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Sample records for adult prairie voles

  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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Social isolation impairs adult neurogenesis in the limbic system and alters behaviors in female prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Lieberwirth, Claudia; Liu, Yan; Jia, Xixi; Wang, Zuoxin

    2012-09-01

    Disruptions in the social environment, such as social isolation, are distressing and can induce various behavioral and neural changes in the distressed animal. We conducted a series of experiments to test the hypothesis that long-term social isolation affects brain plasticity and alters behavior in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). In Experiment 1, adult female prairie voles were injected with a cell division marker, 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU), and then same-sex pair-housed (control) or single-housed (isolation) for 6 weeks. Social isolation reduced cell proliferation, survival, and neuronal differentiation and altered cell death in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the amygdala. In addition, social isolation reduced cell proliferation in the medial preoptic area and cell survival in the ventromedial hypothalamus. These data suggest that long-term social isolation affects distinct stages of adult neurogenesis in specific limbic brain regions. In Experiment 2, isolated females displayed higher levels of anxiety-like behaviors in both the open field and elevated plus maze tests and higher levels of depression-like behavior in the forced swim test than controls. Further, isolated females showed a higher level of affiliative behavior than controls, but the two groups did not differ in social recognition memory. Together, our data suggest that social isolation not only impairs cell proliferation, survival, and neuronal differentiation in limbic brain areas, but also alters anxiety-like, depression-like, and affiliative behaviors in adult female prairie voles. These data warrant further investigation of a possible link between altered neurogenesis within the limbic system and behavioral changes.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2015-07-21

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. 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

  11. Fatherhood reduces the survival of adult-generated cells and affects various types of behavior in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster ).

    PubMed

    Lieberwirth, Claudia; Wang, Yue; Jia, Xixi; Liu, Yan; Wang, Zuoxin

    2013-11-01

    Motherhood has profound effects on physiology, neuronal plasticity, and behavior. We conducted a series of experiments to test the hypothesis that fatherhood, similarly to motherhood, affects brain plasticity (such as cell proliferation and survival) and various behaviors in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). In Experiment 1, adult males were housed with their same-sex cage mate (control), single-housed (isolation), or housed with a receptive female to mate and produce offspring (father) for 6 weeks. Fatherhood significantly reduced cell survival (assessed by bromodeoxyuridine labeling), but not cell proliferation (assessed by Ki67-labeling), in the amygdala, dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, and ventromedial hypothalamus, suggesting that fatherhood affects brain plasticity. In Experiment 2, neither acute (20 min) nor chronic (20 min daily for 10 consecutive days) pup exposure altered cell proliferation or survival in the brain, but chronic pup exposure increased circulating corticosterone levels. These data suggest that reduced cell survival in the brain of prairie vole fathers was unlikely to be due to the level of pup exposure and display of paternal behavior, and may not be mediated by circulating corticosterone. The effects of fatherhood on various behaviors (including anxiety-like, depression-like, and social behaviors) were examined in Experiment 3. The data indicated that fatherhood increased anxiety- and depression-like behaviors as well as altered aggression and social recognition memory in male prairie voles. These results warrant further investigation of a possible link between brain plasticity and behavioral changes observed due to fatherhood.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Autonomic Substrates of the Response to Pups in Male Prairie Voles

    PubMed Central

    Kenkel, William M.; Paredes, Jamespaul; Lewis, Gregory F.; Yee, Jason R.; Pournajafi-Nazarloo, Hossein; Grippo, Angela J.; Porges, Stephen W.; Carter, C. Sue

    2013-01-01

    Caregiving by nonparents (alloparenting) and fathers is a defining aspect of human social behavior, yet this phenomenon is rare among mammals. Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) spontaneously exhibit high levels of alloparental care, even in the absence of reproductive experience. In previous studies, exposure to a pup was selectively associated with increased activity in oxytocin and vasopressin neurons along with decreased plasma corticosterone. In the present study, physiological, pharmacological and neuroanatomical methods were used to explore the autonomic and behavioral consequences of exposing male prairie voles to a pup. Reproductively naïve, adult male prairie voles were implanted with radiotransmitters used for recording ECG, temperature and activity. Males responded with a sustained increase in heart-rate during pup exposure. This prolonged increase in heart rate was not explained by novelty, locomotion or thermoregulation. Although heart rate was elevated during pup exposure, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) did not differ between these males and males exposed to control stimuli indicating that vagal inhibition of the heart was maintained. Blockade of beta-adrenergic receptors with atenolol abolished the pup-induced heart rate increase, implicating sympathetic activity in the pup-induced increase in heart rate. Blockade of vagal input to the heart delayed the males’ approach to the pup. Increased activity in brainstem autonomic regulatory nuclei was also observed in males exposed to pups. Together, these findings suggest that exposure to a pup activates both vagal and sympathetic systems. This unique physiological state (i.e. increased sympathetic excitation of the heart, while maintaining some vagal cardiac tone) associated with male caregiving behavior may allow males to both nurture and protect infants. PMID:23940535

  9. Autonomic substrates of the response to pups in male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Kenkel, William M; Paredes, Jamespaul; Lewis, Gregory F; Yee, Jason R; Pournajafi-Nazarloo, Hossein; Grippo, Angela J; Porges, Stephen W; Carter, C Sue

    2013-01-01

    Caregiving by nonparents (alloparenting) and fathers is a defining aspect of human social behavior, yet this phenomenon is rare among mammals. Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) spontaneously exhibit high levels of alloparental care, even in the absence of reproductive experience. In previous studies, exposure to a pup was selectively associated with increased activity in oxytocin and vasopressin neurons along with decreased plasma corticosterone. In the present study, physiological, pharmacological and neuroanatomical methods were used to explore the autonomic and behavioral consequences of exposing male prairie voles to a pup. Reproductively naïve, adult male prairie voles were implanted with radiotransmitters used for recording ECG, temperature and activity. Males responded with a sustained increase in heart-rate during pup exposure. This prolonged increase in heart rate was not explained by novelty, locomotion or thermoregulation. Although heart rate was elevated during pup exposure, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) did not differ between these males and males exposed to control stimuli indicating that vagal inhibition of the heart was maintained. Blockade of beta-adrenergic receptors with atenolol abolished the pup-induced heart rate increase, implicating sympathetic activity in the pup-induced increase in heart rate. Blockade of vagal input to the heart delayed the males' approach to the pup. Increased activity in brainstem autonomic regulatory nuclei was also observed in males exposed to pups. Together, these findings suggest that exposure to a pup activates both vagal and sympathetic systems. This unique physiological state (i.e. increased sympathetic excitation of the heart, while maintaining some vagal cardiac tone) associated with male caregiving behavior may allow males to both nurture and protect infants. PMID:23940535

  10. Parental division of labor, coordination, and the effects of family structure on parenting in monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Ahern, Todd H; Hammock, Elizabeth A D; Young, Larry J

    2011-03-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2015-03-23

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Perinatal and juvenile social environments interact to shape cognitive behaviour and neural phenotype in prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Prounis, George S; Foley, Lauren; Rehman, Asad; Ophir, Alexander G

    2015-11-22

    Social environments experienced at different developmental stages profoundly shape adult behavioural and neural phenotypes, and may have important interactive effects. We asked if social experience before and after weaning influenced adult social cognition in male prairie voles. Animals were raised either with or without fathers and then either housed singly or in sibling pairs. Males that were socially deprived before (fatherless) and after (singly housed) weaning did not demonstrate social recognition or dissociate spatial from social information. We also examined oxytocin and vasopressin receptors (OTR and V1aR) in areas of the forebrain associated with social behaviour and memory. Pre- and post-wean experience differentially altered receptor expression in several structures. Of note, OTR in the lateral septum-an area in which oxytocin inhibits social recognition-was greatest in animals that did not clearly demonstrate social recognition. The combination of absentee fathers on V1aR in the retrosplenial cortex and single housing on OTR in the septohippocampal nucleus produced a unique phenotype previously found to be associated with poor reproductive success in nature. We demonstrate that interactive effects of early life experiences throughout development have tremendous influence over brain-behaviour phenotype and can buffer potentially negative outcomes due to social deprivation.

  11. Perinatal and juvenile social environments interact to shape cognitive behaviour and neural phenotype in prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Prounis, George S; Foley, Lauren; Rehman, Asad; Ophir, Alexander G

    2015-11-22

    Social environments experienced at different developmental stages profoundly shape adult behavioural and neural phenotypes, and may have important interactive effects. We asked if social experience before and after weaning influenced adult social cognition in male prairie voles. Animals were raised either with or without fathers and then either housed singly or in sibling pairs. Males that were socially deprived before (fatherless) and after (singly housed) weaning did not demonstrate social recognition or dissociate spatial from social information. We also examined oxytocin and vasopressin receptors (OTR and V1aR) in areas of the forebrain associated with social behaviour and memory. Pre- and post-wean experience differentially altered receptor expression in several structures. Of note, OTR in the lateral septum-an area in which oxytocin inhibits social recognition-was greatest in animals that did not clearly demonstrate social recognition. The combination of absentee fathers on V1aR in the retrosplenial cortex and single housing on OTR in the septohippocampal nucleus produced a unique phenotype previously found to be associated with poor reproductive success in nature. We demonstrate that interactive effects of early life experiences throughout development have tremendous influence over brain-behaviour phenotype and can buffer potentially negative outcomes due to social deprivation. PMID:26609086

  12. 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.

  13. Female prairie voles do not choose males based on their frequency of scent marking.

    PubMed

    Mech, Stephen G.; Dunlap, Aimee S.; Wolff, Jerry O.

    2003-03-31

    We conducted an experiment to test three alternative hypotheses for the function of frequency of scent marking in male prairie voles, MICROTUS OCHROGASTER: (1) sexual attraction (to advertise male quality for mating); (2) reproductive competition; and (3) self-advertisement or individual identity. In laboratory experiments, males deposited scent on all areas of a bare substrate, and more in an area next to a stimulus animal than other areas, regardless of the stimulus animal's sex. Females did not choose mates based on their frequency of scent marking and scent marking did not antagonize or stimulate aggression between males. The frequency of scent marking by males supports the individual identity hypothesis, and is less consistent with the sexual attraction or reproductive competition hypotheses. Mate choice is likely based on a complex suite of characters, but at least in prairie voles, the frequency of scent marking by males does not appear to be one of them.

  14. 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

  15. Female prairie vole mate-choice is affected by the males' birth litter composition.

    PubMed

    Curtis, J Thomas

    2010-08-01

    Experimental testing and retrospective examination of breeding records were used to examine the influence of sex composition and/or size of males' birth litters on female mate-choice. Sexually naïve female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) avoided males derived from all-male litters, but showed no preference for, or aversion to, males from single-male litters or from more typical mixed-sex litters. Examination of the pregnancy status of females after two weeks of pairing with a male allowed us to estimate the probabilites of a pups' intrauterine position relative to siblings for various litter sizes. The typical prairie vole pup derived from a mixed-sex litter comprised of 4.4 pups, and had a 13% chance of being isolated from siblings in utero and a 22% chance of being between siblings in utero. Pups from single-sex litters tended to be larger at weaning than did pups from mixed-sex litters; however, male size did not influence female choice behavior. These results suggest that some aspect of the perinatal experience of prairie vole pups from single sex litters can influence social interactions later in life.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Comparative distribution of central neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the prairie (Microtus ochrogaster) and meadow (M. pennsylvanicus) vole.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Caroline M; Hitchcock, Leah N; Anacker, Allison M J; Young, Larry J; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2013-02-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been implicated as a modulator of social behavior, often in a species-specific manner. Comparative studies of closely related vole species are particularly useful for identifying neural systems involved in social behaviors in both voles and humans. In the present study, immunohistochemistry was performed to compare NPY-like immunoreactivity (-ir) in brain tissue of the socially monogamous prairie vole and non-monogamous meadow vole. Species differences in NPY-ir were observed in a number of regions including the cortex, extended amygdala, septal area, suprachiasmatic nucleus, and intergeniculate leaf. Meadow voles had higher NPY-ir in all these regions as compared to prairie voles. No differences were observed in the striatum or hippocampus. The extended amygdala and lateral septum are regions that play a key role in regulation of monogamous behaviors such as pair bonding and paternal care. The present study suggests NPY in these regions may be an additional modulator of these species-specific social behaviors. Meadow voles had moderately higher NPY-ir in a number of hypothalamic regions, especially in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Meadow voles also had much higher levels of NPY-ir in the intergeniculate leaflet, another key region in the regulation of circadian rhythms. Overall, species differences in NPY-ir were observed in a number of brain regions implicated in emotion, stress, circadian, and social behaviors. These findings provide additional support for a role for the NPY system in species-typical social behaviors.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. A novel model for neuroendocrine toxicology: neurobehavioral effects of BPA exposure in a prosocial species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Alana W; Beach, Elsworth C; Stetzik, Lucas A; Perry, Amy; D'Addezio, Alyssa S; Cushing, Bruce S; Patisaul, Heather B

    2014-10-01

    Impacts on brain and behavior have been reported in laboratory rodents after developmental exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), raising concerns about possible human effects. Epidemiological data suggest links between prenatal BPA exposure and altered affective behaviors in children, but potential mechanisms are unclear. Disruption of mesolimbic oxytocin (OT)/vasopressin (AVP) pathways have been proposed, but supporting evidence is minimal. To address these data gaps, we employed a novel animal model for neuroendocrine toxicology: the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), which are more prosocial than lab rats or mice. Male and female prairie vole pups were orally exposed to 5-μg/kg body weight (bw)/d, 50-μg/kg bw/d, or 50-mg/kg bw/d BPA or vehicle over postnatal days 8-14. Subjects were tested as juveniles in open field and novel social tests and for partner preference as adults. Brains were then collected and assessed for immunoreactive (ir) tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) (a dopamine marker) neurons in the principal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (pBNST) and TH-ir, OT-ir, and AVP-ir neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Female open field activity indicated hyperactivity at the lowest dose and anxiety at the highest dose. Effects on social interactions were also observed, and partner preference formation was mildly inhibited at all dose levels. BPA masculinized principal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis TH-ir neuron numbers in females. Additionally, 50-mg/kg bw BPA-exposed females had more AVP-ir neurons in the anterior PVN and fewer OT-ir neurons in the posterior PVN. At the 2 lowest doses, BPA eliminated sex differences in PVN TH-ir neuron numbers and reversed this sex difference at the highest dose. Minimal behavioral effects were observed in BPA-exposed males. These data support the hypothesis that BPA alters affective behaviors, potentially via disruption of OT/AVP pathways.

  6. Histone deacetylase inhibitors facilitate partner preference formation in female prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Duclot, Florian; Liu, Yan; Wang, Zuoxin; Kabbaj, Mohamed

    2013-07-01

    In the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), mating induces enduring pair-bonds that are initiated by partner preference formation and regulated by a variety of neurotransmitters, including oxytocin, vasopressin and dopamine. We examined potential epigenetic mechanisms mediating pair-bond regulation and found that the histone deacetylase inhibitors sodium butyrate and trichostatin A (TSA) facilitated partner preference formation in female prairie voles in the absence of mating. This was associated with a specific upregulation of oxytocin receptor (OTR, oxtr) and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR, avpr1a) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), through an increase in histone acetylation at their respective promoters. Furthermore, TSA-facilitated partner preference was prevented by OTR or V1aR blockade in the NAcc. Notably, mating-induced partner preference triggered the same epigenetic regulation of oxtr and avpr1a gene promoters as TSA. These observations indicate that TSA and mating facilitate partner preference through epigenetic events, providing, to the best of our knowledge, the first direct evidence for epigenetic regulation of pair-bonding.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Chronic social isolation in the prairie vole induces endothelial dysfunction: implications for depression and cardiovascular disease

    PubMed Central

    Peuler, Jacob D.; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L.; Phelps, Laura E.; McNeal, Neal; Grippo, Angela J.

