could be in close contact with avian reservoir species and other wild animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility to infection, the nasal shedding and the transmissibility of the H7N1 and H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), a wild rodent common throughout Europe and Asia. Two out of 24 H5N1-infected voles displayed evident respiratory distress, while H7N1-infected voles remained asymptomatic. Viable virus was isolated from nasal washes collected from animals infected with both HPAI viruses, and extra-pulmonary infection was confirmed in both experimental groups. Histopathological lesions were evident in the respiratory tract of infected animals, although immunohistochemistry positivity was only detected in lungs and trachea of two H7N1-infected voles. Both HPAI viruses were transmitted by direct contact, and seroconversion was confirmed in 50% and 12.5% of the asymptomatic sentinels in the H7N1 and H5N1 groups, respectively. Interestingly, viable virus was isolated from lungs and nasal washes collected from contact sentinels of both groups. The present study demonstrated that two non-rodent adapted HPAI viruses caused asymptomatic infection in bank voles, which shed high amounts of the viruses and were able to infect contact voles. Further investigations are needed to determine whether bank voles could be involved as silent hosts in the transmission of HPAI viruses to other mammals and domestic poultry. PMID:25963535

  8. The changing pace of insular life: 5000 years of microevolution in the Orkney vole (Microtus arvalis orcadensis).

    PubMed

    Cucchi, Thomas; Barnett, Ross; Martínková, Natália; Renaud, Sabrina; Renvoisé, Elodie; Evin, Allowen; Sheridan, Alison; Mainland, Ingrid; Wickham-Jones, Caroline; Tougard, Christelle; Quéré, Jean Pierre; Pascal, Michel; Pascal, Marine; Heckel, Gerald; O'Higgins, Paul; Searle, Jeremy B; Dobney, Keith M

    2014-10-01

    Island evolution may be expected to involve fast initial morphological divergence followed by stasis. We tested this model using the dental phenotype of modern and ancient common voles (Microtus arvalis), introduced onto the Orkney archipelago (Scotland) from continental Europe some 5000 years ago. First, we investigated phenotypic divergence of Orkney and continental European populations and assessed climatic influences. Second, phenotypic differentiation among Orkney populations was tested against geography, time, and neutral genetic patterns. Finally, we examined evolutionary change along a time series for the Orkney Mainland. Molar gigantism and anterior-lobe hypertrophy evolved rapidly in Orkney voles following introduction, without any transitional forms detected. Founder events and adaptation appear to explain this initial rapid evolution. Idiosyncrasy in dental features among different island populations of Orkney voles is also likely the result of local founder events following Neolithic translocation around the archipelago. However, against our initial expectations, a second marked phenotypic shift occurred between the 4th and 12th centuries AD, associated with increased pastoral farming and introduction of competitors (mice and rats) and terrestrial predators (foxes and cats). These results indicate that human agency can generate a more complex pattern of morphological evolution than might be expected in island rodents. PMID:24957579

  9. De novo lipogenesis is suppressed during fasting but upregulated at population decline in cyclic voles.

    PubMed

    Nieminen, Petteri; Rouvinen-Watt, Kirsti; Harris, Lora; Huitu, Otso; Henttonen, Heikki; Mustonen, Anne-Mari

    2016-04-01

    Arvicolines are susceptible to the development of fatty liver during short-term fasting. We examined the potential role of de novo lipogenesis (DNL) (i) in the development of fasting-induced fatty liver and (ii) during a population cycle by measuring the mRNA expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1) and fatty acid synthase (FAS). Laboratory voles (Microtus oeconomus and Microtus arvalis) were fed or fasted for 12 or 18 h and their liver mRNA levels were determined. Both species showed decreased mRNA expression of ACC1 and FAS during fasting. This suggests that DNL does not participate in the development of fatty liver in voles, different from human non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus), the mRNA levels of the genes of interest were higher during the population decline compared to the increase phase. In conclusion, DNL was suppressed during acute fasting but upregulated during a long-term population decline-a period of purported scarcity of high-quality food. PMID:26892709

  10. Re-feeding food-deprived male meadow voles affects the sperm allocation of their rival males

    PubMed Central

    Vaughn, Ashlee A.; delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H.

    2012-01-01

    An individual’s nutritional status affects the manner in which same- and opposite-sex conspecifics respond to that individual, which may affect their fitness. Male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm allocation if they encounter the scent mark of an unfamiliar male that is not nutritionally challenged. If, however, the scent mark comes from a male that has been food deprived for 24 hours, stud male voles do not increase their sperm allocation. Food deprived males may be viewed as being lower quality and a reduced risk of sperm competition by rival males. We hypothesized that stud males in promiscuous mating systems tailor their sperm allocations depending on whether rival males have been food deprived and then re-fed. We predicted that newly re-fed males will be considered a strong risk of sperm competition because of the potentially high fitness and survival costs associated with food deprivation in males, and that they will cause stud males to increase their sperm allocation. Our results, however, showed that the recovery period from 24 hours of food deprivation was a relatively slow process. It took between 96 hours and 336 hours of re-feeding male scent donors that were food deprived for 24 hours to induce stud males to increase their sperm allocation to levels comparable to when scent donors were not food deprived. Stud male voles may be conserving the amount of sperm allocated until the male scent donors have recovered from food deprivation and subsequent re-feeding. PMID:23185098