    2012-01-01

    Humans with depression show impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation, one recent demonstration of which was in the form of a reduced acetylcholine (ACh)-induced relaxation of adrenergically-precontracted small arteries biopsied from older depressed patients. Results from such uses of ACh in general have been validated as the most predictive marker of endothelium-related cardiovascular diseases. Accordingly, we examined vascular reactivity to ACh in the socially isolated prairie vole, a new animal model relevant to human depression and cardiovascular disease. Thoracic aortas were carefully dissected from female prairie voles after one month of social isolation (versus pairing with a sibling). Only aortas that contracted to the adrenergic agent phenylephrine (PE) and then relaxed to ACh were evaluated. Among those, ACh-induced relaxations were significantly reduced by social isolation (p<0.05), with maximum relaxation reaching only 30% (of PE-induced precontraction) compared to 47% in aortas from paired (control) animals. Experimental removal of the endothelium from an additional set of aortic tissues abolished all ACh relaxations including that difference. In these same tissues, maximally-effective concentrations of the nitric oxide-donor nitroprusside still completely relaxed all PE-induced precontraction of the endothelial-free smooth muscle, and to the same degree in tissues from isolated versus paired animals. Finally, in the absence of PE-induced precontraction ACh did not relax but rather contracted aortic tissues, and to a significantly greater extent in tissues from socially isolated animals if the endothelium was intact (p<0.05). Thus, social isolation in the prairie vole may 1) impair normal release of protective anti-atherosclerotic factors like nitric oxide from the vascular endothelium (without altering the inherent responsiveness of the vascular smooth muscle to such factors) and 2) cause the endothelium to release contracting factors. To our

  10. Altered Connexin 43 and Connexin 45 protein expression in the heart as a function of social and environmental stress in the prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Grippo, Angela J; Moffitt, Julia A; Henry, Matthew K; Firkins, Rachel; Senkler, Jonathan; McNeal, Neal; Wardwell, Joshua; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Dotson, Ashley; Schultz, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to social and environmental stressors may influence behavior as well as autonomic and cardiovascular regulation, potentially leading to depressive disorders and cardiac dysfunction including elevated sympathetic drive, reduced parasympathetic function, and ventricular arrhythmias. The cellular mechanisms that underlie these interactions are not well understood. One mechanism may involve alterations in the expression of Connexin43 (Cx43) and Connexin45 (Cx45), gap junction proteins in the heart that play an important role in ensuring efficient cell-to-cell coupling and the maintenance of cardiac rhythmicity. The present study investigated the hypothesis that long-term social isolation, combined with mild environmental stressors, would produce both depressive behaviors and altered Cx43 and Cx45 expression in the left ventricle of prairie voles - a socially monogamous rodent model. Adult, female prairie voles were exposed to either social isolation (n = 22) or control (paired, n = 23) conditions (4 weeks), alone or in combination with chronic mild stress (CMS) (1 week). Social isolation, versus paired control conditions, produced significantly (p < 0.05) increased depressive behaviors in a 5-min forced swim test, and CMS exacerbated (p < 0.05) these behaviors. Social isolation (alone) reduced (p < 0.05) total Cx43 expression in the left ventricle; whereas CMS (but not isolation) increased (p < 0.05) total Cx45 expression and reduced (p < 0.05) the Cx43/Cx45 ratio, measured via Western blot analysis. The present findings provide insight into potential cellular mechanisms underlying altered cardiac rhythmicity associated with social and environmental stress in the prairie vole.

  11. Altered Connexin 43 and Connexin 45 Protein Expression in the Heart as a Function of Social and Environmental Stress in the Prairie Vole

    PubMed Central

    Grippo, Angela J.; Moffitt, Julia A.; Henry, Matthew K.; Firkins, Rachel; Senkler, Jonathan; McNeal, Neal; Wardwell, Joshua; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L.; Dotson, Ashley; Schultz, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to social and environmental stressors may influence behavior as well as autonomic and cardiovascular regulation, potentially leading to depressive disorders and cardiac dysfunction including elevated sympathetic drive, reduced parasympathetic function, and ventricular arrhythmias. The cellular mechanisms that underlie these interactions are not well understood. One mechanism may involve alterations in the expression of Connexin43 (Cx43) and Connexin45 (Cx45), gap junction proteins in the heart that play an important role in ensuring efficient cell-to-cell coupling and the maintenance of cardiac rhythmicity. The present study investigated the hypothesis that long-term social isolation, combined with mild environmental stressors, would produce both depressive behaviors and altered Cx43 and Cx45 expression in the left ventricle of prairie voles – a socially monogamous rodent model. Adult, female prairie voles were exposed to either social isolation (n=22) or control (paired, n=23) conditions (4 weeks), alone or in combination with chronic mild stress (1 week). Social isolation, versus paired control conditions, produced significantly (P < 0.05) increased depressive behaviors in a 5-min forced swim test, and chronic mild stress exacerbated (P < 0.05) these behaviors. Social isolation (alone) reduced (P < 0.05) total Cx43 expression in the left ventricle; whereas chronic mild stress (but not isolation) increased (P < 0.05) total Cx45 expression and reduced (P < 0.05) the Cx43/Cx45 ratio, measured via Western blot analysis. The present findings provide insight into potential cellular mechanisms underlying altered cardiac rhythmicity associated with social and environmental stress in the prairie vole. PMID:25338193

  12. Early experiences can alter the size of cortical fields in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Seelke, A.M.H.; Yuan, S.-M.; Perkeybile, A.M.; Krubitzer, L.A.; Bales, K.L.

    2016-01-01

    The neocortex of the prairie vole is composed of three well-defined sensory areas and one motor area: primary somatosensory, visual, auditory areas and the primary motor area respectively. The boundaries of these cortical areas are identifiable very early in development, and have been thought to resist alteration by all but the most extreme physical or genetic manipulations. Here we assessed the extent to which the boundaries of sensory/motor cortical areas can be altered by exposing young prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) to a chronic stimulus, high or low levels of parental contact, or an acute stimulus, a single dose of saline, oxytocin (OT), or oxytocin antagonist on the day of birth. When animals reached adulthood, their brains were removed, the cortex was flattened, cut parallel to the pial surface, and stained for myelin to identify the architectonic boundaries of sensory and motor areas. We measured the overall proportion of cortex that was myelinated, as well as the proportion of cortex devoted to the sensory and motor areas. Both the chronic and acute manipulations were linked to significant alterations in areal boundaries of cortical fields, but the areas affected differed with different conditions. Thus, differences in parental care and early exposure to OT can both change cortical organization, but their effects are not identical. Furthermore, the effects of both manipulations were sexually dimorphic, with a greater number of statistically significant differences in females than in males. These results indicate that early environmental experience, both through exposure to exogenous neuropeptides and parental contact, can alter the size of cortical fields.

  13. Behavioral and physiological responses of female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) to various stressful conditions

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Adam S.; Lieberwirth, Claudia; Wang, Zuoxin

    2014-01-01

    Stressful life events elicit hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, which may alter psychological states or behavioral routines. Therefore, the current study focused on the HPA axis response to better understand such manifestations in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). In Experiment 1, females were stressed for 1 h via one of four stressors: exposure to a novel environment, immobilization (‘plastic mesh’), brief social defeat, or prolonged social defeat. Following a 30 min recovery, the females received a 5-min elevated plus maze (EPM) test and, subsequently, blood was collected to measure plasma corticosterone concentrations. Only immobilization stress induced an anxiety-like behavioral response in the EPM test and elevated plasma corticosterone levels compared to the control groups. Corticosterone concentrations were also significantly elevated following exposure to prolonged social defeat compared to the control conditions, but not after novel environment stress or short social defeat. In Experiment 2, females were exposed to immobilization stress over 1, 3, or 7 days in a daily (predictable; pIMO) or irregular (unpredictable; uIMO) schedule. The biobehavioral stress response in females exposed to pIMO for 3 or 7 days did not differ significantly from controls, suggesting these females habituated. By comparison, females exposed to uIMO over 3 or 7 days did not habituate behaviorally or physiologically, even producing augmented corticosterone levels. In both experiments, positive correlations were found between corticosterone levels and anxiety-like behaviors in the EPM test. Together, our data suggest that the stress response by female prairie voles is dependent on stress intensity, source, previous experience, and predictability. Furthermore, the HPA axis response, as evident by corticosterone levels, is associated with the impact that these factors have on behavioral routine. PMID:23647082

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Establishment of an immortalized cell line derived from the prairie vole via lentivirus-mediated transduction of mutant cyclin-dependent kinase 4, cyclin D, and telomerase reverse transcriptase.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Masafumi; Kiyono, Tohru; Horie, Kengo; Hirayama, Takashi; Eitsuka, Takahiro; Kuroda, Kengo; Donai, Kenichiro; Hidema, Shizu; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Fukuda, Tomokazu

    2016-01-01

    The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) shows social behaviors such as monogamy and parenting of infants with pair bonding. These social behaviors are specific to the prairie vole and have not been observed in other types of voles, such as mountain voles. Although the prairie vole has several unique characteristics, an in vitro cell culture system has not been established for this species. Furthermore, establishment of cultured cells derived from the prairie vole may be beneficial based on the three Rs (i.e., Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) concept. Therefore, in this study, we attempted to establish an immortalized cell line derived from the prairie vole. Our previous research has shown that transduction with mutant forms of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), cyclin D, and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) could efficiently immortalize cells from multiple species, including humans, cattle, pigs, and monkeys. Here, we introduced these three genes into prairie vole-derived muscle fibroblasts. The expression of mutant CDK4 and cyclin D proteins was confirmed by western blotting, and telomerase activity was detected in immortalized vole muscle-derived fibroblasts (VMF-K4DT cells or VMFs) by stretch PCR. Population doubling analysis showed that the introduction of mutant CDK4, cyclin D, and TERT extended the lifespan of VMFs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing the establishment of an immortalized cell line derived from the prairie vole through the expression of mutant CDK4, cyclin D, and human TERT. PMID:26496927

  18. Chronic metals ingestion by prairie voles produces sex-specific deficits in social behavior: an animal model of autism.

    PubMed

    Curtis, J Thomas; Hood, Amber N; Chen, Yue; Cobb, George P; Wallace, David R

    2010-11-12

    We examined the effects of chronic metals ingestion on social behavior in the normally highly social prairie vole to test the hypothesis that metals may interact with central dopamine systems to produce the social withdrawal characteristic of autism. Relative to water-treated controls, 10 weeks of chronic ingestion of either Hg(++) or Cd(++) via drinking water significantly reduced social contact by male voles when they were given a choice between isolation or contact with an unfamiliar same-sex conspecific. The effects of metals ingestion were specific to males: no effects of metals exposure were seen in females. Metals ingestion did not alter behavior of males allowed to choose between isolation or their familiar cage-mates, rather than strangers. We also examined the possibility that metals ingestion affects central dopamine functioning by testing the voles' locomotor responses to peripheral administration of amphetamine. As with the social behavior, we found a sex-specific effect of metals on amphetamine responses. Males that consumed Hg(++) did not increase their locomotor activity in response to amphetamine, whereas similarly treated females and males that ingested only water significantly increased their locomotor activities. Thus, an ecologically relevant stimulus, metals ingestion, produced two of the hallmark characteristics of autism - social avoidance and a male-oriented bias. These results suggest that metals exposure may contribute to the development of autism, possibly by interacting with central dopamine function, and support the use of prairie voles as a model organism in which to study autism.

  19. Identification of variables contributing to superovulation efficiency for production of transgenic prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is an emerging animal model for biomedical research because of its rich sociobehavioral repertoire. Recently, lentiviral transgenic technology has been used to introduce the gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) into the prairie vole germline. However, the efficiency of transgenesis in this species is limited by the inability to reliably produce large numbers of fertilized embryos. Here we examined several factors that may contribute to variability in superovulation success including, age and parentage of the female, and latency to mating after being placed with the male. Methods Females produced from 5 genetically distinct breeder lines were treated with 100 IU of pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) and immediately housed with a male separated by a perforated Plexiglas divider. Ovulation was induced 72 hr later with 30 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and 2 hrs later mating was allowed. Results Superovulation was most efficient in young females. For example, females aged 6-11 weeks produced more embryos (14 +/- 1.4 embryos) as compared to females aged 12-20 weeks (4 +/- 1.6 embryos). Females aged 4-5 weeks did not produce embryos. Further, females that mated within 15 min of male exposure produced significantly more embryos than those that did not. Interestingly, there was a significant effect of parentage. For example, 12 out of 12 females from one breeder pair superovulated (defined as producing 5 or more embryos), while only 2 out of 10 females for other lines superovulated. Conclusions The results of this work suggest that age and genetic background of the female are the most important factors contributing to superovulation success and that latency to mating is a good predictor of the number of embryos to be recovered. Surprisingly we found that cohabitation with the male prior to mating is not necessary for the recovery of embryos but is necessary to recover oocytes. This information

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Effects of social isolation on mRNA expression for corticotrophin-releasing hormone receptors in prairie voles

    PubMed Central

    Pournajafi-Nazarloo, Hossein; Partoo, Leila; Yee, Jason; Stevenson, Jennifer; Sanzenbacher, Lisa; Kenkel, William; Mohsenpour, Seyed Ramezan; Hashimoto, Kozo; Carter, C. Sue

    2011-01-01

    Summary Previous studies have demonstrated that various type of stressors modulate messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) for type 1 corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) receptor (CRH-R1 mRNA) and type 2 CRH receptor (CRH-R2 mRNA). The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of social isolation stress of varying durations on the CRH, CRH-R1 and CRH-R2 mRNAs expression in the hypothalamus, hippocampus and pituitary of socially monogamous female and male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Isolation for 1 hr (single isolation) or 1 hr of isolation every day for 4 weeks (repeated isolation) was followed by a significant increase in plasma corticosterone levels. Single or repeated isolation increased hypothalamic CRH mRNA expression, but no changes in CRH-R1 mRNA in the hypothalamus were observed. Continuous isolation for 4 weeks (chronic isolation) showed no effect on hypothalamic CRH or CRH-R1 mRNAs in female or male animals. However, hypothalamic CRH-R2 mRNA was significantly reduced in voles exposed to chronic isolation. Single or repeated isolation, but not chronic isolation, significantly increased CRH-R1 mRNA and decreased CRH-R2 mRNA in the pituitary. Despite elevated CRH mRNA expression, CRH-R1 and CRH-R2 mRNAs were not modulated in the hippocampus following single or repeated isolation. Although, chronic isolation did not affect hippocampal CRH or CRH-R1 mRNAs, it did increase CRH-R2 mRNA expression in females and males. The results of the present study in prairie voles suggest that social isolation has receptor subtype and species-specific consequences for the modulation of gene expression for CRH and its receptors in brain and pituitary. Previous studies have revealed a female-biased increase in oxytocin in response to chronic isolation; however, we did not find a sex difference in CRH or its receptors following single, repeated or chronic social isolation, suggesting that sexually-dimorphic processes beyond the CRH system, possibly involving

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Reversal of fortune: plant suppression and recovery after vole herbivory.

    PubMed

    Howe, Henry F

    2008-08-01

    It is not clear how plant species preferred as forage by rodents persist in prairie vegetation. To test permanence of suppression of wet-mesic prairie vegetation by vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) herbivory in synthetic experimental communities, access treatments were reversed after 9 years of vole exclusion or access. Between 1996 and 2004, rye grass Elymus virginicus (Poaceae) and tick-trefoil Desmodium canadense (Fabaceae) achieved mean cover of up to 30 and 25%, respectively, in plots where voles were excluded, but disappeared from plots where voles had access. To determine whether these species remained vulnerable to vole herbivory as established adults, and to determine whether the species could recover if vole herbivory were removed, access treatments were reversed at the end of the 2004 growing season and monitored through 2007. Repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated dramatic vole suppression of established E. virginicus, but not D. canadense, indicating continuing vulnerability of the grass but not of the adult legume. Release from vole herbivory resulted in re-growth of rye, but not tick-trefoil, which was apparently suppressed by established vegetation. Two additional common planted species did not respond to treatment reversal, nor did 11 much less common planted species that comprised a minor portion of the vegetation. Dominant perennial black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia subtomentosa (Asteraceae) did not change in plant numbers by year or treatment, but expanded or contracted in stems per plant and cover as E. virginicus was suppressed or released by vole herbivory or its absence. Results indicate that preferred food plants may persist through capacity to quickly recover during periods of relative vole scarcity, or reach a refuge in maturity. PMID:18563451

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Effects of neonatal paternal deprivation or early deprivation on anxiety and social behaviors of the adults in mandarin voles.

    PubMed

    Jia, Rui; Tai, Fadao; An, Shucheng; Zhang, Xia; Broders, Hugh

    2009-11-01

    This study examined whether neonatal paternal deprivation (PD: father was removed and pups were raised just by mother) or early deprivation (ED: pups were raised by both parents except separated from not only the dam but also the peers for three hours a day from PND 0 to 13) has long-term effects on anxiety and social behaviors of adult mandarin voles. Newborn mandarin voles of F2 generation were randomly assigned to one of three groups: bi-parental care (PC: pups were raised by both parents), PD and ED. The parental care behaviors of F1 generation were observed at the age of 0, 13 and 21 days (PND 0, 13, 21) of F2 generation of PC and PD groups. Moreover, each mandarin vole of F2 generation received an open field test and a social interaction test on PND 70 and PND 75, respectively. No significant differences of parental behavior were observed between mothers and fathers from PC families, showing typical parental behavior of socially monogamous rodents. In addition, no significant differences of maternal behaviors were found between mothers from PC and PD families, indicating no maternal compensation towards pups for the absence of the paternal care. In the open field test, mandarin voles from both PD and ED families displayed higher levels of anxiety and lower locomotor activity, relative to offspring of PC family. In the social interaction test, both PD and ED mandarin voles also showed lower levels of social behavior and higher levels of anxiety. Thus, both PD and ED significantly increase anxiety and reduce social behavior of adult mandarin voles, suggesting that variation in parental investment may lead to variation in anxiety and social behaviors in rodents with different mating systems.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Coastal Prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2000-01-01

    The coastal prairie, located along the coastal plain of southwestern Louisiana and southcentral Texas, is the southernmost tip of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem so prevalent in the Midwest. The coastal prairie ecosystem once covered as much as 3.8 million ha (9 million acres); today, more than 99% of this land has been lost to agriculture, range improvement, and urbanization. The remainder is highly fragmented and severely threatened by invasions of exotic species and urban sprawl. In Louisiana, the former 1 million ha of coastal prairie have now been reduced to about 100 ha. In Texas, only about 100,000 ha of coastal prairie remain intact.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.…

  5. 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

  6. Age affects over-marking of opposite-sex scent marks in meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus

    PubMed Central

    Ferkin, Michael H.

    2010-01-01

    Models of age-related effects on behavior predict that among short-lived species younger adults are more attractive and attracted to opposite-sex conspecifics than are older adults, whereas the converse is predicted for long-lived species. Although most studies of age-related effects on behavior support these predictions, they are not supported by many studies of scent marking, a behavior used in mate attraction. Over-marking, a form of scent marking, is a tactic used by many terrestrial mammals to convey information about themselves to opposite-sex conspecifics. The present study tested the hypothesis that the age of meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus; a microtine rodent, affects their over- and scent marking behaviors when they encounter the marks of opposite-sex conspecifics. Sex differences existed in the over-marking behavior of adult voles among the three different age groups that were tested. Male voles that were 5-7 mo-old and 10-12 mo-old over-marked a higher proportion of the marks of females than did 2-3 mo-old male voles. Female voles that were 2-3 mo-old, 5-7 mo-old, and 10-12 mo-old over-marked a similar number of marks deposited by male voles. Overall, the data were not consistent with models predicting the behavior of short-lived animals such as rodents when they encounter the opposite sex. The differences in over-marking displayed by older and younger adult male voles may be associated with life history tradeoffs, the likelihood that they will encounter sexually receptive females, and being selected as mates. PMID:20607141

  7. 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.

  8. 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,…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Do Tengmalm's owls see vole scent marks visible in ultraviolet light?

    PubMed

    Koivula; Korpimäki; Viitala

    1997-10-01

    Scent markings (urine and faeces) of small mammals are visible in ultraviolet (UV) light. Diurnal kestrels, Falco tinnunculususe them as a cue to find areas of food abundance. We studied whether vole-eating, nocturnal Tengmalm's owls, Aegolius funereuscan see vole scent marks using UV-vision. In a laboratory experiment, 14 young (less than 6 months old) and 14 adult (more than 6 months old) owls were individually given a choice between four adjacent arenas: (1) an arena with vole urine and faeces in UV light; (2) an arena with vole urine and faeces in visible light; (3) a clean arena in UV light; and (4) a clean arena in visible light. Owls did not prefer any of the four arenas. Our results suggest that Tengmalm's owls probably do not use UV light as a cue to detect vole scent marks.Copyright 1997 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour1997The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour PMID:9344440

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Fading out of vole and predator cycles?

    PubMed

    Hörnfeldt, Birger; Hipkiss, Tim; Eklund, Ulf

    2005-10-01

    Northern voles and lemmings are famous for their spectacular multiannual population cycles with high amplitudes. Such cyclic vole populations in Scandinavia have shown an unexpected and marked long-term decline in density since the early 1970s, particularly with a marked shift to lower spring densities in the early 1980s. The vole decline, mainly characterized by a strongly decreased rate of change in numbers over winter, is associated with an increased occurrence of mild and wet winters brought about by a recent change in the North Atlantic Oscillation. This has led to a decrease in winter stability and has shortened the period with protective snow cover, the latter considered as an important prerequisite for the occurrence of multiannual, high-amplitude cycles in vole populations. Although the vole decline is predicted to be negative for predators' reproduction and abundance, empirical data showing this are rare. Here we show that the dynamics of a predator-prey system (Tengmalm's owl, Aegolius funereus, and voles), have in recent years gradually changed from 3-4 yr, high-amplitude cycles towards more or less annual fluctuations only. PMID:16191615

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Co-infection of Borrelia afzelii and Bartonella spp. in bank voles from a suburban forest.

    PubMed

    Buffet, Jean-Philippe; Marsot, Maud; Vaumourin, Elise; Gasqui, Patrick; Masséglia, Sébastien; Marcheteau, Elie; Huet, Dominique; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Pisanu, Benoit; Ferquel, Elisabeth; Halos, Lénaïg; Vourc'h, Gwenaël; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel

    2012-12-01

    We report the molecular detection of Borrelia afzelii (11%) and Bartonella spp. (56%) in 447 bank voles trapped in a suburban forest in France. Adult voles were infected by significantly more Borrelia afzelii than juveniles (p<0.001), whereas no significant difference was detected in the prevalence of Bartonella spp. between young and adult individuals (p=0.914). Six percent of the animals were co-infected by both bacteria. Analysis of the bank vole carrier status for either pathogen indicated that co-infections occur randomly (p=0.94, CI(95)=[0.53; 1.47]). Sequence analysis revealed that bank voles were infected by a single genotype of Borrelia afzelii and by 32 different Bartonella spp. genotypes, related to three known species specific to rodents (B. taylorii, B. grahamii and B. doshiae) and also two as yet unidentified Bartonella species. Our findings confirm that rodents harbor high levels of potential human pathogens; therefore, widespread surveillance should be undertaken in areas where humans may encounter rodents.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Influence of photoperiod and sex on locomotor behavior of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) in an automated light-dark 'anxiety' test.

    PubMed

    Ossenkopp, Klaus-Peter; van Anders, Sari M; Engeland, Christopher G; Kavaliers, Martin

    2005-10-01

    This study examined the influence of photoperiod on affective behavior (anxiety) of adult male and female meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), maintained in either a long or short day photoperiod, when tested in an automated (VersaMax) light-dark test. The light-dark test is based on an innate aversion of rodents to novel, brightly illuminated spaces and has been used with laboratory raised species, such as mice, to assess anxiety and/or fear related behaviors. Male and female meadow voles, housed either in a long day (LD: 16 h light) or short day (SD: 8 h light) photoperiod, were tested in the light-dark apparatus for 30 min on 3 consecutive days. All animals spent significantly (p < 0.001) less time in the brightly lit chamber (900 lux) than in the dark chamber. LD voles, especially females, spent significantly less time in the brightly lit area than did SD voles. Both horizontal and vertical movements occurred less frequently per unit time in the dark area relative to the light, but only in the LD voles. LD female voles were the least active group in the dark area on the first test day but the most active group in the light area, despite spending the least amount of time in this area on the second and third test days. The present results show that LD voles exhibit more anxiety related behaviors in this test situation than do SD voles. LD females avoided the brightly lit area the most, particularly when the apparatus was novel. Thus, both photoperiod and sex influence situation-based anxiety in this species. These findings suggest that meadow voles are an excellent animal model in which to examine the role of gonadal hormones, and their modulation of defence related neural systems, in the induction of anxiety.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Rural Prairie Women.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conrad, Kari

    "Rural Prairie Women" contains the work of two task forces: the Rural Social Work Task Force which looked at the forces active in North Dakota rural areas and the Rural Women Task Force which examined the position of women within those same rural communities. The relationship between the land, small towns, and sparse population is explored, as is…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  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. Extraintestinal helminths of the common vole (Microtus arvalis) and the water vole (Arvicola terrestris) in Western Austria (Vorarlberg).

    PubMed

    Führer, Hans-Peter; Schneider, Renate; Walochnik, Julia; Auer, Herbert

    2010-03-01

    Between September and December 2004, a total of 411 voles (318 common voles and 93 water voles) were caught in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg (Lustenau, Hohenems, and Dornbirn) and were examined by macroscopy, microscopy, and molecular biological analysis to determine the presence and extent of medically important extraintestinal helminths. The following extraintestinal helminth species were detected: Taenia taeniaeformis (liver), Calodium hepaticum (liver), and Echinococcus multilocularis DNA (liver) in the common vole; and Taenia taeniaeformis (liver), Calodium hepaticum (liver), and Taenia crassiceps (musculature) in the water vole. Infestations with Toxocara canis and Trichinella sp. were not found. Our study documents the first description of E. multilocularis DNA in the intermediate host (Microtus arvalis) and of other medically relevant extraintestinal helminths in common and water voles in Austria.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Are water vole resistant to anticoagulant rodenticides following field treatments?

    PubMed

    Vein, Julie; Grandemange, Agnès; Cosson, Jean-François; Benoit, Etienne; Berny, Philippe J

    2011-08-01

    The anti-vitamin Ks (AVKs) are widely used to control rodent populations. They inhibit Vitamin K regeneration by the Vitamin K Epoxide Reductase (VKOR) and cause a fatal hemorrhagic syndrome. Because of repeated use, some populations of commensal rodents have expressed resistance to these compounds. In Franche-Comté (France), the water vole exhibits cyclic population outbreaks. A second generation AVK, bromadiolone, has been used for the last 20 years to control vole populations. The aim of this study is to determine whether these repeated treatments could have led to the development of resistance to AVKs in water vole populations. We conducted enzymatic and genetic studies on water voles trapped in treated and non treated plot. The results indicate that voles from the most heavily treated area exhibit enzymatic changes in VKOR activity hence arguing for resistance to AVKs and that an intronic haplotype on the vkorc1 gene seems to be associated with these enzymatic changes. PMID:21630005

  2. Are water vole resistant to anticoagulant rodenticides following field treatments?

    PubMed

    Vein, Julie; Grandemange, Agnès; Cosson, Jean-François; Benoit, Etienne; Berny, Philippe J

    2011-08-01

    The anti-vitamin Ks (AVKs) are widely used to control rodent populations. They inhibit Vitamin K regeneration by the Vitamin K Epoxide Reductase (VKOR) and cause a fatal hemorrhagic syndrome. Because of repeated use, some populations of commensal rodents have expressed resistance to these compounds. In Franche-Comté (France), the water vole exhibits cyclic population outbreaks. A second generation AVK, bromadiolone, has been used for the last 20 years to control vole populations. The aim of this study is to determine whether these repeated treatments could have led to the development of resistance to AVKs in water vole populations. We conducted enzymatic and genetic studies on water voles trapped in treated and non treated plot. The results indicate that voles from the most heavily treated area exhibit enzymatic changes in VKOR activity hence arguing for resistance to AVKs and that an intronic haplotype on the vkorc1 gene seems to be associated with these enzymatic changes.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Regulation of body mass and adiposity in the field vole, Microtus agrestis: a model of leptin resistance.

    PubMed

    Król, Elzbieta; Speakman, John R

    2007-02-01

    Adult mammals are typically highly resistant to perturbations in their energy balance. In obese humans, however, this control appears to be lost. Apart from a few exceptional cases, this loss of control occurs despite appropriate levels of circulating leptin -- suggesting that elevated adiposity may be a consequence of failure to respond to the leptin signal: leptin resistance. When cold-acclimated male field voles (Microtus agrestis) are transferred from short (SD, 8 h light) to long (LD, 16 h light) photoperiods, they increase dramatically in body mass and fatness for about 4 weeks. After this period, their mass stabilizes at a new plateau about 25% higher than animals maintained in SD. The increase in adiposity is not caused by significant increases in food intake, but reflects an increase in digestive efficiency. Measures of circulating leptin reveal that the increased adiposity is matched by increased circulating leptin. By infusing voles with exogenous leptin, we have demonstrated that SD voles are leptin sensitive (reducing both body mass and food intake), whereas LD animals are leptin resistant. Voles may therefore be a useful model for understanding the process of leptin resistance. The change in leptin sensitivity in voles was not associated with changes in the levels of gene expression of the orexogenic or anorexogenic neuropeptides, such as neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide, POMC and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, measured in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). During the phase that body mass was increasing, however, there was a transient increase in the ARC expression of suppressor of cytokine signalling-3 (SOCS3). These data suggest that the changes in the expression of SOCS3 in the ARC may be involved in leptin resistance. However, the mechanism by which these changes may be linked to alterations in digestive efficiency that underpin the changes in adiposity, or how the differences are signalled by changes in photoperiod

  9. Sedimentation of prairie wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gleason, Robert A.; Euliss, Ned H.

    1998-01-01

    Many wetlands in the prairie pothole region are embedded within an agricultural landscape where they are subject to varying degrees of siltation. Cultivation of wetland catchment areas has exacerbated soil erosion; wetlands in agricultural fields receive more sediment from upland areas than wetlands in grassland landscapes and hence are subject to premature filling (i.e., they have shorter topographic lives). Associated impacts from increased turbidity, sediment deposition, and increased surface water input likely have impaired natural wetland functions. Although trapping of sediments by wetlands is often cited as a water quality benefit, sediment input from agricultural fields has potential to completely fill wetlands and shorten their effective life-span. Thus, the value placed on wetlands to trap sediments is in conflict with maximizing the effective topographic life of wetlands. Herein, we provide an overview of sedimentation, identify associated impacts on wetlands, and suggest remedial management strategies. We also highlight the need to evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on wetland functions from an interdisciplinary approach to facilitate development of best management practices that benefit both wetland and agricultural interests.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Lichen compounds restrain lichen feeding by bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    PubMed

    Nybakken, Line; Helmersen, Anne-Marit; Gauslaa, Yngvar; Selås, Vidar

    2010-03-01

    Some lichen compounds are known to deter feeding by invertebrate herbivores. We attempted to quantify the deterring efficiency of lichen compounds against a generalist vertebrate, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). In two separate experiments, caged bank voles had the choice to feed on lichens with natural or reduced concentrations of secondary compounds. We rinsed air-dry intact lichens in 100% acetone to remove extracellular compounds non-destructively. In the first experiment, pairs of control and rinsed lichen thalli were hydrated and offered to the bank voles. Because the lichens desiccated fast, we ran a second experiment with pairs of ground control and compound-deficient thalli, each mixed with water to porridge. Eight and six lichen species were tested in the first and second experiment, respectively. In the first, bank voles preferred compound-deficient thalli of Cladonia stellaris and Lobaria pulmonaria, but did not discriminate between the other thallus pairs. This was likely a result of deterring levels of usnic and stictic acid in the control thalli. When lichens were served as porridge, significant preference was found for acetone-rinsed pieces of Cladonia arbuscula, C. rangiferina, Platismatia glauca, and Evernia prunastri. The increased preference was caused mainly by lower consumption of control thalli. Grinding and mixing of thallus structures prevented bank voles from selecting thallus parts with lower concentration of secondary compounds and/or strengthened their deterring capacity. We conclude that some lichen secondary compounds deter feeding by bank voles.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Kinship, dispersal and hantavirus transmission in bank and common voles.

    PubMed

    Deter, J; Chaval, Y; Galan, M; Gauffre, B; Morand, S; Henttonen, H; Laakkonen, J; Voutilainen, L; Charbonnel, N; Cosson, J-F

    2008-01-01

    Hantaviruses are among the main emerging infectious agents in Europe. Their mode of transmission in natura is still not well known. In particular, social features and behaviours could be crucial for understanding the persistence and the spread of hantaviruses in rodent populations. Here, we investigated the importance of kinclustering and dispersal in hantavirus transmission by combining a fine-scale spatiotemporal survey (4 km2) and a population genetics approach. Two specific host-hantavirus systems were identified and monitored: the bank vole Myodes, earlier Clethrionomys glareolus--Puumala virus and the common vole Microtus arvalis--Tula virus. Sex, age and landscape characteristics significantly influenced the spatial distribution of infections in voles. The absence of temporal stability in the spatial distributions of viruses suggested that dispersal is likely to play a role in virus propagation. Analysing vole kinship from microsatellite markers, we found that infected voles were more closely related to each other than non-infected ones. Winter kin-clustering, shared colonies within matrilineages or delayed dispersal could explain this pattern. These two last results hold, whatever the host-hantavirus system considered. This supports the roles of relatedness and dispersal as general features for hantavirus transmission.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Reproductive features of the Russian vole in laboratory breeding.

    PubMed

    Widayati, Diah Tri; Mekada, Kazuyuki; Oda, Sen-ichi; Zholnerovskaya, Elena; Zakiyan, Suren Minasovich; Fukuta, Katsuhiro

    2003-07-01

    Reproductive features of newly bred Russian voles (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis) as a laboratory animal were studied. This species is a copulatory ovulator, and most couples copulated 6 to 16 h after pairing. The gestation period varied from 18 to 22 days (mean +/- SD: 20.6 +/- 0.9, n = 72), and the average litter size was 4.6 +/- 1.9 (n = 125). Compared with the litter size at the first parturition (3.6 +/- 1.6, n = 72), the litter size in the subsequent parturitions increased to 5.9 +/- 1.4 (n = 53). The animals exhibited postpartum estrus, and repeated pregnancy accompanied with suckling pups and parturition continuously in the laboratory condition unlike other vole species. In view of their complex stomach and good proliferation, the Russian voles were evaluated as a good laboratory animal, especially as a model animal for ruminant studies.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Guild composition and habitat use of voles in 2 forest landscapes in south-eastern Norway.