  11. Microevolution of Puumala hantavirus during a Complete Population Cycle of Its Host, the Bank Vole (Myodes glareolus)

    PubMed Central

    Razzauti, Maria; Plyusnina, Angelina; Henttonen, Heikki; Plyusnin, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Microevolution of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) was studied throughout a population cycle of its host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). We monitored PUUV variants circulating in the host population in Central Finland over a five-year period that included two peak-phases and two population declines. Of 1369 bank voles examined, 360 (26.3%) were found infected with PUUV. Partial sequences of each of the three genome segments were recovered (approx. 12% of PUUV genome) from 356 bank voles. Analyses of these sequences disclosed the following features of PUUV evolution: 1) nucleotide substitutions are mostly silent and deduced amino acid changes are mainly conservative, suggesting stabilizing selection at the protein level; 2) the three genome segments accumulate mutations at a different rate; 3) some of the circulating PUUV variants are frequently observed while others are transient; 4) frequently occurring PUUV variants are composed of the most abundant segment genotypes (copious) and new transient variants are continually generated; 5) reassortment of PUUV genome segments occurs regularly and follows a specific pattern of segments association; 6) prevalence of reassortant variants oscillates with season and is higher in the autumn than in the spring; and 7) reassortants are transient, i.e., they are not competitively superior to their parental variants. Collectively, these observations support a quasi-neutral mode of PUUV microevolution with a steady generation of transient variants, including reassortants, and preservation of a few preferred genotypes. PMID:23717616

  12. Photoperiod-Dependent Effects of 4-tert-Octylphenol on Adherens and Gap Junction Proteins in Bank Vole Seminiferous Tubules

    PubMed Central

    Kuras, Paulina; Lydka-Zarzycka, Marta; Bilinska, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we evaluated in vivo and in vitro effects of 4-tert-octylphenol (OP) on the expression and distribution of adherens and gap junction proteins, N-cadherin, β-catenin, and connexin 43 (Cx43), in testes of seasonally breeding rodents, bank voles. We found that in bank vole testes expression and distribution of N-cadherin, β-catenin, and Cx43 were photoperiod dependent. Long-term treatment with OP (200 mg/kg b.w.) resulted in the reduction of junction proteins expressions (P < 0.05, P < 0.01) and their delocalization in the testes of males kept in long photoperiod, whereas in short-day animals slight increase of Cx43 (P < 0.05), N-cadherin, and β-catenin (statistically nonsignificant) levels was observed. Effects of OP appeared to be independent of FSH and were maintained during in vitro organ culture, indicating that OP acts directly on adherens and gap junction proteins in the testes. An experiment performed using an antiestrogen ICI 182,780 demonstrated that the biological effects of OP on β-catenin and Cx43 involve an estrogen receptor-mediated response. Taken together, in bank vole organization of adherens and gap junctions and their susceptibility to OP are related to the length of photoperiod. Alterations in cadherin/catenin and Cx43-based junction may partially result from activation of estrogen receptor α and/or β signaling pathway. PMID:23737770

  13. Manifestations of Fasting-Induced Fatty Liver and Rapid Recovery from Steatosis in Voles Fed Lard or Flaxseed Oil Lipids

    PubMed Central

    Mustonen, Anne-Mari; Kärjä, Vesa; Kilpiö, Michael; Tammi, Raija; Tammi, Markku; Rouvinen-Watt, Kirsti; Halonen, Toivo; Nieminen, Petteri

    2013-01-01

    Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) can have beneficial effects against fat deposition, cardiovascular diseases, and liver steatosis. We investigated how diets based on lard (predominantly saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids) or flaxseed oil (rich in 18:3n-3) affect liver fat-% and fatty acid profiles of tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus). We also studied potential participation of hyaluronan (HA) in the pathology of fatty liver and whether the development and recovery of fasting-induced steatosis are influenced by n-3 PUFA. The dietary fatty acid composition was manifested in the liver fatty acid signatures. Fasting for 18 h induced macrovesicular steatosis and the liver fat-% increased to 22% independent of the preceding diet. Fasting-induced steatosis did not involve inflammation or connective tissue activation indicated by the absence of both leukocyte accumulation and increased HA. Food deprivation modified the liver fatty acid signatures to resemble more closely the diets. Fasting reduced the proportions of long-chain n-3 PUFA in both dietary regimes and n-3/n-6 PUFA ratios in the lard-fed voles. Decreases in long-chain n-3 PUFA may promote lipid accumulation by modulating the expression of lipid-metabolizing genes. Dietary 18:3n-3 did not prevent the development or attenuate the manifestation of steatosis in the fasted voles or promote the recovery. PMID:24152753

  14. Physiological condition of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) during the increase and decline phases of the population cycle.