    PubMed

    Gorini, Lucrezia; Linnell, John D C; Boitani, Luigi; Hauptmann, Ulrike; Odden, Morten; Wegge, Per; Nilsen, Erlend B

    2011-12-01

    It is widely believed that intensive forestry has influenced small mammal population dynamics, and thereby the entire mammalian community in Fennoscandian boreal forests. The nature of these impacts on the different species is subject to debate. We live-trapped voles between 2006 and 2009 in 2 commercially harvested forests in south-eastern Norway. We investigated the variation in vole abundance among habitat types (e.g. mature forest and clear-cut) and the hypothesis that graminivorous species such as field voles (Microtus agrestis L.) benefit from clear-cuts at the expense of forest dwellers (i.e. the bank vole, Myodes glareolus Schreb.), using fine-scale descriptors of the ground vegetation. We could not find support for the hypothesis that field voles show a preference for clear-cuts, and their overall abundance was low, while bank voles were the dominant species in all habitat types, including clear-cuts in the peak and pre-peak years. We found a positive association between bank vole abundance and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) availability rather than a specific habitat type. Low field vole density in clear-cuts might be due to variation in local productivity and ground vegetation as well as to large variation in the species temporal dynamics. The latter is particularly associated with the widespread decline of field voles in Scandinavia. Logging has the potential to negatively affect bank vole population dynamics because of the negative effect on bilberry development. PMID:22182322

  6. 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

  7. Time-course of micronucleated erythrocytes in response to whole-body gamma irradiation in a model mammalian species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber).

    PubMed

    Smolich, Igor I; Savina, Natalya V; Ryabokon, Nadezhda I

    2011-01-01

    The time course of the formation of micronucleated polychromatic (MNPCEs) and normochromatic erythrocytes (MNNCEs) in the bone marrow of the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber), a model mouse-like species, was studied using the standard micronucleus test at 0, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36 and 48 hr following whole-body acute γ-irradiation at a dose of 0.5 Gy. Based on the existing literature on laboratory mice, it was suggested that such a dose will not have significant effect on erythroid cell proliferation in the bank vole and hence on the time course of the rise of micronucleated cells. In total, ∼905,000 polychromatic (PCEs) and normochromatic erythrocytes (NCEs) from 82 adult bank voles were analyzed. Although the mean frequencies of MNNCEs were too low to allow for the correct assessment of their time course, an analysis of PCEs showed an increasing rate of MNPCE appearance at 6 hr that reached a maximum at 18-24 hr after irradiation and subsequently decreased. Because the kinetics of MNPCEs reflects the process of erythropoiesis, the current results regarding the time points of appearance of radiation-induced MNPCEs provide the first information on the prolongation of one of the terminal stages of erythrocyte formation in bank vole specimens, namely the stage of maturation of PCEs from erythroblasts. Moreover, the observed time-course data, as well as the low-background frequencies of MNPCEs and characteristic level of PCEs response to radiation, showed similarities between the two model species: bank vole (this study) and laboratory mice (literature data).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Variability in susceptibility of voles (Arvicolinae) to experimental infection with Cryptosporidium muris and Cryptosporidium andersoni.

    PubMed

    Modrý, David; Hofmannová, Lada; Antalová, Zuzana; Sak, Bohumil; Kváč, Martin

    2012-07-01

    The infectivity of Cryptosporidium muris and Cryptosporidium andersoni in various species of voles was studied using experimental infections. None of the experimental voles inoculated with 1 × 10(5) oocysts of Cryptosporidium spp. shed any oocysts during 40 DPI, except Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii), which was susceptible to C. muris infection. Experiments confirmed the resistance of voles of the genus Microtus sensu stricto to infection with mammalian gastric cryptosporidia, which provides a new study model with prospects to more fully understand the processes involved in the phenomenon of host specificity of this group of protists.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Tallgrass prairie restoration: seeding for success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.

    2013-01-01

    Tallgrass prairie is one of the most imperiled ecosystems on Earth. A 2004 estimate indicated that only 2.4 percent of the original northern tallgrass prairie remained in the United States. If tallgrass prairie and the species dependent on it are to survive, management must include restoration of cropland and degraded prairies, in addition to preservation of the few remaining fragments. Despite the importance of restoration and its long history (the first tallgrass prairie restoration was started in 1935 at Curtis Prairie in Wisconsin), few studies have been undertaken with the goal of refining restoration practice. This fact sheet contains the results of one such study, started in 2005, in which we compared three seeding methods (dormant-season broadcast, growing-season broadcast, and growing-season drill) fully crossed with low (10-), medium (20-), and high (34-species) seed mixes replicated 12 times on each of 9 former agricultural fields in Minnesota and Iowa. Plots were 12.2 x 12.2 meters (m) and occupied about 1.6 hectares (ha) (4 acres) of each field. A “successful” restoration is one in which cover and richness of planted species is maximized and cover of exotic and invasive species, especially the noxious weed Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), is minimized. Details of the planting methods can be located in Larson and others (2011).

  16. A northern glacial refugium for bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus).

    PubMed

    Kotlík, Petr; Deffontaine, Valérie; Mascheretti, Silvia; Zima, Jan; Michaux, Johan R; Searle, Jeremy B

    2006-10-01

    There is controversy and uncertainty on how far north there were glacial refugia for temperate species during the Pleistocene glaciations and in the extent of the contribution of such refugia to present-day populations. We examined these issues using phylogeographic analysis of a European woodland mammal, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus). A Bayesian coalescence analysis indicates that a bank vole population survived the height of the last glaciation (approximately 25,000-10,000 years B.P.) in the vicinity of the Carpathians, a major central European mountain chain well north of the Mediterranean areas typically regarded as glacial refugia for temperate species. Parameter estimates from the fitted isolation with migration model show that the divergence of the Carpathian population started at least 22,000 years ago, and it was likely followed by only negligible immigration from adjacent regions, suggesting the persistence of bank voles in the Carpathians through the height of the last glaciation. On the contrary, there is clear evidence for gene flow out of the Carpathians, demonstrating the contribution of the Carpathian population to the colonization of Europe after the Pleistocene. These findings are consistent with data from animal and plant fossils recovered in the Carpathians and provide the clearest phylogeographic evidence to date of a northern glacial refugium for temperate species in Europe. PMID:17001012

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Groundwater nutrient concentrations during prairie reconstruction on an Iowa landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One anticipated benefit of ecosystem restoration efforts is improvement of water quality. This study evaluated NO3-N and phosphorus in subsurface waters during establishment of native prairie vegetation after decades of row-crop agriculture. Prairie seeding in late 2003 resulted in a good prairie co...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Vole preference of bilberry along gradients of simulated moose density and site productivity.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Simen; Andreassen, Harry P; Persson, Inga-Lill; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Danell, Kjell; Skarpe, Christina

    2011-12-01

    Browsing by large herbivores might either increase or decrease preference for the plant by other herbivores, depending on the plant response. Using a cafeteria test, we studied the preference by root voles (Microtus oeconomus [Pallas, 1776]) for bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) previously subjected to 4 levels of simulated moose (Alces alces [Linnaeus, 1758]) density. The different levels of moose density were simulated at population densities relevant for Fennoscandian conditions, in exclosures situated along a site productivity gradient. We expected: (i) voles to prefer bilberry from high productivity sites over low productivity sites; (ii) voles to prefer browsed bilberry, if plants allocate resources to compensatory growth or to avoid browsed bilberry if plants allocate resources to defense; (iii) these effects to increase with increasing simulated moose density; and (iv) the concentration of plant chemicals and the plant morphology to explain vole preference. Specifically, we predicted that voles would prefer: (i) plants with high nitrogen content; (ii) plants with low content of defensive substances; and (iii) tall plants with long shoots. Voles preferred bilberry from the high productivity sites compared to the low productivity sites. We also found an interaction between site productivity and simulated moose density, where voles preferred unbrowsed plants at low productivity sites and intermediate levels of browsing at high productivity sites. There was no effect of plant chemistry or morphology on vole preference. We conclude that moose browsing impacts the food preference of voles. With the current high densities of moose in Fennoscandia, this could potentially influence vole food selection and population dynamics over large geographical areas.

  14. 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

  15. Hydrology of a prairie slough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woo, Ming-Ko; Rowsell, Robert D.

    1993-06-01

    A three year study was carried out at a prairie slough to determine the hydrological processes occurring in the wetland and its surrounding uplands. On the upland slopes, snow accumulation was highly uneven, giving rise to spatial variations in infiltration and overland flow during melt. Rainfall distribution was more uniform but much of it was lost to evaporation, leaving minor amounts to groundwater recharge or runoff to the slough. The slough comprises a pond and its fringing non-flooded wetlands, the areal extents of which changed during the season as the pond expanded and contracted. Slough storage was rapidly replenished by the snow and ice melt in the slough and by the meltwater input through overland flow from the uplands. During summer, rainfall was the main source of water supply to the experimental slough, and evaporation exceeded water yield to the groundwater system. Water balance allows a contrast of hydrological conditions between years, with the drier years producing storage deficit for the slough, and wet summers producing a surplus.

  16. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2009-01-01

    The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) conducts integrated research to fulfill the Department of the Interior's responsibilities to the Nation's natural resources. Located on 600 acres along the James River Valley near Jamestown, North Dakota, the NPWRC develops and disseminates scientific information needed to understand, conserve, and wisely manage the Nation's biological resources. Research emphasis is primarily on midcontinental plant and animal species and ecosystems of the United States. During the center's 40-year history, its scientists have earned an international reputation for leadership and expertise on the biology of waterfowl and grassland birds, wetland ecology and classification, mammalian behavior and ecology, grassland ecosystems, and application of statistics and geographic information systems. To address current science challenges, NPWRC scientists collaborate with researchers from other U.S. Geological Survey centers and disciplines (Biology, Geography, Geology, and Water) and with biologists and managers in the Department of the Interior (DOI), other Federal agencies, State agencies, universities, and nongovernmental organizations. Expanding upon its scientific expertise and leadership, the NPWRC is moving in new directions, including invasive plant species, restoration of native habitats, carbon sequestration and marketing, and ungulate management on DOI lands.

  17. 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''.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2014-11-21

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Kinetics of bromadiolone in rodent populations and implications for predators after field control of the water vole, Arvicola terrestris.

    PubMed

    Sage, Mickaël; Coeurdassier, Michaël; Defaut, Régis; Gimbert, Frédéric; Berny, Philippe; Giraudoux, Patrick

    2008-12-15

    We document the kinetics of bromadiolone in two rodent populations after a field control of water voles, and their implications for predator exposure. Water voles and common voles were trapped aboveground and underground from 1 to 135 days after bromadiolone treatment in the field. Livers, digestive tracts, and rests of the body were analyzed separately. Our results indicate that 99.6% of the water voles trapped underground and 41% of the common voles trapped aboveground contain bromadiolone residues. Concentrations were maximal between 3.3 and 6.5 days after treatment, according to the tissues examined and the model applied for water voles, and after 1.3 to 3.7 days for common voles. Water voles appeared available almost exclusively for foraging predators. Common voles, found less likely to be poisoned and exhibiting weaker concentrations, were mainly sampled aboveground. The liver, primarily eaten by some predators and scavengers, contains a larger bromadiolone quantity (59% of the total amount found in water voles). The rejection of the digestive tract by those species may lead to a subsequent consumption of voles with higher bromadiolone concentrations (from +3.8 to +5.8% of concentration) and provide a moderate risk increase. After 135 days, eight of the ten water voles and one of the two common voles exhibited detectable residues. Additionally, one specimen presented higher concentrations than the others, and similar to those measured in Voles trapped between the first 15-20 days. This may have consequences on predator intoxications several months after treatment. These results integrate individual differences for the two main rodent species present in treated areas. Implications for predator exposure were investigated at the end of the study and suggest that, if the risk of secondary poisoning is maximal during the first 15-20 days when the rodent densities remain high, exposure conditions are maintained for at least 135 days. PMID:18954894

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Dynamic effects of predators on cyclic voles: field experimentation and model extrapolation.

    PubMed Central

    Korpimäki, Erkki; Norrdahl, Kai; Klemola, Tero; Pettersen, Terje; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2002-01-01

    Mechanisms generating the well-known 3-5 year cyclic fluctuations in densities of northern small rodents (voles and lemmings) have remained an ecological puzzle for decades. The hypothesis that these fluctuations are caused by delayed density-dependent impacts of predators was tested by replicated field experimentation in western Finland. We reduced densities of all main mammalian and avian predators through a 3 year vole cycle and compared vole abundances between four reduction and four control areas (each 2.5-3 km(2)). The reduction of predator densities increased the autumn density of voles fourfold in the low phase, accelerated the increase twofold, increased the autumn density of voles twofold in the peak phase, and retarded the initiation of decline of the vole cycle. Extrapolating these experimental results to their expected long-term dynamic effects through a demographic model produces changes from regular multiannual cycles to annual fluctuations with declining densities of specialist predators. This supports the findings of the field experiment and is in agreement with the predation hypothesis. We conclude that predators may indeed generate the cyclic population fluctuations of voles observed in northern Europe. PMID:12028754

  6. Efficient transmission and characterization of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease strains in bank voles.

    PubMed

    Nonno, Romolo; Di Bari, Michele A; 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

    2006-02-01

    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.

  7. Effects of short term bioturbation by common voles on biogeochemical soil variables.

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. Effects of short term bioturbation by common voles on biogeochemical soil variables.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  12. [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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. The influence of aridity and fire on Holocene prairie communities in the eastern Prairie Peninsula

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, D.M.; Feng, S.H.; Grimm, E.C.; Curry, B. Brandon; Slate, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    The role of climate and fire in the development, maintenance, and species composition of prairie in the eastern axis of the tallgrass Prairie Peninsula intrigued early North American ecologists. However, evaluation of the long-standing hypotheses about the region's environmental history has been hampered by the scarcity of paleorecords. We conducted multiproxy analyses on early and middle Holocene sediments from two Illinois, USA, lakes to assess long-term climatic, vegetational, and fire variability in the region. Sediment mineral composition, carbonate ??18O, ostracode assemblages, and diatom assemblages were integrated to infer fluctuations in moisture availability. Pollen and charcoal ??13C were used to reconstruct vegetation composition, and charcoal influx was used to reconstruct fire. Results indicate that fire-sensitive trees (e.g., Ulmus, Ostrya, Fraxinus, and Acer saccharum) declined and prairie taxa expanded with increased aridity from 10 000 yr BP to 8500 yr BP. Between ???8500 yr BP and ???6200 yr BP, aridity declined, and prairie coexisted with fire-sensitive and fire-tolerant (e.g., Quercus and Carya) trees. After ???6200 yr BP, prairie taxa became dominant, although aridity was not more severe than it was around 8500 yr BP. Along with aridity, fire appears to have played an important role in the establishment and maintenance of prairie communities in the eastern Prairie Peninsula, consistent with the speculations of the early ecologists. Comparison of our data with results from elsewhere in the North American midcontinent indicates that spatial heterogeneity is a characteristic feature of climatic and vegetational variations on millennial time scales. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Experimental tests of predation and food hypotheses for population cycles of voles.

    PubMed Central

    Klemola, T; Koivula, M; Korpimäki, E; Norrdahl, K

    2000-01-01

    Pronounced population cycles are characteristic of many herbivorous small mammals in northern latitudes. Although delayed density-dependent effects of predation and food shortage are often proposed as factors driving population cycles, firm evidence for causality is rare because sufficiently replicated, large-scale field experiments are lacking. We conducted two experiments on Microtus voles in four large predator-proof enclosures and four unfenced control areas in western Finland. Predator exclusion induced rapid population growth and increased the peak abundance of voles over 20-fold until the enclosed populations crashed during the second winter due to food shortage. Thereafter, voles introduced to enclosures which had suffered heavy grazing increased to higher densities than voles in previously ungrazed control areas which were exposed to predators. We concluded that predation inhibits an increase in vole populations until predation pressure declines, thus maintaining the low phase of the cycle, but also that population cycles in voles are not primarily driven by plant-herbivore interactions. PMID:10722216

  11. Effects of vole fluctuations on the population dynamics of the barn owl Tyto alba.

    PubMed

    Klok, Chris; de Roos, Andre M

    2007-01-01

    Many predator species feed on prey that fluctuates in abundance from year to year. Birds of prey can face large fluctuations in food abundance i.e. small mammals, especially voles. These annual changes in prey abundance strongly affect the reproductive success and mortality of the individual predators and thus can be expected to influence their population dynamics and persistence. The barn owl, for example, shows large fluctuations in breeding success that correlate with the dynamics in voles, their main prey species. Analysis of the impact of fluctuations in vole abundance (their amplitude, peaks and lows, cycle length and regularity) with a simple predator prey model parameterized with literature data indicates population persistence is especially affected by years with low vole abundance. In these years the population can decline to low owl numbers such that the ensuing peak vole years cannot be exploited. This result is independent of the length and regularity of vole fluctuations. The relevance of this result for conservation of the barn owl and other birds of prey that show a numerical response to fluctuating prey species is discussed. PMID:17594062

  12. Who are the bosses? Group influence on the behavior of voles following owl attack.

    PubMed

    Kleiman, Michal; Bodek, Sivan; Eilam, David

    2014-10-01

    Individual members of a group must conform to the group norms, as they may otherwise become isolated from the group or the group may split. On the other hand, social groups usually comprise various social ranks and display a differential division of labor and consequently different behaviors. The present study was aimed at examining how the above factors are manifested in social voles that had experienced owl attack. Here, we reconfirm the findings of past studies: that grouped voles converge to display similar behavior after owl attack. In addition, we found that high-mass voles were more active in the open sectors of the experimental set-ups both before and after the owl attack, whereas low-mass voles dichotomized to those that increased and those that decreased their activity in the open following owl attack. Taking body mass as a proxy for social rank, it is suggested that as a consequence of their larger size and of their experience and physical strength, high-mass voles both presented an exemplary model for the low-mass voles and, accordingly, assumed leadership and stabilized their group's behavior. We also suggest a hypothetical model for the propagation of behavior in hierarchical groups.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. A Model System for In Vitro Studies of Bank Vole Borne Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Stoltz, Malin; Sundström, Karin B.; Hidmark, Åsa; Tolf, Conny; Vene, Sirkka; Ahlm, Clas; Lindberg, A. Michael; Lundkvist, Åke; Klingström, Jonas

    2011-01-01

    The bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is a common small mammal in Europe and a natural host for several important emerging zoonotic viruses, e.g. Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) that causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Hantaviruses are known to interfere with several signaling pathways in infected human cells, and HFRS is considered an immune-mediated disease. There is no in vitro-model available for infectious experiments in bank vole cells, nor tools for analyses of bank vole immune activation and responses. Consequently, it is not known if there are any differences in the regulation of virus induced responses in humans compared to natural hosts during infection. We here present an in vitro-model for studies of bank vole borne viruses and their interactions with natural host cell innate immune responses. Bank vole embryonic fibroblasts (VEFs) were isolated and shown to be susceptible for PUUV-infection, including a wild-type PUUV strain (only passaged in bank voles). The significance of VEFs as a model system for bank vole associated viruses was further established by infection studies showing that these cells are also susceptible to tick borne encephalitis, cowpox and Ljungan virus. The genes encoding bank vole IFN-β and Mx2 were partially sequenced and protocols for semi-quantitative RT-PCR were developed. Interestingly, PUUV did not induce an increased IFN-β or Mx2 mRNA expression. Corresponding infections with CPXV and LV induced IFN-β but not Mx2, while TBEV induced both IFN-β and Mx2. In conclusion, VEFs together with protocols developed for detection of bank vole innate immune activation provide valuable tools for future studies of how PUUV and other zoonotic viruses affect cells derived from bank voles compared to human cells. Notably, wild-type PUUV which has been difficult to cultivate in vitro readily infected VEFs, suggesting that embryonic fibroblasts from natural hosts might be valuable for isolation of wild-type hantaviruses. PMID

  1. "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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F.

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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) ...

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. To breed, or not to breed? Predation risk induces breeding suppression in common voles.

    PubMed

    Jochym, Mateusz; Halle, Stefan

    2012-12-01

    Breeding suppression hypothesis (BSH) predicts that, in several vole species, females will suppress breeding in response to high risk of mustelid predation; compared to breeding females, suppressing females would gain higher chances of survival. Seminal evidence for BSH was obtained in the laboratory, but attempts to replicate breeding suppression under field conditions were less conclusive. We tested whether breeding suppression occurs in common voles (Microtus arvalis), and how population density and predation risk combined affect voles' reproductive activity. We found that, in contrast to males, female common voles suppress reproductive activity when faced with high predation risk. Population size was not reduced despite breeding suppression. A model of the interaction between predation risk and population density revealed that predator-induced breeding suppression depends on the density of conspecifics. We concluded that breeding suppression is a viable adaptation only at low vole densities, when per capita predation risk is high. Finally, we identified the key issues of experimental design required for the consistency of future studies on breeding suppression. PMID:22700062

  7. Defensive responses of Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) to stored cat feces.

    PubMed

    Hegab, Ibrahim M; Jin, Yajuan; Ye, Manhong; Wang, Aiqin; Yin, Baofa; Yang, Shengmei; Wei, Wanhong

    2014-01-17

    Predator odors are non-intrusive natural stressors of high ethological relevance. Animals are daily challenged with stressors of varying intensity and it is essential for their survival to respond to a wide range of threats. Behavioral and hormonal responses and changes in the level of medial hypothalamic c-fos mRNA were examined in Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) exposed to the feces of a domestic cat (Felis catus) stored for different periods. One hundred voles were tested in the defensive withdrawal apparatus. The voles showed an aversion to freshly collected cat feces, indicated by high levels of flight-related behaviors, increased freezing behavior, and more vigilant rearing compared to old feces. The serum levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone significantly increased when the voles were exposed to fresh cat feces. The level of c-fos mRNA in the medial hypothalamic region was highest in the individuals exposed to fresh cat feces. All of these behavioral, endocrine and c-fos-mRNA responses were lower when voles were subjected to older cat feces. We conclude that these responses depend on volatile chemical constituents of cat feces rather than their physical characteristics and that this accounts for the lower responses to feces stored for longer periods.

  8. Residues in Brandt's voles (Microtus brandti) exposed to bromadiolone-impregnated baits in Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Winters, Ann M; Rumbeiha, Wilson K; Winterstein, Scott R; Fine, Amanda E; Munkhtsog, B; Hickling, Graham J

    2010-07-01

    In 2002, hundreds of non-target wildlife deaths occurred in Mongolia following aerial applications of bromadiolone, an anticoagulant rodenticide, to control eruptive Brandt's vole (Microtus brandti) populations. To clarify whether secondary poisoning could have contributed to these deaths, a field study was undertaken in Mongolia to measure bromadiolone residues in voles following exposure to two concentrations (50 and 500 mg/kg) of bromadiolone-treated wheat. The two treatments produced different total burdens (2.65 microg+/-0.53SE and 13.70 microg+/-3.82SE, respectively) and liver burdens (1.74 microg+/-0.33SE and 8.81 microg+/-2.33SE, respectively) of bromadiolone in voles (both p<0.05). Total burdens of bromadiolone in voles found dead above ground were higher than those of live-trapped voles (32.35 microg+/-17.98SE versus 5.18 microg+/-1.40SE, respectively; p<0.05). These results are valuable for future assessments of secondary poisoning risk to scavengers and predators from large-scale bromadiolone poisoning operations of the type undertaken in Mongolia. PMID:20227761

  9. 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

  10. How barn owls (Tyto alba) visually follow moving voles (Microtus socialis) before attacking them.

    PubMed

    Fux, Michal; Eilam, David

    2009-09-01

    The present study focused on the movements that owls perform before they swoop down on their prey. The working hypothesis was that owl head movements reflect the capacity to efficiently follow visually and auditory a moving prey. To test this hypothesis, five tame barn owls (Tyto alba) were each exposed 10 times to a live vole in a laboratory setting that enabled us to simultaneously record the behavior of both owl and vole. Bi-dimensional analysis of the horizontal and vertical projections of movements revealed that owl head movements increased in amplitude parallel to the vole's direction of movement (sideways or away from/toward the owl). However, the owls also performed relatively large repetitive horizontal head movements when the voles were progressing in any direction, suggesting that these movements were critical for the owl to accurately locate the prey, independent of prey behavior. From the pattern of head movements we conclude that owls orient toward the prospective clash point, and then return to the target itself (the vole) - a pattern that fits an interception rather than a tracking mode of following a moving target. The large horizontal component of head movement in following live prey may indicate that barn owls either have a horizontally narrow fovea or that these movements serve in forming a motion parallax along with preserving image acuity on a horizontally wide fovea. PMID:19577583

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.; 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Phylogeny of Oriental voles (Rodentia: Muridae: Arvicolinae): molecular and morphological evidence.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shaoying; Liu, Yang; Guo, Peng; Sun, Zhiyu; Murphy, Robert W; Fan, Zhenxin; Fu, Jianrong; Zhang, Yaping

    2012-09-01

    The systematics of Oriental voles remains controversial despite numerous previous studies. In this study, we explore the systematics of all species of Oriental voles, except Eothenomys wardi, using a combination of DNA sequences and morphological data. Our molecular phylogeny, based on two mitochondrial genes (COI and cyt b), resolves the Oriental voles as a monophyletic group with strong support. Four distinct lineages are resolved: Eothenomys, Anteliomys, Caryomys, and the new subgenus Ermites. Based on morphology, we consider Caryomys and Eothenomys to be valid genera. Eothenomys, Anteliomys, and Ermites are subgenera of Eothenomys. The molecular phylogeny resolves subgenera Anteliomys and Ermites as sister taxa. Subgenus Eothenomys is sister to the clade Anteliomys + Ermites. Caryomys is the sister group to genus Eothenomys. Further, the subspecies E. custos hintoni and E. chinensis tarquinius do not cluster with E. custos custos and E. chinensis chinensis, respectively, and the former two taxa are elevated to species level and assigned to the new subgenus Ermites.

  17. Host-parasite biology in the real world: the field voles of Kielder.

    PubMed

    Turner, A K; Beldomenico, P M; Bown, K; Burthe, S J; Jackson, J A; Lambin, X; Begon, M

    2014-07-01

    Research on the interactions between the field voles (Microtus agrestis) of Kielder Forest and their natural parasites dates back to the 1930s. These early studies were primarily concerned with understanding how parasites shape the characteristic cyclic population dynamics of their hosts. However, since the early 2000s, research on the Kielder field voles has expanded considerably and the system has now been utilized for the study of host-parasite biology across many levels, including genetics, evolutionary ecology, immunology and epidemiology. The Kielder field voles therefore represent one of the most intensely and broadly studied natural host-parasite systems, bridging theoretical and empirical approaches to better understand the biology of infectious disease in the real world. This article synthesizes the body of work published on this system and summarizes some important insights and general messages provided by the integrated and multidisciplinary study of host-parasite interactions in the natural environment.

  18. [Biological activity of soils in the settlements of southern (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis) and bank (Clethrionomys glareolus) voles].

    PubMed

    Manaeva, E S; Kostina, N V; Gorlenko, M V; Lomovtseva, N O; Umarov, M M

    2013-01-01

    The effect of southern (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis) and bank (Clethrionomys glareolus) voles on the biological activity of soddy-podzolic soil and culturozem has been studied. To estimate this effect, the activity of nitrogen and carbon transformation in the soil taken from the paths and different chambers of the holes of these rodents, as well as from the control plots where there were no voles, has been determined. The contents of organic carbon and nitrogen in the soil have been found. The parameters of functional diversity of the microbial community of soil have been studied. It has been noted that the effect of voles on the biological activity of the above soils manifested itself in increased intensity of aerobic and anaerobic destruction of organic matter and changes in the parameters of functional diversity of the microbial community of soils. PMID:24459855

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  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. Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, S.M.; Loftus, W.F.; Gaiser, E.E.; Huffman, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    About 190,000 ha of higher-elevation marl prairies flank either side of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades. Water levels typically drop below the ground surface each year in this landscape. Consequently, peat soil accretion is inhibited, and substrates consist either of calcitic marl produced by algal periphyton mats or exposed limestone bedrock. The southern marl prairies support complex mosaics of wet prairie, sawgrass sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), tree islands, and tropical hammock communities and a high diversity of plant species. However, relatively short hydroperiods and annual dry downs provide stressful conditions for aquatic fauna, affecting survival in the dry season when surface water is absent. Here, we present a conceptual ecological model developed for this landscape through scientific concensus, use of empirical data, and modeling. The two major societal drivers affecting the southern marl prairies are water management practices and agricultural and urban development. These drivers lead to five groups of ecosystem stressors: loss of spatial extent and connectivity, shortened hydroperiod and increased drought severity, extended hydroperiod and drying pattern reversals, introduction and spread of non-native trees, and introduction and spread of non-native fishes. Major ecological attributes include periphyton mats, plant species diversity and community mosaic, Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), marsh fishes and associated aquatic fauna prey base, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and wading bird early dry season foraging. Water management and development are hypothesized to have a negative effect on the ecological attributes of the southern marl prairies in the following ways. Periphyton mats have decreased in cover in areas where hydroperiod has been significantly reduced and changed in community composition due to inverse responses to increased nutrient availability. Plant species diversity and

  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. Experimental demonstration of the antiherbivore effects of silica in grasses: impacts on foliage digestibility and vole growth rates

    PubMed Central

    Massey, Fergus P; Hartley, Sue E

    2006-01-01

    The impact of plant-based factors on the population dynamics of mammalian herbivores has been the subject of much debate in ecology, but the role of antiherbivore defences in grasses has received relatively little attention. Silica has been proposed as the primary defence in grasses and is thought to lead to increased abrasiveness of foliage so deterring feeding, as well as reducing foliage digestibility and herbivore performance. However, at present there is little direct experimental evidence to support these ideas. In this study, we tested the effects of manipulating silica levels on the abrasiveness of grasses and on the feeding preference and growth performance of field voles, specialist grass-feeding herbivores. Elevated silica levels did increase the abrasiveness of grasses and deterred feeding by voles. We also demonstrated, for the first time, that silica reduced the growth rates of both juvenile and mature female voles by reducing the nitrogen they could absorb from the foliage. Furthermore, we found that vole feeding leads to increased levels of silica in leaves, suggesting a dynamic feedback between grasses and their herbivores. We propose that silica induction due to vole grazing reduces vole performance and hence could contribute to cyclic dynamics in vole populations. PMID:16928631

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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

  19. Powerline Road Grade Crossing at Milepost 31 Camas Prairie ...

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

    Powerline Road Grade Crossing at Milepost 31 - Camas Prairie Railroad, Second Subdivision, From Spalding in Nez Perce County, through Lewis County, to Grangeville in Idaho County, Spalding, Nez Perce County, ID

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 20. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST ALONG NORTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, ...

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

    20. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST ALONG NORTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, TOWARD SHARP 'V' OF VIEW 18. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. [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

  8. [Genetic diversity of Chionomys genus (Mammalia, Arvicolinae) and comparative phylogeography of snow voles].

    PubMed

    Bannikova, A A; Sizhazheva, A M; Malikova, V G; Golenishchev, F N; Dzuev, R I

    2013-05-01

    In the present study, the genetic polymorphism of the Chionomys genus was examined based on the sequencing of the mitochondrial cytb gene and two nuclear exons, including CHR exon 10 and BRCA1 exon 11. The distinct subdivision of the genus of snow voles into five lineages, including Ch. nivalis, Ch. gud, Ch. roberti, and Ch. aff. nivalis from Turkey, as well as Ch. aff. gud from Turkey, was demonstrated. The branching order in the trees constructed based on the data for different genes was ambiguous, which was probably the consequence of recent and rapid radiation of the major lineages from a common ancestor. However, the data of the mitochondrial and nuclear gene analyses definitely indicated that the genetic and taxonomic diversity of the Chionomys genus was higher than it was expected before. The genetic divergence of some populations was so deep that they probably deserved the statuses of independent species. Despite that the range of the European snow vole Ch. nivalis is larger and more fragmented than the Gudaur vole Ch, gud, the latter species with its relatively small range, which is limited to the Caucasian and Pontic Mountains, was characterized by a similarly expressed phylogenetic structure. At the same time, Robert's vole Ch. roberti was less structured genetically than the first two species. The data obtained supported the Near Eastern, rather than the European origin of the Chionomys genus.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Day length and sociosexual cohabitation alter central oxytocin receptor binding in female meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus).

    PubMed

    Parker, K J; Phillips, K M; Kinney, L F; Lee, T M

    2001-12-01

    In voles (Microtus), central oxytocin (OT) receptor patterns are associated with interspecific social organization. Social, monogamous voles have more OT receptors in the extended amygdala than asocial, nonmonogamous voles. Nonmonogamous meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), which exhibit seasonal changes in social organization (long day [LD] females are territorial, short day [SD] females live socially), provide a model for examining whether OT receptor patterns are associated with seasonal changes in intraspecific social behaviors. The authors examined whether sexually inexperienced (naive) SD females had more OT receptor binding than naive LD females. Naive SD females had greater OT receptor binding in the lateral septum (LS), lateral amygdala (LatAmyg), and central amygdala (CenAmyg) than less social, naive LD females. Because both SD and LD females acquire partner preferences, the authors assessed whether OT receptor binding was associated with partner preference onset. For LD females, partner preference onset corresponded with greater OT receptor binding in the anterior olfactory nucleus, LS, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, compared with naive LD females. In contrast, naive SD females and those exhibiting partner preferences did not differ. However, SD females that failed to acquire partner preferences showed less OT binding in the LatAmyg and CenAmyg. This study is the first to show that central OT receptor patterns are associated with seasonal changes in intraspecific social organization and partner preference onset in a nonmonogamous rodent.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. What community characteristics help or hinder rural communities in becoming age-friendly? Perspectives from a Canadian prairie province.

    PubMed

    Spina, John; Menec, Verena H

    2015-06-01

    Age-friendly initiatives are increasingly promoted as a policy solution to healthy aging, The primary objective of this article was to examine older adults' and key stakeholders' perceptions of the factors that either help or hinder a community from becoming age-friendly in the context of rural Manitoba, a Canadian prairie province. Twenty-four older adults and 17 key informants completed a qualitative interview. The findings show that contextual factors including size, location, demographic composition, ability to secure investments, and leadership influence rural communities' ability to become age-friendly. Government must consider the challenges these communities face in becoming more age-friendly and develop strategies to support communities.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, Jack F.; 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.

  6. Interspecific comparisons of sylvatic plague in prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F.; 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.