    PubMed

    Nieminen, Petteri; Huitu, Otso; Henttonen, Heikki; Finnilä, Mikko A J; Voutilainen, Liina; Itämies, Juhani; Kärjä, Vesa; Saarela, Seppo; Halonen, Toivo; Aho, Jari; Mustonen, Anne-Mari

    2015-09-01

    The dynamics of animal populations are greatly influenced by interactions with their natural enemies and food resources. However, quantifying the relative effects of these factors on demographic rates remains a perpetual challenge for animal population ecology. Food scarcity is assumed to limit the growth and to initiate the decline of cyclic herbivore populations, but this has not been verified with physiological health indices. We hypothesized that individuals in declining populations would exhibit signs of malnutrition-induced deterioration of physiological condition. We evaluated the association of body condition with population cycle phase in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) during the increase and decline phases of a population cycle. The bank voles had lower body masses, condition indices and absolute masses of particular organs during the decline. Simultaneously, they had lower femoral masses, mineral contents and densities. Hemoglobin and hematocrit values and several parameters known to respond to food deprivation were unaffected by the population phase. There were no signs of lymphopenia, eosinophilia, granulocytosis or monocytosis. Erythrocyte counts were higher and plasma total protein levels and tissue proportions of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids lower in the population decline. Ectoparasite load was lower and adrenal gland masses or catecholamine concentrations did not suggest higher stress levels. Food availability seems to limit the size of voles during the decline but they can adapt to the prevailing conditions without clear deleterious health effects. This highlights the importance of quantifying individual health state when evaluating the effects of complex trophic interactions on the dynamics of wild animal populations. PMID:26006298

  15. Variability of whipworm infection and humoral immune response in a wild population of mole voles (Ellobius talpinus Pall.).

    PubMed

    Novikov, Eugene; Petrovski, Dmitry; Mak, Viktoria; Kondratuk, Ekaterina; Krivopalov, Anton; Moshkin, Mikhail

    2016-08-01

    Restricted mobility and spatial isolation of social units in gregarious subterranean mammals ensure good defence mechanisms against parasites, which in turn allows for a reduction of immunity components. In contrast, a parasite invasion may cause an increased adaptive immune response. Therefore, it can be expected that spatial and temporal distribution of parasites within a population will correlate with the local variability in the host's immunocompetence. To test this hypothesis, the intra-population variability of a whipworm infestation and the humoral immune response to non-replicated antigens in mole voles (Ellobius talpinus Pall.), social subterranean rodents, was estimated. Whipworm prevalence in mole voles increased from spring to autumn, and this tendency was more pronounced in settlements living in natural meadows compared to settlements in man-made meadows. However, humoral immune response was lowest in animals from natural meadows trapped in autumn. Since whipworm infestation does not directly affect the immunity of mole voles, the reciprocal tendencies in seasonal dynamics and spatial distribution of whipworm abundance and host immunocompetence may be explained by local deterioration of habitat conditions, which increases the probability of an infestation. PMID:27079461

  16. Protecting Black-Footed Ferrets and Prairie Dogs Against Sylvatic Plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2008-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at other federal agencies and the University of Wisconsin, are developing and testing vaccines that can be used to protect black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs against plague. The black-footed ferret is commonly regarded as the most endangered mammal in North America, and sylvatic plague is a major impediment to its recovery. The three prairie dog species (Gunnison's, black-tailed, and white-tailed prairie dogs), upon which the ferret depends for food and whose burrows they use for shelter, have been drastically reduced from historical levels, resulting in the near extinction of the ferret. All three species are considered 'at risk' and have been petitioned for listing as 'threatened' or 'endangered' by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Additionally, the Utah prairie dog is listed as threatened and the Mexican prairie dog is considered endangered in Mexico. Like the black-footed ferret, all five prairie dog species are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Controlling plague outbreaks in prairie dogs and ferrets is a vital concern for ongoing recovery programs and conservation efforts for both species.

  17. Season and application rates affect vaccine bait consumption by prairie dogs in Colorado and Utah, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tripp, Daniel W.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Streich, Sean P.; Brown, Nathanael L.; Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Miller, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, causes high rates of mortality in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.). An oral vaccine against plague has been developed for prairie dogs along with a palatable bait to deliver vaccine and a biomarker to track bait consumption. We conducted field trials between September 2009 and September 2012 to develop recommendations for bait distribution to deliver plague vaccine to prairie dogs. The objectives were to evaluate the use of the biomarker, rhodamine B, in field settings to compare bait distribution strategies, to compare uptake of baits distributed at different densities, to assess seasonal effects on bait uptake, and to measure bait uptake by nontarget small mammal species. Rhodamine B effectively marked prairie dogs' whiskers during these field trials. To compare bait distribution strategies, we applied baits around active burrows or along transects at densities of 32, 65, and 130 baits/ha. Distributing baits at active burrows or by transect did not affect uptake by prairie dogs. Distributing baits at rates of ≥65/ha (or ≥1 bait/active burrow) produced optimal uptake, and bait uptake by prairie dogs in the autumn was superior to uptake in the spring. Six other species of small mammals consumed baits during these trials. All four species of tested prairie dogs readily consumed the baits, demonstrating that vaccine uptake will not be an obstacle to plague control via oral vaccination.