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 77 FR 31347 - High Prairie Pipeline, LLC v. Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership; Notice of Complaint

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-25

    ... Applicable to Oil Pipeline Proceedings, High Prairie Pipeline, LLC (Complainant) filed a formal complaint... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission High Prairie Pipeline, LLC v. Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership;...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. [Characteristics of erythrocyte lipids in blood of tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus Pall.) inhabiting areas with increased natural radioactivity].

    PubMed

    Shevchenko, O G; Shuktomova, I I; Shishkina, L N

    2011-01-01

    Interrelations between the lipid characteristics of the blood erythrocytes and 226Ra accumulation in the body of tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus Pall.) inhabiting areas with different levels of the radiation background were investigated. It is shown that the ratio of the phospholipid (PL) fractions which cause the blood erythrocyte structure depends on the phase of the population cycle, as well as on the sex and age of tundra voles. The statistically significant interrelation between lysoforms and the sphingomielin content has been revealed in the blood erythrocyte PL of tundra voles; its scale somewhat differs for the animals from the reference and Ra areas. The peroxide concentration in the blood erythrocyte lipids of tundra voles from the Ra area exceeded the control values in all mature groups of the animals trapped at the depression phase of the population density. The 226Ra content in the bodies of the tundra voles which were trapped in the Ra area at the increased phase of the population cycle is for certain higher than that for the animals from the reference area. Interrelations between the lipid peroxidation parameters in the blood erythrocytes and the body 226Ra content for separate sex-age groups of tundra voles have been revealed.

  16. Landscape features and helminth co-infection shape bank vole immunoheterogeneity, with consequences for Puumala virus epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Guivier, E; Galan, M; Henttonen, H; Cosson, J-F; Charbonnel, N

    2014-03-01

    Heterogeneity in environmental conditions helps to maintain genetic and phenotypic diversity in ecosystems. As such, it may explain why the capacity of animals to mount immune responses is highly variable. The quality of habitat patches, in terms of resources, parasitism, predation and habitat fragmentation may, for example, trigger trade-offs ultimately affecting the investment of individuals in various immunological pathways. We described spatial immunoheterogeneity in bank vole populations with respect to landscape features and co-infection. We focused on the consequences of this heterogeneity for the risk of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) infection. We assessed the expression of the Tnf-α and Mx2 genes and demonstrated a negative correlation between PUUV load and the expression of these immune genes in bank voles. Habitat heterogeneity was partly associated with differences in the expression of these genes. Levels of Mx2 were lower in large forests than in fragmented forests, possibly due to differences in parasite communities. We previously highlighted the positive association between infection with Heligmosomum mixtum and infection with PUUV. We found that Tnf-α was more strongly expressed in voles infected with PUUV than in uninfected voles or in voles co-infected with the nematode H. mixtum and PUUV. H. mixtum may limit the capacity of the vole to develop proinflammatory responses. This effect may increase the risk of PUUV infection and replication in host cells. Overall, our results suggest that close interactions between landscape features, co-infection and immune gene expression may shape PUUV epidemiology.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. The process of cholesterol cholelithiasis induced by diet in the prairie dog: a physicochemical characterization.

    PubMed

    Holzbach, R T; Corbusier, C; Marsh, M; Naito, H K

    1976-06-01

    The rapid induction of cholesterol cholelithiasis in a new experimental model, the prairie dog, has recently been reported by two groups. In this model they were able to induce gallstones in as brief a period as 2 weeks, using a 1.2 per cent cholesterol diet. This unprecedented time intensity or telescoping of the induction process provided a unique opportunity for observation of physicochemical changes occurring rapidly over a short period of time and to correlate these with degree of biliary cholesterol saturation. To make such observations, 97 adult male and female prairie dogs were used in the present study. Seventy-two were fed the high cholesterol diet and sacrificed at intervals over a 14-day period; the remaining 25 were used as controls. The primary objective of this work was to determine whether or not there was any relationship between the in vivo events induced in prairie dog bile and our recently reported detailed observations of cholesterol precipitation phenomena in synthetic bile analogs. In these studies, solutions of physiologically relevant composition were constructed, which, when plotted according to convention on a tri-linear graph, fell within the zone of metastable or suspended supersaturation. These solutions revealed a consistent and previously undescribed liquid crystal to solid crystal phase transition during their approach to equilibrium at 37 degrees C. The in vivo studies of prairie dog bile following rapid induction of supersaturation revealed identical changes. At first, the supersaturated biles were isotropic followed by a period of turbidity and invariable formation of mesophase. After a few days, the liquid crystals decreased and solid cholesterol crystallites appeared. The most striking aspect of these observations is that the in vitro work has now predicted not only static, but dynamic processes as well, with respect to cholesterol precipitation beginning with the metastably supersaturated state and eventuating in gallstone

  5. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skagen, Susan; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Knuffman, Lekha

    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.

  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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Implantation and early postimplantation development of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber.

    PubMed

    Ozdzeński, W; Mystkowska, E T

    1976-06-01

    The development of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus is described from implantation to the formation of the foetal membranes. The embryonic development of this species combines features of primitive rodent species, for example Geomys bursarius and highly specialized ones, for examples Mus musculus. The egg-cylinder is formed by invagination into the blastocoelic cavity of the inner cell mass and polar trophoblast overlying it; this resembles in many respects the early stages of development of primitive species. The fully formed egg-cylinder, however, resembles that of the mouse and the formation of foetal membranes is also similar to that in Muridae. It is concluded that in the bank vole and also in other rodents, the extra-embryonic ectoderm of the egg-cylinder is derived from the polar trophoblast rather than from the inner cell mass.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Adaptive evolution during an ongoing range expansion: the invasive bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Ireland.

    PubMed

    White, Thomas A; Perkins, Sarah E; Heckel, Gerald; Searle, Jeremy B

    2013-06-01

    Range expansions are extremely common, but have only recently begun to attract attention in terms of their genetic consequences. As populations expand, demes at the wave front experience strong genetic drift, which is expected to reduce genetic diversity and potentially cause 'allele surfing', where alleles may become fixed over a wide geographical area even if their effects are deleterious. Previous simulation models show that range expansions can generate very strong selective gradients on dispersal, reproduction, competition and immunity. To investigate the effects of range expansion on genetic diversity and adaptation, we studied the population genomics of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Ireland. The bank vole was likely introduced in the late 1920s and is expanding its range at a rate of ~2.5 km/year. Using genotyping-by-sequencing, we genotyped 281 bank voles at 5979 SNP loci. Fourteen sample sites were arranged in three transects running from the introduction site to the wave front of the expansion. We found significant declines in genetic diversity along all three transects. However, there was no evidence that sites at the wave front had accumulated more deleterious mutations. We looked for outlier loci with strong correlations between allele frequency and distance from the introduction site, where the direction of correlation was the same in all three transects. Amongst these outliers, we found significant enrichment for genic SNPs, suggesting the action of selection. Candidates for selection included several genes with immunological functions and several genes that could influence behaviour.

  1. [Helminth fauna of the bank vole myodes glareolus (Schreber, 1780) in the Kizhi Archipelago].

    PubMed

    Bugmyrin, S V; Korosov, A V; Bespyatova, L A; Ieshko, E P

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed to examine the specific features of the helminth fauna in insular populations of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in the north of the species range. The material was collected in and nearby the Kizhi Archipelago (Lake Onega, 62°1' N 35°12' E) during August 1997, 2005-2007, 2012 and 2013. Small mammals were trapped on 23 islands (varying from 2 to 15,000 ha) and on the mainland. Helminthological met- hods were applied to examine 301 specimens of M glareolus. Fourteen helminth species were found: trematodes--Skrjabinoplagiorchis vigisi; cestodes--Paranoplocephala omphalodes, P. gracilis, Catenotaenia henttoneni, Taenia mustelae, Cladotaenia globife- ra, Spirometra erinacei; nematodes--Trichocephalus muris, Aonchotheca murissylvatici, Hepaticola hepatica, Heligmosomum mixtum, Heligmosomoides glareoli, Longistriata minuta, Syphacia petrusewiczi. The parasites S. vigisi, S. erinaci, H. hepatica and T. muris were identified in the bank vole in Karelia for the first time. Significant differences were detected between the helminth faunas of local insular populations of the bank vole. A distinctive feature of all small islands was that samples from them lacked the widespread pa- rasitic nematode Heligmosomum mixtum. The studies have confirmed the general trends observed in the parasite fauna of most isolated populations of small mammals: a poorer species diversity and high infestation rates with certain species of parasites. The Kizhi Archipelago is characterized by the specific high abundance of regionally rare parasite species (H hepatica, A. murissylvatici), and by the absence of common parasites (H. mixtum, H. glareoli).

  2. Indirect food web interactions mediated by predator-rodent dynamics: relative roles of lemmings and voles.

    PubMed

    Ims, Rolf A; Henden, John-André; Thingnes, Anders V; Killengreen, Siw T

    2013-01-01

    Production cycles in birds are proposed as prime cases of indirect interactions in food webs. They are thought to be driven by predators switching from rodents to bird nests in the crash phase of rodent population cycles. Although rodent cycles are geographically widespread and found in different rodent taxa, bird production cycles appear to be most profound in the high Arctic where lemmings dominate. We hypothesized that this may be due to arctic lemmings inducing stronger predator responses than boreal voles. We tested this hypothesis by estimating predation rates in dummy bird nests during a rodent cycle in low-Arctic tundra. Here, the rodent community consists of a spatially variable mix of one lemming (Lemmus lemmus) and two vole species (Myodes rufocanus and Microtus oeconomus) with similar abundances. In consistence with our hypothesis, lemming peak abundances predicted well crash-phase nest predation rates, whereas the vole abundances had no predictive ability. Corvids were found to be the most important nest predators. Lemmings appear to be accessible to the whole predator community which makes them particularly powerful drivers of food web dynamics.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Varying impacts of cervid, hare and vole browsing on growth and survival of boreal tree seedlings.

    PubMed

    Lyly, Mari; Klemola, Tero; Koivisto, Elina; Huitu, Otso; Oksanen, Lauri; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2014-01-01

    The negative impacts of mammalian herbivores on plants have been studied quite extensively, but typically with only a single herbivore species at a time. We conducted a novel comparison of the browsing effects of voles, hares and cervids upon the growth and survival of boreal tree seedlings. This was done by excluding varying assemblages of these key mammalian herbivores from silver birch, Scots pine and Norway spruce seedlings for 3 years. We hypothesised that the pooled impacts of the herbivores would be greater than that of any individual group, while the cervids would be the group with the strongest impact. Growth of birch seedlings advanced when cervids were excluded whereas growth of seedlings accessible to cervids was hindered. Survival of all seedlings was lowest when they were accessible to voles and voles plus hares, whereas cervids seemed not to influence seedling survival. Our results show that the impact of herbivores upon woody plants can be potent in the boreal forests, but the mechanism and strength of this link depends on the tree and herbivore species in question. Risk of abated stand regeneration appears highest for the deciduous birch, though there is need for seedling protection also in coniferous stands. The clear cervid-mediated growth limitation of birch also indicates potential for a trophic cascade effect by mammalian top predators, currently returning to boreal ecosystems.

  7. Chronic exposure to gamma radiation of wild populations of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus).

    PubMed

    Mihok, Steve

    2004-01-01

    Free-ranging, wild meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were exposed to gamma radiation from a (137)Cs irradiator in a series of experiments conducted on six 1-ha meadows within a mixed deciduous forest in Manitoba, Canada. Over a period of 1-1.5 years in each of three experiments, vole populations were monitored with capture-mark-release techniques at nominal exposure rates of 200x, 9000x and 40,000x background. No effects on population or individual characteristics were detected up to the highest exposure rate (81 mGy/d). At this level, third generation voles were monitored up to a lifetime dose of about 5.7 Gy, at a measured dose rate of 44 mGy/d. Smaller numbers of overwintered animals survived and reproduced normally at doses up to 10 Gy. These results are discussed in terms of low-LET, external chronic radiation effects on rodents in the laboratory and the field, relative to current views on appropriate benchmarks for the protection of biota.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Vegetation associations in a rare community type - Coastal tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.; Allain, L.; Allen, C.

    2000-01-01

    The coastal prairie ecoregion is located along the northwestern coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico in North America. Because of agricultural and urban development, less than 1% of the original 3.4 million ha of this ecosystem type remains in native condition, making it one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America. The objective of this study was to characterize the vegetation and environmental relationships in a relatively pristine example of lowland coastal prairie in order to provide information for use in conservation and restoration. The study area was a small, isolated prairie located near the southern boundary of the coastal prairie region. Samples were taken along three parallel transects that spanned the prairie. Parameters measured included species composition, elevation, soil characteristics, indications of recent disturbance, above-ground biomass, and light penetration through the plant canopy. Fifty-four species were found in the 107 0.25-m2 plots and a total of 96 species were found at the site. Only two non-native species occurred in sample plots, both of which were uncommon. Cluster analysis was used to identify six vegetation groups, which were primarily dominated by members of the Poaceae or Asteraceae. A conspicuous, natural edaphic feature of the prairie was the presence of 'mima' mounds, which are raised areas approximately 0.5 to 1 m high and 5 to 10 m across. Indicator species analysis revealed a significant number of species that were largely restricted to mounds and these were predominately upland and colonizing species. Ordination was performed using nonmetric, multidimensional scaling. The dominant environmental influence on species composition was found to be elevation and a host of correlated factors including those associated with soil organic content. A secondary group of factors, consisting primarily of soil cations, was found to explain additional variance among plots. Overall, this prairie was found to contain plant

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Causes of mortality and temporal patterns in breeding season survival of lesser prairie-chickens in shinnery oak prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.

    2015-01-01

    Baseline survival and mortality data for lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) are lacking for shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) prairies. An understanding of the causes and timing of mortalities and breeding season survival in this ecoregion is important because shinnery oak prairies have hotter and drier environmental conditions, as well as different predator communities compared with the northern distribution of the species. The need for this information has become more pressing given the recent listing of the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. We investigated causes of mortality and survival of lesser prairie-chickens during the 6-month breeding season (1 Mar–31 Aug) of 2008–2011 on the Texas Southern High Plains, USA. We recorded 42 deaths of radiotagged individuals, and our results indicated female mortalities were proportionate among avian and mammalian predation and other causes of mortality but survival was constant throughout the 6-month breeding season. Male mortalities were constant across avian and mammalian predation and other causes, but more mortalities occurred in June compared with other months. Male survival also varied by month, and survival probabilities were lower in June–August. We found predation on leks was rare, mortalities from fence collisions were rare, female survival did not decrease during incubation or brood-rearing, and survival was influenced by drought. Our study corroborated recent studies that suggested lesser prairie-chickens are living at the edge of their physiological tolerances to environmental conditions in shinnery oak prairies. As such, lesser prairie-chickens in our study experienced different patterns of mortality and survival that we attributed to hot, dry conditions during the breeding season. Specifically, and converse to other studies on lesser prairie-chicken survival and mortality, drought positively influenced female survival because females did not incubate eggs

  16. 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

  17. Environmental change and disease dynamics: effects of intensive forest management on Puumala hantavirus infection in boreal bank vole populations.

    PubMed

    Voutilainen, Liina; Savola, Sakeri; Kallio, Eva Riikka; Laakkonen, Juha; Vaheri, Antti; Vapalahti, Olli; Henttonen, Heikki

    2012-01-01

    Intensive management of Fennoscandian forests has led to a mosaic of woodlands in different stages of maturity. The main rodent host of the zoonotic Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) is the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), a species that can be found in all woodlands and especially mature forests. We investigated the influence of forest age structure on PUUV infection dynamics in bank voles. Over four years, we trapped small mammals twice a year in a forest network of different succession stages in Northern Finland. Our study sites represented four forest age classes from young (4 to 30 years) to mature (over 100 years) forests. We show that PUUV-infected bank voles occurred commonly in all forest age classes, but peaked in mature forests. The probability of an individual bank vole to be PUUV infected was positively related to concurrent host population density. However, when population density was controlled for, a relatively higher infection rate was observed in voles trapped in younger forests. Furthermore, we found evidence of a "dilution effect" in that the infection probability was negatively associated with the simultaneous density of other small mammals during the breeding season. Our results suggest that younger forests created by intensive management can reduce hantaviral load in the environment, but PUUV is common in woodlands of all ages. As such, the Fennoscandian forest landscape represents a significant reservoir and source of hantaviral infection in humans.

  18. Explaining bank vole cycles in southern Norway 1980-2004 from bilberry reports 1932-1977 and climate.

    PubMed

    Selås, Vidar

    2006-04-01

    Correlations between mast fruiting of bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and peak levels of Clethrionomys-voles have been reported from both Norway and Finland, but there has been a discussion whether this is a bottom-up or a top-down relationship. In a multiple regression model, 65% of the variation in a bilberry production index calculated from game reports from southern Norway 1932-1977 could be explained by the berry index of the two preceding years and climate factors acting during key stages of the flowering cycle. High vole populations in previous years did not contribute to explain the fluctuation in berry production. I used the selected model and climate data to predict bilberry production for the period 1978-2004. Predicted berry indices of the current and previous year explained 38% and the total amount of precipitation in May-June explained 16% of the variation in a log-transformed snap-trapping index of bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus 1980-2004. The vole index was not related to any of the climate variables used to predict berry production. This pattern supports the hypothesis that vole cycles are generated by changes in plant chemistry due to climate-synchronized mast fruiting.

  19. Marl Prairie Vegetation Response to 20th Century Hydrologic Change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bernhardt, Christopher E.; Willard, Debra A.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted geochronologic and pollen analyses from sediment cores collected in solution holes within marl prairies of Big Cypress National Preserve to reconstruct vegetation patterns of the last few centuries and evaluate the stability and longevity of marl prairies within the greater Everglades ecosystem. Based on radiocarbon dating and pollen biostratigraphy, these cores contain sediments deposited during the last ~300 years and provide evidence for plant community composition before and after 20th century water management practices altered flow patterns throughout the Everglades. Pollen evidence indicates that pre-20th century vegetation at the sites consisted of sawgrass marshes in a peat-accumulating environment; these assemblages indicate moderate hydroperiods and water depths, comparable to those in modern sawgrass marshes of Everglades National Park. During the 20th century, vegetation changed to grass-dominated marl prairies, and calcitic sediments were deposited, indicating shortening of hydroperiods and occurrence of extended dry periods at the site. These data suggest that the presence of marl prairies at these sites is a 20th century phenomenon, resulting from hydrologic changes associated with water management practices.

  20. 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

  1. People Caring about People--The Prairie Housing Cooperative.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kappel, Bruce; Wetherow, David

    1986-01-01

    The Prairie Housing Cooperative has purchased 20 homes which provide 60 people (12 of whom are mentally retarded) with decent affordable housing in five neighborhoods in Winnipeg, Canada. Needed special services are provided by the non-handicapped members when possible or by outside contracts. (DB)

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. The Prairie State Games: Organization of Medical Care.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noble, H. Bates; And Others

    1988-01-01

    This description of the medical services provided at the Prairie State Games (Illinois), an Olympic-style sports festival, suggests guidelines for providing medical care at large-scale athletic events and covers such areas as medical organization, personnel, medical facilities, communication, equipment, and injury care. A summary of injuries over…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. Temporal variation in individual factors associated with hantavirus infection in bank voles during an epizootic: implications for Puumala virus transmission dynamics.

    PubMed

    Tersago, Katrien; Verhagen, Ron; Leirs, Herwig

    2011-06-01

    Puumala virus (PUUV), the causal agent of nephropathia epidemica in humans, is one of the many hantaviruses included in the list of emerging pathogens. Hantavirus infection is not distributed evenly among PUUV reservoir hosts (i.e., bank voles [Myodes glareolus]). Besides environmental factors and local population features, individual characteristics play an important role in vole PUUV infection risk. Identifying the relative importance of these individual characteristics can provide crucial information on PUUV transmission processes. In the present study, bank voles were monitored during the nephropathia epidemica outbreak of 2005 in Belgium. Vole sera were tested for presence of immunoglobulin G against PUUV, and a logistic mixed model was built to investigate the temporal variation in individual characteristics and their relative importance to PUUV infection risk in bank voles. Relative risk calculations for individual vole characteristics related to PUUV infection in the reservoir host show that reproductive activity dominates infection risk. The gender effect is only found in reproductively active voles, where reproductively active males have the highest infection risk. Results also revealed a clear seasonal variation in the importance of reproductive activity linked to PUUV infection. In contrast to the main effect found in other trapping sessions, no difference in infection risk ratio was found between reproductively active and nonactive voles in the spring period. Combined with increased infection risk for the reproductively nonactive group at that time, these results indicate a shift in the transmission process due to changes in bank vole behavior, physiology, or climate conditions. Hence, our results suggest that mathematical models should take into account seasonal shifts in transmission mechanisms. When these results are combined with the seasonal changes in population structure during the epizootic period, we identify vole reproductive activity and

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. [MORPHOLOGICAL PECULIARITIES OF THE LIVER IN COMMON VOLES INHABITING THE TERRITORY OF BORODINO COAL DEPOSITS AND RECULTIVATION AREAS].

    PubMed

    Shinkarenko, Ye A; Savchenko, A A

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to study the morphological changes of liver in common voles (Microtus arvalis Pallas) inhabiting the territories of brown coal deposition in Borodino coal opencast (Krasnoyarsk region) and on reclaimed dumps 10 and 20 years after its production. Trapping of the voles (10 animals in each group) living under natural conditions on each territory, was conducted for 30 days. Histological examination of the liver in all animals demonstrated degenerative changes and necrosis of hepatocytes, expressed to a various degree. Morphometric study has shown that the greatest changes in the structure of hepatic stroma and parenchyma took place in voles that lived in the dumps of coal, reclaimed 10 years before. It was found that in the animals of this group, the thickness of hepatocyte plates was increased 1.3 times, while the specific volume of necrotic hepatocytes was twice as much as this parameter in the animals that lived on intact territory.

  17. [Ecological aspects of infection of bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber, 1780) with Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) evotomys Hadwen, 1912].

    PubMed

    Karbowiak, G; Wita, I

    2001-01-01

    The studies were carried out in Kosewo Górne in the Mazurian District (North-East region of Poland), in September 1995, September 1996 and between May 1997 and June 1998 each month. The animals were trapped in live traps, and after study they were marked and released. The infection of trypanosomes was detected using microhaematocrit centrifugation technique and in blood smears. The intensity of infection had the range from 50 to 150 000 individuals in 1 ml of blood. The maximal prevalence of infection was in August and September and there were 45% and 38% of infected voles respectively. The infection was detected also in May 1998, in other months the prevalence had low level. There were no individuals of bank vole infected in succeeding months. The females of bank vole are more often infected with trypanosomes than males.

  18. [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.

  19. [MORPHOLOGICAL PECULIARITIES OF THE LIVER IN COMMON VOLES INHABITING THE TERRITORY OF BORODINO COAL DEPOSITS AND RECULTIVATION AREAS].

    PubMed

    Shinkarenko, Ye A; Savchenko, A A

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to study the morphological changes of liver in common voles (Microtus arvalis Pallas) inhabiting the territories of brown coal deposition in Borodino coal opencast (Krasnoyarsk region) and on reclaimed dumps 10 and 20 years after its production. Trapping of the voles (10 animals in each group) living under natural conditions on each territory, was conducted for 30 days. Histological examination of the liver in all animals demonstrated degenerative changes and necrosis of hepatocytes, expressed to a various degree. Morphometric study has shown that the greatest changes in the structure of hepatic stroma and parenchyma took place in voles that lived in the dumps of coal, reclaimed 10 years before. It was found that in the animals of this group, the thickness of hepatocyte plates was increased 1.3 times, while the specific volume of necrotic hepatocytes was twice as much as this parameter in the animals that lived on intact territory. PMID:26601468

  20. [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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Molecular characterization of hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) from Taiwan voles (Microtus kikuchii).

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yi-Fan; Chou, Chung-Hsi; Lin, En-Chung; Chiu, Chih-Hsien

    2011-02-01

    Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a transcription factor that senses and adapts cells to hypoxic environmental conditions. HIF-1 is composed of an oxygen-regulated α subunit (HIF-1α) and a constitutively expressed β subunit (HIF-1β). Taiwan voles (Microtus kikuchii) are an endemic species in Taiwan, found only in mountainous areas greater than 2000m above sea level. In this study, the full-length HIF-1α cDNA was cloned and sequenced from liver tissues of Taiwan voles. We found that HIF-1α of Taiwan voles had high sequence similarity to HIF-1α of other species. Sequence alignment of HIF-1α functional domains indicated basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH), PER-ARNT-SIM (PAS) and C-terminal transactivation (TAD-C) domains were conserved among species, but sequence variations were found between the oxygen-dependent degradation domains (ODDD). To measure Taiwan vole HIF-1α responses to hypoxia, animals were challenged with cobalt chloride, and HIF-1α mRNA and protein expression in brain, lung, heart, liver, kidney, and muscle was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Upon induction of hypoxic stress with cobalt chloride, an increase in HIF-1α mRNA levels was detected in lung, heart, kidney, and muscle tissue. In contrast, protein expression levels showed greater variation between individual animals. These results suggest that the regulation of HIF-1α may be important to the Taiwan vole under cobalt chloride treatments. But more details regarding the evolutionary effect of environmental pressure on HIF-1α primary sequence, HIF-1α function and regulation in Taiwan voles remain to be identified.

  6. Beech Fructification and Bank Vole Population Dynamics--Combined Analyses of Promoters of Human Puumala Virus Infections in Germany.

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  8. The importance of bank vole density and rainy winters in predicting nephropathia epidemica incidence in Northern Sweden.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Hussein; Olsson, Gert; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Hjertqvist, Marika; Magnusson, Magnus; Löfvenius, Mikaell Ottosson; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae, genus Hantavirus) are rodent-borne viruses causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia. In Europe, there are more than 10,000 yearly cases of nephropathia epidemica (NE), a mild form of HFRS caused by Puumala virus (PUUV). The common and widely distributed bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is the host of PUUV. In this study, we aim to explain and predict NE incidence in boreal Sweden using bank vole densities. We tested whether the number of rainy days in winter contributed to variation in NE incidence. We forecast NE incidence in July 2013-June 2014 using projected autumn vole density, and then considering two climatic scenarios: 1) rain-free winter and 2) winter with many rainy days. Autumn vole density was a strong explanatory variable of NE incidence in boreal Sweden in 1990-2012 (R2 = 79%, p<0.001). Adding the number of rainy winter days improved the model (R2 = 84%, p<0.05). We report for the first time that risk of NE is higher in winters with many rainy days. Rain on snow and ground icing may block vole access to subnivean space. Seeking refuge from adverse conditions and shelter from predators, voles may infest buildings, increasing infection risk. In a rainy winter scenario, we predicted 812 NE cases in boreal Sweden, triple the number of cases predicted in a rain-free winter in 2013/2014. Our model enables identification of high risk years when preparedness in the public health sector is crucial, as a rainy winter would accentuate risk.

  9. 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

  10. A Critical Review of Assumptions About the Prairie Dog as a Keystone Species.

    PubMed

    Kotliar; Baker; Whicker; Plumb

    1999-09-01

    / Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been labeled as keystone species because of their influence on biological diversity and ecosystem function. However, the validity of several assumptions used to support keystone status is questionable. We review the strength of the evidence and the magnitude of the prairie dog's effects on ecosystem structure and function. We use this review to reevaluate the keystone role for prairie dogs. Our goal is to encourage sound management of the prairie dog ecosystem by improving the ecological foundation of their keystone status. Our review confirms that prairie dogs affect a number of ecosystem-level functions but that their influence on prairie vertebrates may be less than previously suggested. Species richness and abundance patterns were variable among plants, mammals, and birds and were not consistently higher on prairie dog colonies compared to uncolonized areas. In addition, only nine of the 208 species listed in the literature as observed on or near prairie dogs colonies had quantitative evidence of dependence on prairie dogs. Abundance data indicated opportunistic use of colonies for an additional 20 species. A total of 117 species may have some relationship with prairie dogs, but we lacked sufficient data to evaluate the strength of this relationship. The remaining 62 species may be accidental or alien to the system. Despite our conclusion that some prairie dog functions may be smaller than previously assumed, collectively these functions are quite large compared to other herbivores in the system. We suggest that prairie dogs also provide some unique functions not duplicated by any other species and that continued decline of prairie dogs may lead to a substantial erosion of biological diversity and landscape heterogeneity across prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. Thus, we concur that keystone status for prairie dogs is appropriate and may aid conservation efforts that help protect species dependent on prairie dogs and support

  11. Is reproduction costly? No increase of oxidative damage in breeding bank voles.

    PubMed

    Ołdakowski, Łukasz; Piotrowska, Zaneta; Chrzaácik, Katarzyna M; Sadowska, Edyta T; Koteja, Paweł; Taylor, Jan R E

    2012-06-01

    According to life-history theory, investment in reproduction is associated with costs, which should appear as decreased survival to the next reproduction or lower future reproductive success. It has been suggested that oxidative stress may be the proximate mechanism of these trade-offs. Despite numerous studies of the defense against reactive oxygen species (ROS) during reproduction, very little is known about the damage caused by ROS to the tissues of wild breeding animals. We measured oxidative damage to lipids and proteins in breeding bank vole (Myodes glareolus) females after rearing one and two litters, and in non-breeding females. We used bank voles from lines selected for high maximum aerobic metabolic rates (which also had high resting metabolic rates and food intake) and non-selected control lines. The oxidative damage was determined in heart, kidneys and skeletal muscles by measuring the concentration of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, as markers of lipid peroxidation, and carbonyl groups in proteins, as markers of protein oxidation. Surprisingly, we found that the oxidative damage to lipids in kidneys and muscles was actually lower in breeding than in non-breeding voles, and it did not differ between animals from the selected and control lines. Thus, contrary to our predictions, females that bred suffered lower levels of oxidative stress than those that did not reproduce. Elevated production of antioxidant enzymes and the protective role of sex hormones may explain the results. The results of the present study do not support the hypothesis that oxidative damage to tissues is the proximate mechanism of reproduction costs.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Self-grooming induced by sexual chemical signals in male root voles (Microtus oeconomus Pallas).

    PubMed

    Yu, Honghao; Yue, Pengpeng; Sun, Ping; Zhao, Xinquan

    2010-03-01

    Sniffing is one-way animals collect chemical signals, and many males self-groom when they encounter the odor of opposite-sex conspecifics. We tested the hypothesis that sexual chemical signals from females can induce self-grooming behavior in male root voles (Microtus oeconomus Pallas). Specifically, we investigated the sniffing pattern of male root voles in response to odors from the head, trunk, and tail areas of lactating and non-lactating females. The self-grooming behavior of males in response to female individual odorant stimuli was documented, and the relationship between self-grooming and sniffing of odors from the head, trunk, and tails areas were analyzed. Sniffing pattern results showed that males are most interested in odors from the head area, and more interested in odors from the tail as compared to the trunk area. Males displayed different sniffing and self-grooming behaviors when they were exposed to odors from lactating females as compared to non-lactating females. Males also spent more time sniffing and engaged in more sniffing behaviors in response to odors from the lactating females' tail area as compared to the same odors from non-lactating females. Similarly, males spent more time self-grooming and engaged in more self-grooming behaviors in the presence of individual odors from lactating females as compared to individual odors from non-lactating females. Partial correlation analyses revealed that the frequency of self-grooming was significantly correlated with the frequency of tail area sniffs. Results from this experiment suggest that sexual attractiveness of lactating females is stronger than that of non-lactating females. Furthermore, the partial correlation analysis demonstrated that self-grooming in males is induced by odors from the tail area of females. Collectively, these results support the hypothesis that sexual chemical signals from females can induce self-grooming behavior in male root voles. Self-grooming may also reflect the

  15. Mammalian predator-prey interaction in a fragmented landscape: weasels and voles.

    PubMed

    Haapakoski, Marko; Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu

    2013-12-01

    The relationship between predators and prey is thought to change due to habitat loss and fragmentation, but patterns regarding the direction of the effect are lacking. The common prediction is that specialized predators, often more dependent on a certain habitat type, should be more vulnerable to habitat loss compared to generalist predators, but actual fragmentation effects are unknown. If a predator is small and vulnerable to predation by other larger predators through intra-guild predation, habitat fragmentation will similarly affect both the prey and the small predator. In this case, the predator is predicted to behave similarly to the prey and avoid open and risky areas. We studied a specialist predator's, the least weasel, Mustela nivalis nivalis, spacing behavior and hunting efficiency on bank voles, Myodes glareolus, in an experimentally fragmented habitat. The habitat consisted of either one large habitat patch (non-fragmented) or four small habitat patches (fragmented) with the same total area. The study was replicated in summer and autumn during a year with high avian predation risk for both voles and weasels. As predicted, weasels under radio-surveillance killed more voles in the non-fragmented habitat which also provided cover from avian predators during their prey search. However, this was only during autumn, when the killing rate was also generally high due to cold weather. The movement areas were the same for both sexes and both fragmentation treatments, but weasels of both sexes were more prone to take risks in crossing the open matrix in the fragmented treatment. Our results support the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation may increase the persistence of specialist predator and prey populations if predators are limited in the same habitat as their prey and they share the same risk from avian predation. PMID:23728797

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The effects of fasting on some physiological parameters in the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus.

    PubMed

    Nagy, T R; Pistole, D H

    1988-01-01

    1. The effect of fasting on respiratory quotient (RQ), metabolic rate, blood glucose, liver glycogen, carcass lipids, interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT), and body temperature was investigated in Microtus pennsylvanicus. 2. The utilization of carbohydrates during fasting leads to a severe hypoglycemia within 6 hr. 3. The hypoglycemia does not seem to stem from the inability to mobilize glycogen or fat reserves. 4. The hypoglycemic state may be responsible for the decreased SMR and body temperature. 5. The predominant use of carbohydrates may stem from a high metabolic rate coupled with a low calorie diet which forces the voles to feed frequently.

  1. [Complex estimation of thyroid gland state in tundra voles, inhabiting the natural radioactive polluted sites].