  18. Season and application rates affect vaccine bait consumption by prairie dogs in Colorado and Utah, USA.

    PubMed

    Tripp, Daniel W; Rocke, Tonie E; Streich, Sean P; Brown, Nathanael L; Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Miller, Michael W

    2014-04-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, causes high rates of mortality in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.). An oral vaccine against plague has been developed for prairie dogs along with a palatable bait to deliver vaccine and a biomarker to track bait consumption. We conducted field trials between September 2009 and September 2012 to develop recommendations for bait distribution to deliver plague vaccine to prairie dogs. The objectives were to evaluate the use of the biomarker, rhodamine B, in field settings to compare bait distribution strategies, to compare uptake of baits distributed at different densities, to assess seasonal effects on bait uptake, and to measure bait uptake by nontarget small mammal species. Rhodamine B effectively marked prairie dogs' whiskers during these field trials. To compare bait distribution strategies, we applied baits around active burrows or along transects at densities of 32, 65, and 130 baits/ha. Distributing baits at active burrows or by transect did not affect uptake by prairie dogs. Distributing baits at rates of ≥ 65/ha (or ≥ 1 bait/active burrow) produced optimal uptake, and bait uptake by prairie dogs in the autumn was superior to uptake in the spring. Six other species of small mammals consumed baits during these trials. All four species of tested prairie dogs readily consumed the baits, demonstrating that vaccine uptake will not be an obstacle to plague control via oral vaccination. PMID:24484490

  19. Influence of conservation programs on amphibians using seasonal wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balas, Caleb J.; Euliss, Ned H.; Mushnet, David M.

    2012-01-01

    Extensive modification of upland habitats surrounding wetlands to facilitate agricultural production has negatively impacted amphibian communities in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America. In attempts to mitigate ecosystem damage associated with extensive landscape alteration, vast tracks of upland croplands have been returned to perennial vegetative cover (i.e., conservation grasslands) under a variety of U.S. Department of Agriculture programs. We evaluated the influence of these conservation grasslands on amphibian occupancy of seasonal wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region. Using automated call surveys, aquatic funnel traps, and visual encounter surveys, we detected eight amphibian species using wetlands within three land-use categories (farmed, conservation grasslands, and native prairie grasslands) during the summers of 2005 and 2006. Seasonal wetlands within farmlands were used less frequently by amphibians than those within conservation and native prairie grasslands, and wetlands within conservation grasslands were used less frequently than those within native prairie grasslands by all species and life-stages we successfully modeled. Our results suggest that, while not occupied as frequently as wetlands within native prairie, wetlands within conservation grasslands provide important habitat for maintaining amphibian biodiversity in the Prairie Pothole Region

  20. Rangewide genetic analysis of Lesser Prairie-Chicken reveals population structure, range expansion, and possible introgression

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; DeYoung, Randall W; Fike, Jennifer; Hagen, Christian A.; Johnson, Jeff A.; Larsson, Lena C; Patten, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been markedly reduced due to loss and fragmentation of habitat. Portions of the historical range, however, have been recolonized and even expanded due to planting of conservation reserve program (CRP) fields that provide favorable vegetation structure for Lesser Prairie-Chickens. The source population(s) feeding the range expansion is unknown, yet has resulted in overlap between Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) increasing the potential for hybridization. Our objectives were to characterize connectivity and genetic diversity among populations, identify source population(s) of recent range expansion, and examine hybridization with the Greater Prairie-Chicken. We analyzed 640 samples from across the range using 13 microsatellites. We identified three to four populations corresponding largely to ecoregions. The Shinnery Oak Prairie and Sand Sagebrush Prairie represented genetically distinct populations (F ST > 0.034 and F ST > 0.023 respectively). The Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic and Mixed Grass ecoregions appeared admixed (F ST = 0.009). Genetic diversity was similar among ecoregions and N e ranged from 142 (95 % CI 99–236) for the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic to 296 (95 % CI 233–396) in the Mixed Grass Prairie. No recent migration was detected among ecoregions, except asymmetric dispersal from both the Mixed Grass Prairie and to a lesser extent the Sand Sagebrush Prairie north into adjacent Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic (m = 0.207, 95 % CI 0.116–0.298, m = 0.097, 95 % CI 0.010–0.183, respectively). Indices investigating potential hybridization in the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic revealed that six of the 13 individuals with hybrid phenotypes were significantly admixed suggesting hybridization. Continued monitoring of diversity within and among ecoregions is warranted as are actions promoting genetic connectivity and range expansion.

  1. Avoidance behavior by prairie grouse: implications for development of wind energy.

    PubMed

    Pruett, Christin L; Patten, Michael A; Wolfe, Donald H

    2009-10-01

    New wind-energy facilities and their associated power transmission lines and roads are being constructed at a rapid pace in the Great Plains of North America. Nevertheless, little is known about the possible negative effects these anthropogenic features might have on prairie birds, one of the most threatened groups in North America. We examined radiotelemetry tracking locations of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) in two locations in Oklahoma to determine whether these birds avoided or changed movement behavior near power lines and paved highways. We tracked 463 Lesser Prairie-Chickens (15,071 tracking locations) and 216 Greater Prairie-Chickens (5,750 locations) for 7 and 3 years, respectively. Individuals of both species avoided power lines by at least 100 m and Lesser Prairie-Chickens avoided one of the two highways by 100 m. Prairie-chickens crossed power lines less often than expected if birds moved randomly (p < 0.05) but did not appear to perceive highways as a movement barrier (p > 0.05). In addition, home ranges of Lesser Prairie-Chickens overlapped the power line less often than would be expected by chance placement of home ranges; this result was supported by kernel-density estimation of home ranges. It is likely that new power lines (and other tall structures such as wind turbines) will lead to avoidance of previously suitable habitat and will serve as barriers to movement. These two factors will likely increase fragmentation in an already fragmented landscape if wind energy development continues in prairie habitats. PMID:19500121

  2. Climate change and prairie pothole wetlands: mitigating water-level and hydroperiod effects through upland management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Renton, David A.; Mushet, David M.; DeKeyser, Edward S.

    2015-01-01

    Prairie pothole wetlands offer crucial habitat for North America’s waterfowl populations. The wetlands also support an abundance of other species and provide ecological services valued by society. The hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands is dependent on atmospheric interactions. Therefore, changes to the region’s climate can have profound effects on wetland hydrology. The relevant literature related to climate change and upland management effects on prairie pothole wetland water levels and hydroperiods was reviewed. Climate change is widely expected to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole wetlands, as well as the biota and ecological services that the wetlands support. In general, hydrologic model projections that incorporate future climate change scenarios forecast lower water levels in prairie pothole wetlands and longer periods spent in a dry condition, despite potential increases in precipitation. However, the extreme natural variability in climate and hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands necessitates caution when interpreting model results. Recent changes in weather patterns throughout much of the Prairie Pothole Region have been in increased precipitation that results in increased water inputs to wetlands above losses associated with warmer temperatures. However, observed precipitation increases are within the range of natural climate variability and therefore, may not persist. Identifying management techniques with the potential to affect water inputs to prairie pothole wetlands would provide increased options for managers when dealing with the uncertainties associated with a changing climate. Several grassland management techniques (for example, grazing and burning) have the potential to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole by affecting infiltration, evapotranspiration, and snow deposition.

  3. Spatial variation in keystone effects: Small mammal diversity associated with black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Van Nimwegen, R. E.; Ray, C.; Johnson, W.C.; Thiagarajan, B.; Conlin, D.B.; Holmes, B.E.

    2010-01-01

    Species with extensive geographic ranges may interact with different species assemblages at distant locations, with the result that the nature of the interactions may vary spatially. Black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus occur from Canada to Mexico in grasslands of the western Great Plains of North America. Black-tailed prairie dogs alter vegetation and dig extensive burrow systems that alter grassland habitats for plants and other animal species. These alterations of habitat justify the descriptor " ecological engineer," and the resulting changes in species composition have earned them status as a keystone species. We examined the impact of black-tailed prairie dogs on small mammal assemblages by trapping at on- and off-colony locations at eight study areas across the species' geographic range. We posed 2 nested hypotheses: 1) prairie dogs function as a keystone species for other rodent species; and 2) the keystone role varies spatially. Assuming that it does, we asked what are the sources of the variation? Black-tailed prairie dogs consistently functioned as a keystone species in that there were strong statistically significant differences in community composition on versus off prairie dog colonies across the species range in prairie grassland. Small mammal species composition varied along both latitudinal and longitudinal gradients, and species richness varied from 4 to 11. Assemblages closer together were more similar; such correlations approximately doubled when including only on- or off-colony grids. Black-tailed prairie dogs had a significant effect on associated rodent assemblages that varied regionally, dependent upon the composition of the local rodent species pool. Over the range of the black-tailed prairie dog, on-colony rodent richness and evenness were less variable, and species composition was more consistent than off-colony assemblages. ?? 2010 The Authors.

  4. Effects of radio marking on prairie falcons: Attachment failures provide insights about survival

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steenhof, Karen; Bates, Kirk K.; Fuller, Mark R.; Kochert, Michael N.; McKinley, J.O.; Lukacs, Paul M.

    2006-01-01

    From 1999-2002, we attached satellite-received platform transmitter terminals (PTTs) to 40 adult female prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus) on their nesting grounds in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) in southwest Idaho. We used 3 variations of a backpack harness design that had been used previously on raptors. Each radiomarked falcon also received a color leg band with a unique alphanumeric code. We monitored survival of birds using radiotelemetry and searched for marked birds on their nesting grounds during breeding seasons after marking. Because 6 falcons removed their harnesses during the first year, we were able to compare survival rates of birds that shed PTTs with those that retained them. We describe a harness design that failed prematurely as well as designs that proved successful for long-term PTT attachment. We resighted 21 marked individuals on nesting areas 1-5 years after they were radiomarked and documented 13 mortalities of satellite-tracked falcons. We used a Cormack-Jolly-Seber model to estimate apparent survival probability based on band resighting and telemetry data. Platform transmitter terminals had no short-term effects on falcons or their nesting success during the nesting season they were marked, but birds that shed their transmitters increased their probability of survival. Estimated annual survival for birds that shed their transmitters was 87% compared to 49% for birds wearing transmitters. We discuss possible reasons for differences in apparent survival rates and offer recommendations for future marking of falcons.