    PubMed

    Ermakova, O V; Raskosha, O V

    2005-01-01

    Behow is presented the complex state of thyroid gland of tundra voles living in high level natural radioactivity conditions (Ukhta region of Komi Republic) by morphological and functional criteria. High sensitivity of thyroid gland under natural chronic irradiation of whole organism is noticed. The essential changes in the morphological structure and in the hormone level of the thyroid gland are found in animals, which live for a long time in the conditions of the radioactive pollution. It is determined, that the inside population processes influence on the structure and on the funcition of the thyroid gland.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. [Genetic variation and phylogeography of the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Arvicolinae, Rodentia) in Russia with special reference to the introgression of the mtDNA of a closely related species, red-backed vole (C. rutilus)].

    PubMed

    Abramson, N I; Rodchenkova, E N; Kostygov, A Iu

    2009-05-01

    Totally, 294 bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) and 18 red-backed voles (C. rutilus) from 62 sites of European Russia were studied. Incomplete sequences (967 bp) of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were determined for 93 C. glareolus individuals from 56 sites and 18 C. rutilus individuals from the same habitats. Analysis of the cytochrome b gene variation has demonstrated that practically the entire European part of Russia, Ural, and a considerable part of Western Europe are inhabited by bank voles of the same phylogroup, displaying an extremely low genetic differentiation. Our data suggest that C. glareolus very rapidly colonized over the presently occupied territory in the post-Pleistocene period from no more than two (central European and western European) refugia for ancestral populations with a small efficient size. PCR typing of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene allowed us to assess the scale of mtDNA introgression from a closely related species, C. rutilus, and to outline the geographical zone of this introgression. Comparison with the red-backed vole haplotypes in the habitats shared by both species favors the hypothesis of an ancient hybridization event (mid-Holocene) and a subsequent introgression. These results suggest that the hybridization took place in the southern and middle Pre-Ural region. PMID:19534420

  12. Extensive lesions of monkeypox in a prairie dog (Cynomys sp).

    PubMed

    Langohr, I M; Stevenson, G W; Thacker, H L; Regnery, R L

    2004-11-01

    Monkeypox with extensive lesions was diagnosed in a prairie dog that was involved in a recent human outbreak of monkeypox in the Midwestern United States. Gross lesions included oral ulcers, pulmonary consolidation, enlarged cervical and thoracic lymph nodes, and multifocal, small, white umbilicated plaques in the gastrointestinal wall. Microscopic lesions were extensive in the lungs and consisted of fibrinonecrotic bronchopneumonia with vasculitis and poorly defined eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies in cells thought to be alveolar epithelial cells, histiocytes, and fibroblasts. Multifocal necrotizing lesions, often accompanied by myxedema, were also present in most of the other examined organs. Aggregates of pox viral particles were observed within lesions by transmission electron microscopy. Monkeypox virus infection was confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and virus culture at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This report highlights the difficulties of rapid diagnosis of exotic or emerging diseases and further substantiates the prairie dog as an animal model of monkeypox.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Ectoparasitic insects and mites on Yunnan red-backed voles (Eothenomys miletus) from a localized area in southwest China.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xian-Guo; Speakman, John R; Dong, Wen-Ge; Men, Xing-Yuan; Qian, Ti-Jun; Wu, Dian; Qin, Feng; Song, Wen-Yu

    2013-10-01

    Ectoparasitic insects and mites on Yunnan red-backed voles (Eothenomys miletus) in Dali prefecture, Yunnan Province, southwest China, were studied between 2003 and 2004. In total, 34,389 individuals of 86 species of ectoparasitic insects (seven species of fleas and five species of sucking lice) and mites (23 species of gamasid mites and 51 species of chigger mites) were collected from 916 individual hosts. The diversity of ectoparasites on this single rodent species in such a small area was much higher than in previous reports, which concerned more host species and greater geographical areas. The majority of the ectoparasites were chigger mites, which accounted for 59.3% of the parasite species and 87.4% of the individual parasites. Most voles harbored parasites with an overall prevalence (P) of 82.5% and mean abundance (MA) of 37.5 parasites per host. The dispersion coefficient (C) and patchiness index (m*/m) were used to study the spatial patterns of the seven dominant parasite species, and all seven had aggregated distributions. The species abundance distribution of the ectoparasites on the vole was fitted by Preston's lognormal distribution (R (2) = 0.82), and the total expected parasite species was estimated from this plot as 167 species. Yunnan red-backed voles harbor many ectoparasites as revealed by examination of a large host population. Future field investigations should sample large numbers of host individuals to assess ectoparasite populations.

  1. Basal metabolic rate and organ size in Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii): Effects of photoperiod, temperature and diet quality.

    PubMed

    Song, Zhi-Gang; Wang, De-Hua

    2006-12-30

    This study examined the effects of photoperiod (long day [16 Light:8 Dark] and short day [8 Light:16 Dark]), temperature (cold [5 degrees C] and warm [23 degrees C]), and diet quality (high-fiber diet [36% neutral-detergent fiber (NDF)] and low-fiber diet [23% NDF]) on basal metabolic rate (BMR), digestible energy intake, and organ size in the Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii). Cold increased BMR and showed a significant interaction with diet quality. Cold and short photoperiod increased intake of food and digestible energy. The high-fiber diet increased food intake, but decreased digestibility, and had no effects on digestible energy intake. Voles housed in the cold had heavier liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal segments but a lighter carcass. Segments of the gastrointestinal tract tended to be heavier when voles were fed the high-fiber diet. Voles housed in short photoperiod had lighter heart and kidneys but heavier gut segments. With the effects of body mass on BMR and organs was removed, BMR was significantly related to the dry mass of heart, liver, kidneys and cecum. Digestible energy intake was significantly related to the dry mass of kidneys and stomach. These significant relationships were also detected after removing the effects of body mass, temperature, photoperiod and diet quality. There was also a significant correlation between BMR and digestible energy intake. Our results suggest that variations in BMR reflected the evolution of metabolic machinery that induces higher energy intakes. The data also support the assimilation capacity model of endothermy.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Chemical transport from paired agricultural and restored prairie watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schilling, K.E.

    2002-01-01

    A five-year record of streamflow and chemical sampling data was evaluated to assess the effects of large-scale prairie restoration on transport of NO3-N, Cl, and SO4 loads from paired 5000-ha watersheds located in Jasper County, Iowa. Water quality conditions monitored during land use conversion from row crop agriculture to native prairie in the Walnut Creek watershed were compared with a highly agricultural control watershed (Squaw Creek). Combining hydrograph separation with a load estimation program, baseflow and stormflow loads of NO3-N, Cl, and SO4 were estimated at upstream and downstream sites on Walnut Creek and a downstream site on Squaw Creek. Chemical export in both watersheds was found to occur primarily with baseflow, with baseflow transport greatest during the late summer and fall. Lower Walnut Creek watershed, which contained the restored prairie areas, exported less NO3-N and Cl compared with upper Walnut Creek and Squaw Creek watersheds. Average flow-weighted concentrations of NO3-N exceeded 10 mg/L in upper Walnut Creek and Squaw Creek, but were estimated to be 6.6 mg/L in lower Walnut Creek. Study results demonstrate the utility of partitioning loads into baseflow and stormflow components to identify sources of pollutant loading to streams.

  7. Urban geology of the Blackland Prairie: Problems, penalties, and prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, P.M. . Geology Dept.)

    1993-02-01

    Costs related to geologic and engineering problems approaches one hundred million dollars a year within the Blackland Prairie/Interstate-35 Corridor. Five major problems have been identified: expansive soils, erosion, flooding, slope instability, and the loss of mineral resources. Continued urbanization within the Blackland Prairie at rated averaging 162 square miles a year will undoubtedly increase the estimate of environmental costs. Three goals are proposed for solving or reducing this costs: (1) institute and enforce land-use and zoning controls in areas where severe problems have been identified, (2) adopt and enforce modern grading and building codes and modern flood plain ordinances and engineering studies, and (3) establish a clearinghouse for ordinances and engineering and geologic practice standards and reports that have proven effective in counteracting the problems within this geologic area and make them available for use by smaller municipalities. It is estimated that if such practices were instituted that well over 70 percent of the estimated costs to the residents of the Blackland Prairie could be eliminated.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Adaptive phylogeography: functional divergence between haemoglobins derived from different glacial refugia in the bank vole.

    PubMed

    Kotlík, Petr; Marková, Silvia; Vojtek, Libor; Stratil, Antonín; Slechta, Vlastimil; Hyršl, Pavel; Searle, Jeremy B

    2014-07-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Morphometrics as an Insight Into Processes Beyond Tooth Shape Variation in a Bank Vole Population

    PubMed Central

    Ledevin, Ronan; Quéré, Jean-Pierre; Renaud, Sabrina

    2010-01-01

    Phenotype variation is a key feature in evolution, being produced by development and the target of the screening by selection. We focus here on a variable morphological feature: the third upper molar (UM3) of the bank vole, aiming at identifying the sources of this variation. Size and shape of the UM3 occlusal surface was quantified in successive samples of a bank vole population. The first source of variation was the season of trapping, due to differences in the age structure of the population in turn affecting the wear of the teeth. The second direction of variation corresponded to the occurrence, or not, of an additional triangle on the tooth. This intra-specific variation was attributed to the space available at the posterior end of the UM3, allowing or not the addition of a further triangle.This size variation triggering the shape polymorphism is not controlled by the developmental cascade along the molar row. This suggests that other sources of size variation, possibly epigenetic, might be involved. They would trigger an important shape variation as side-effect by affecting the termination of the sequential addition of triangles on the tooth. PMID:21085584

  17. Proliferation and apoptosis in early molar morphogenesis-- voles as models in odontogenesis.

    PubMed

    Setkova, Jana; Lesot, Herve; Matalova, Eva; Witter, Kirsti; Matulova, Petra; Misek, Ivan

    2006-01-01

    Proliferation and apoptosis play crucial roles in the development of multicellular organisms. Their precise balance is necessary for tissue homeostasis throughout life. The developing dentition is a suitable model to study proliferation and apoptosis during embryogenesis, but the corresponding studies have been carried out principally in the mouse. The present study aimed to examine proliferation and apoptosis in the vole (Microtus sp., Rodentia) during the early morphogenesis of the first upper molar and compare it to what is known from the mouse. To this end, apoptosis and proliferation were investigated using histology and computer-aided 3D reconstruction. Mitoses accumulated predominantly in the developing cervical loop. Apoptosis during early odontogenesis showed highly specific spatio-temporal patterns in the dental epithelium. Apoptotic bodies were localised in non-dividing cell populations. They accumulated in the same places as described in the mouse: antemolar vestiges (ED 12.5 15.5), enamel knot (ED 14.5 15.5), stalk and palatally along the whole first molar tooth germ longitudinal axis (ED 15 - 15.5). Early tooth development in the field vole, including the distribution of apoptosis and mitosis, is very similar to that reported in the mouse, with the exception of the antemolar region. The microtine antemolar vestige is preserved longer than the murine one. It is conceivable that additional distinct differences in morphogenetic processes appear later in tooth development.

  18. [Reproduction of European bank vole (Myodes glareolus, Rodentia) under conditions of natural geochemical anomalies].

    PubMed

    Baĭtimirova, E A; Mamina, V P; Zhigal'skiĭ, O A

    2010-01-01

    Estimates of abundance, morpho-functional state of ovaries, potential and actual fecundity of European bank vole, Myodes glareolus, inhabiting the territories of natural geochemical anomalies that are situated over ultra-basic rock and have an excess content of chrome, nickel, and cobaltare obtained. The population adaptive response to extreme geochemical conditions that facilitates the species survival under unfavorable environmental conditions and is manifested through an increase in potential and actual fecundity, decline of pre-implantation mortality, and decrease in proportion of females with pre-implantation losses is revealed. It is shown that in anomalous areas the intensity of folliculogenesis in mature voles is independent of the population cycle phase. As for immature animals residing within geochemical anomalies, an increase in size and numbers of follicles in ovaries is observed which is indicative of maturation fastening. An increase in potential and actual fecundity, as well as changes in morpho-functional state of ovaries, can be interpreted as means of birth rate accelerating which is supposed to compensate high postnatal mortality and maintain population abundance.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Visual counts as an index of White-Tailed Prairie Dog density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Menkens, George E.; 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Measuring Animal Welfare within a Reintroduction: An Assessment of Different Indices of Stress in Water Voles Arvicola amphibius

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. 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

  10. The role of scent-marking in patchy and highly fragmented populations of the Cabrera vole (Microtus cabrerae Thomas, 1906).

    PubMed

    Gomes, Luis Alexandre Piteira; Mira, António Paulo Pereira; Barata, Eduardo Nuno

    2013-04-01

    Rodent scent-marking is often used for territorial defence and self-advertisement, and both functions often entail the continuous scent-marking of a large area with high costs. In species with highly-fragmented populations and low density, in which the likelihood of social encounters is low, the costs of continuous scent-marking might exceed the associated fitness benefits; therefore, less intensive scent-marking only to signal presence to the opposite sex may be used. This hypothesis was tested in captivity with the Cabrera vole, a species with highly fragmented and low-density populations. Firstly, to assess the unknown scent-marking behaviour of the Cabrera voles, we conducted an assay wherein voles could scent-mark a clean substrate. Both sexes marked with urine and faeces, but never with anogenital secretions, and the amount of scent-marks was not different between sexes. In the subsequent assay, voles of each sex were given the choice of scent-mark on clean substrates or on substrates previously scent-marked by males or females. Both sexes marked with urine a larger area on substrates pre-marked by the opposite sex than on substrates pre-marked by the same-sex and clean substrates; however, no differences were found in the frequency of fecal boli deposited on the three types of substrate, and no anogenital secretions were found. The clear preference of receivers to scent-mark with urine the substrate pre-marked by the opposite sex strongly suggests that Cabrera voles use urine scent-marking for inter-sexual communication, probably to increase mate-finding likelihood, rather than for territorial defense and/or self-advertisement.

  11. 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

  12. Effects of Prairie Reconstruction on Soil-Water and Groundwater Nutrient Concentrations, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prairie reconstruction is increasingly viewed as a viable best management practice for reducing nutrient losses in agricultural regions. At the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, IA, we are monitoring the effects of prairie reconstruction on subsurface water quality at a single sit...

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. Mapping prairie remnants on the Hempstead Plains, Long Island, New York.

    PubMed

    Neidich-Ryder, Carole; Kennelly, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    The Hempstead Plains, located in Nassau County, New York, contains remnants of the only naturally occurring prairie east of the Appalachian Mountains. It originally encompassed approximately 12,500 ha. Although the area receives higher amounts of rainfall for a typical tall-grass prairie ecosystem, approximately 114 cm of precipitation per year, its well-drained, dark-colored soil sited above glacial outwash, available natural seed bank, and history of fires enabled development of a tall-grass prairie. This study identified prairie remnants within the historical extent of the Hempstead Plains delineated by the 1928 soil survey from the United States Department of Agriculture. Image analysis of infrared color 8-bit orthophotographs was used for an unsupervised classification on a 156-ha primary study area containing a known prairie remnant, centered on the Red Golf Course at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. The resulting 16 classes were combined into six more general classes before undergoing an error assessment based on field and orthoimagery ground-truthing of 1,000 random points. As confirmed by site visits, analysis was generally able to distinguish prairie grass from non-native grasses using remote sensing, as native warm-season prairie grasses are dormant from late fall to early spring. Overall accuracy for the six classes was 89 %. Accuracy of the warm-season grass class was 81 % for producer's accuracy and 83 % for user's accuracy. This study identified additional sites containing warm-season grasses and potential prairie remnants in Nassau County. PMID:24415063

  16. Influence of shrub encroachment on the soil microbial community composition of remnant hill prairies.

    PubMed

    Yannarell, Anthony C; Menning, Sarah E; Beck, Alyssa M

    2014-05-01

    Hill prairies are remnant grasslands perched on the bluffs of major river valleys, and because their steep slopes make them unsuitable for traditional row crop agriculture, they have some of the lowest levels of anthropogenic disturbance of any prairie ecosystems in the Midwestern USA. However, many decades of fire suppression have allowed for shrub encroachment from the surrounding forests. While shrub encroachment of grasslands can modify soil respiration rates and nutrient storage, it is not known whether shrubs also alter the community composition of soil microorganisms. We conducted transect sampling of nine different hill prairie remnants showing varying degrees of shrub encroachment, and we used DNA-based community profiling (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) to characterize the composition of bacterial and fungal communities in the open prairie habitat, the shrub-encroached border, and the surrounding forest. While both bacterial and fungal communities showed statistically significant variation across these habitats, their predominant patterns were different. Bacterial communities of forest soils were distinct from those of the open prairie and the shrub-encroached areas, while fungal communities of the open prairie were distinct from those of the forest and the shrub-encroached border. Shrub encroachment significantly altered the community composition of soil fungal communities. Furthermore, fungal communities of heavily encroached prairie remnants more closely resembled those of the surrounding forest than those of lightly encroached prairies. Thus, shrub encroachment can cause soil fungi to shift from a "grassland" community to a "woody" community, with potential consequences for soil processes and plant-microbe interactions.

  17. 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...

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 78 FR 3454 - Prairie Island, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation; Notice of Docketing of Amendment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-16

    ... transfer spent fuel from Prairie Island Nuclear Station Units 1 and 2. Specifically, the amendment seeks to... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Prairie Island, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation; Notice of Docketing of...