  5. Groundwater nutrient concentrations during prairie reconstruction on an Iowa landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tomer, M.D.; Schilling, K.E.; Cambardella, C.A.; Jacobson, P.; Drobney, P.

    2010-01-01

    One anticipated benefit of ecosystem restoration is water quality improvement. This study evaluated NO3-N and phosphorus in subsurface waters during prairie establishment following decades of row-crop agriculture. A prairie seeding in late 2003 became established in 2006. Wells and suction cup samplers were monitored for NO3-N and phosphorus. Nitrate-N varied with time and landscape position. Non-detectable NO3-N concentrations became modal along ephemeral drainageways in 2006, when average concentrations in uplands first became <10mg NO3-NL-1. This decline continued and upland groundwater averaged near 2mg NO3-NL-1 after 2007. The longer time lag in NO3-N response in uplands was attributed to greater quantities of leachable N in upland subsoils. Spatial differences in vadose-zone travel times were less important, considering water table dynamics. Phosphorus showed a contrasting landscape pattern, without any obvious temporal trend. Phosphorus was greatest along and near ephemeral drainageways. Sediment accumulation from upland agricultural erosion provided a source of P along drainageways, where shallow, reductive groundwater increased P solubility. Phosphorus exceeded eutrophication risk thresholds in these lower areas, where saturation-excess runoff could readily transport P to surface waters. Legacy impacts of past agricultural erosion and sedimentation may include soluble phosphorus in shallow groundwater, at sites prone to saturation-excess runoff. ?? 2010.

  6. Energy and conservation benefits from managed prairie biomass

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jungers, Jacob M.; Trost, Jared J.; Lehman, Clarence L.; Tilman, David

    2011-01-01

    Marginally productive land, such as that enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), may provide acreage and economic incentives for cellulosic energy production. Improving the yields from these lands will help establish a biomass producer?s position in the marketplace. The effects of water and nitrogen on biomass yields were investigated in both a plot-scale experiment and a broad-scale survey of CRP lands. The plot-scale experiment demonstrated that irrigation improved mixed-species prairie biomass yields more than nitrogen fertilizer on coarse-textured, marginally productive soils. Experimental plots amended with both irrigation and moderate (but not high) nitrogen produced more biomass than other treatment combinations, but this trend was not statistically significant. The survey of biomass yields on CRP lands across four Midwestern States indicates that yields are better correlated with June rainfall than any other individual month. Applying nutrient-enriched water such as agricultural runoff could benefit prairie yields if applied at appropriate times.

  7. Spatiotemporal dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Augustine, D.J.; Matchett, M.R.; Toombs, T.P.; Cully, J.F., Jr.; Johnson, T.L.; Sidle, John G.

    2008-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are a key component of the disturbance regime in semi-arid grasslands of central North America. Many studies have compared community and ecosystem characteristics on prairie dog colonies to grasslands without prairie dogs, but little is known about landscape-scale patterns of disturbance that prairie dog colony complexes may impose on grasslands over long time periods. We examined spatiotemporal dynamics in two prairie dog colony complexes in southeastern Colorado (Comanche) and northcentral Montana (Phillips County) that have been strongly influenced by plague, and compared them to a complex unaffected by plague in northwestern Nebraska (Oglala). Both plague-affected complexes exhibited substantial spatiotemporal variability in the area occupied during a decade, in contrast to the stability of colonies in the Oglala complex. However, the plague-affected complexes differed in spatial patterns of colony movement. Colonies in the Comanche complex in shortgrass steppe shifted locations over a decade. Only 10% of the area occupied in 1995 was still occupied by prairie dogs in 2006. In 2005 and 2006 respectively, 74 and 83% of the total area of the Comanche complex occurred in locations that were not occupied in 1995, and only 1% of the complex was occupied continuously over a decade. In contrast, prairie dogs in the Phillips County complex in mixed-grass prairie and sagebrush steppe primarily recolonized previously occupied areas after plague-induced colony declines. In Phillips County, 62% of the area occupied in 1993 was also occupied by prairie dogs in 2004, and 12% of the complex was occupied continuously over a decade. Our results indicate that plague accelerates spatiotemporal movement of prairie dog colonies, and have significant implications for landscape-scale effects of prairie dog disturbance on grassland composition and productivity. These findings highlight the need to combine landscape-scale measures of

  8. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  9. Detecting spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground production in a tallgrass prairie using remotely sensed data

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Haiping; Krummel, J.R.; Briggs, J.M.; Knapp, A.K.; Blair, J.M.

    1996-05-01

    Spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground production is a tallgrass prairie ecosystem constitute one of the important spatial components associated with ecological processes and biophysical resources (e.g. water and nutrients). This study addresses the effects of disturbance, topography, and climate on the spatial and temporal patterns of North American tallgrass prairie at a landscape level by using high resolution satellite data. Spatial heterogeneity derived from the satellite data was related to the impacts of the disturbance of fire and grazing, topographical gradient, and amount of precipitation during the growing season. The result suggests that ecological processes and biophysical resources can be quantified with high resolution satellite data for tallgrass prairie management.

  10. Vegetation of wetlands of the prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kantrud, H.A.; Millar, J.B.; Van Der Valk, A.G.

    1989-01-01

    Five themes dominate the literature dealing with the vegetation of palustrine and lacustrine wetlands of the prairie pothole region: environmental conditions (water or moisture regime, salinity), agricultural disturbances (draining, grazing, burning, sedimentation, etc.), vegetation dynamics, zonation patterns, and classification of the wetlands.The flora of a prairie wetland is a function of its water regime, salinity, and disturbance by man. Within a pothole, water depth and duration determines distribution of species. In potholes deep enough to have standing water even during droughts, the central zone will be dominated by submersed species (open water). In wetlands that go dry during periods of drought or annually, the central zone will be dominated by either tall emergent species (deep marsh) or midheight emergents (shallow marsh), respectively. Potholes that are only flooded briefly in the spring are dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs (wet meadow). Within a pothole, the depth of standing water in the deepest, usually central, part of the basin determines how many zones will be present. Lists of species associated with different water regimes and salinity levels are presented.Disturbances due to agricultural activities have impacted wetlands throughout the region. Drainage has eliminated many potholes, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the region. Grazing, mowing, and burning have altered the composition of pothole vegetation. The composition of different vegetation types impacted by grazing, haying, and cultivation is presented in a series of tables. Indirect impacts of agriculture (increased sediment, nutrient, and pesticide inputs) are widespread over the region, but their impacts on the vegetation have never been studied.Because of the periodic droughts and wet periods, many palustrine and lacustrine wetlands undergo vegetation cycles associated with water-level changes produced by these wet-dry cycles. Periods of above normal

  11. Analysis of ectoparasites (chigger mites, gamasid mites, fleas and sucking lice) of the Yunnan red-backed vole (Eothenomys miletus) sampled throughout its range in southwest China.

    PubMed

    Peng, P-Y; Guo, X-G; Song, W-Y; Hou, P; Zou, Y-J; Fan, R; He, X-S

    2015-12-01

    The Yunnan red-backed vole Eothenomys miletus (Rodentia: Cricetidae) is an endemic rodent species and reservoir host of zoonoses in southwest China. Based on a large host sample (2463 voles collected from 39 localities between 2001 and 2013), a general analysis of four categories of ectoparasite (fleas, sucking lice, chigger mites and gamasid mites) on E. miletus across its entire range of distribution was made. This analysis identified a total of 71 895 ectoparasites belonging to 320 species (30 species of flea, 9 of sucking louse, 106 of gamasid mite and 175 of chigger mite) with a high prevalence (87%), mean abundance (29.19) and mean intensity (33.69). Of the 18 vector species of zoonoses found on E. miletus, the flea Ctenophthalmus quadratus (Siphonaptera: Hystrichopsyllidae) and chigger mite Leptotrombidium scutellare (Trombidiformes: Trombiculidae) were the dominant species; these are the main vectors of zoonoses in China. All of the dominant parasite species showed an aggregated distribution pattern. Male voles harboured more species of parasite than females. Chigger mites represented the most abundant species group on voles and their prevalence was positively correlated with mean abundance (r = 0.73; P < 0.05). As a single rodent species, E. miletus has a high potential to harbour abundant ectoparasites with high species diversity and high rates of infestation. The sex of the vole affects ectoparasite infestation. PMID:26345365

  12. Pleasant Prairie Power Plant air quality control upgrade project, Pleasant Praire, Wisconsin

    SciTech Connect

    Gebhart, S.; Pennline, D.; Brodsky, I.; Bichler, D.

    2007-10-15

    We Energies recently completed a multiyear project at its Pleasant Prairie Power Plant to add a selective catalytic reduction system to one of its two units and a scrubber to both. These projects are described. 7 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Aboveground predation by an American badger (Taxidea taxus) on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Biggins, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    During research on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), we repeatedly observed a female American badger (Taxidea taxus) hunting prairie dogs on a colony in southern Phillips County, Montana. During 1-14 June 2006, we observed 7 aboveground attacks (2 successful) and 3 successful excavations of prairie dogs. The locations and circumstances of aboveground attacks suggested that the badger improved her probability of capturing prairie dogs by planning the aboveground attacks based on perceptions of speeds, angles, distances, and predicted escape responses of prey. Our observations add to previous reports on the complex and varied predatory methods and cognitive capacities of badgers. These observations also underscore the individuality of predators and support the concept that predators are active participants in predator-prey interactions.

  14. SPATIAL AND DIEL AVAILABILITY OF FLYING INSECTS AS POTENTIAL DUCKLING FOOD IN PRAIRIE WETLANDS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The study examined spatial and diel availibility of flying insects that are a critical food resource to young duckings. Insects were sampled in three native prairie wetlands on the Woodworth Study Area of south-central North Dakota.

  15. Feral biofuel crop effects in constructed wet prairie and oak savannah communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the potential effects of feral biofuel crop escapes on constructed plant communities growing in outdoor mesocosms. Mesocosms containing wet prairie or oak savannah communities were exposed to two temperature levels (ambient and elevated) and two moisture levels (cont...

  16. Bouncing Back: Plant-Associated Soil Microbes Respond Rapidly to Prairie Establishment

    PubMed Central

    Herzberger, Anna J.; Duncan, David S.; Jackson, Randall D.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that soil microbial communities change in response to altered land use and land cover, but less is known about the timing of these changes. Understanding temporal patterns in recovering microbial communities is an important part of improving how we assess and manage reconstructed ecosystems. We assessed patterns of community-level microbial diversity and abundance in corn and prairie plots 2 to 4 years after establishment in agricultural fields, using phospholipid fatty acid biomarkers. Principal components analysis of the lipid biomarkers revealed differing composition between corn and prairie soil microbial communities. Despite no changes to the biomass of Gram-positive bacteria and actinomycetes, total biomass, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biomass, and Gram-negative bacteria biomass were significantly higher in restored prairie plots, approaching levels found in long-established prairies. These results indicate that plant-associated soil microbes in agricultural soils can shift in less than 2 years after establishment of perennial grasslands. PMID:25551613

  17. Gallbladder filling and post-ceruletide emptying in prairie dogs and rabbits.

    PubMed

    Krishnamurthy, G T; Turner, F E

    1988-05-01

    The filling and emptying characteristics of the gallbladder in prairie dogs and rabbits were studied to assess the importance of the residual bile in the pathogenesis of gallstones. In prairie dogs under ketamine/xylazine anesthesia, a significantly larger fraction (p = 0.001) of hepatic bile entered the gallbladder (87 +/- 8%) than the intestine during fasting and very little bile emptied (0-3% ejection fraction) following ceruletide infusion. In rabbits under similar anesthesia, only a small fraction of hepatic bile entered the gallbladder (4 +/- 2%) during fasting, and the gallbladder emptied almost completely (85% ejection fraction) following ceruletide infusion. The resultant higher residual bile in the prairie dog gallbladder and lower residual bile in the rabbit gallbladder may explain why gallstones form so readily in prairie dogs but not in rabbits when fed a lithogenic diet. These similarities and differences in gallbladder function must be taken into account when considering any animal as a model for gallstone formation. PMID:3412728

  18. Influence of resource availability on Juniperus virginiana expansion in a forest–prairie ecotone

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite being native to the United States, Juniperus virginiana has rapidly expanded in prairie ecosystems bringing detrimental ecological effects and increased wildfire risk. We transplanted J. virginiana seedlings in three plant communities to investigate mechanisms driving J. ...

  19. Mountain plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Disturbed xeric grasslands with short, sparse vegetation provide important breeding habitat for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) across the western Great Plains. Maintaining local disturbance regimes through prairie dog conservation and prescribed fire may contribute to the sustainability of r...

  20. Impurities in Snow: Effects on Spectral Albedo of Prairie Snowpacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, J. N.; Klein, A. G.

    2007-12-01

    While extensive research on soot in snow has been done in the Polar Regions, there remains a lack of observations addressing the effect of soot on snow albedo in North American prairie snowpacks which causes uncertainty to the overall global effect that soot in snow has on climate. Measurements of snow impurities in freshly fallen prairie snowpacks in northwestern Iowa and central Texas collected from February 28 - March 5, 2007 and April 6, 2007, respectively. Two significant snowfall events occurred in northwestern Iowa during the study; the second snowfall event produced the most severe blizzard conditions in northwestern Iowa in the last thirty years. An unusual snowfall event in central Texas offered a unique sampling opportunity Several types of sites were sampled during the field campaign; this includes: frozen lakes with minimal human impact, agricultural fields impacted by agricultural dust, and human impacted sample sites. At twelve sites in northwestern Iowa samples were collected on multiple days and for both snow events to examine changes in snow impurities over time. At all site locations snow samples, temperature, density, and grain size were recorded. Snow reflectance and snow radiance was collected at a subset of the sites with an ASD VNIR Spectroradiometer (350 - 1500 nm). Snow impurities of light-absorbing particulate matter were measured by filtering the meltwater through a nuclepore 0.4 micrometer filter. Impurity concentration was determined by comparing the filters against a set of standards. A photometer will provide a more exact determination of snow impurities in the near future. Preliminary soot observations indicate prairie snow pack concentrations ranging from 1 ngC/g to 236 ngC/g with an average of 61.4 ngC/g. These measurements are within range of previously published values in the Arctic and can lower snow albedo. Differences in soot concentrations were observed between the two Iowa snowfall events. Impurity concentrations measured