Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
The outcomes of social interactions may depend on the circumstances of the encounter. Using a variety of social and environmental cues, I tested the hypothesis that the responses of meadow voles to conspecifics would be affected by the context in which that encounter occurred. Chapter two describes experiments showing that unlike long-photoperiod (LP) voles, which prefer the top-scent donor to the bottom-scent donor of an over-mark, only some short-photoperiod (SP) males showed such preferences, and no SP females preferred the top-scent donor to the bottom-scent donor of an over-mark. Chapter three details experiments demonstrating that periods of food deprivation did not affect the over-marking behaviors of female meadow voles when they encountered the scent marks of female conspecifics.Chapter four details experiments showing that female but not male voles preferred the scent of an opposite-sex conspecific previously encountered in association with the scent of a mink compared to the scent of a non-associated opposite-sex conspecific.Chapter five describes experiments showing that 24 hours after a paired encounter with another female, female voles classified as winners spent more time in that section of the arena where the encounter took place. Chapter six describes experiments showing that male but not female voles were less likely to enter a path if it contained the scent of a same-sex conspecific. Collectively, the work elaborated in my dissertation suggest that meadow vole behavior was affected by the presence and identity of same- and opposite-sex conspecifics, predators, food availability, and the context in which voles are presented with this information.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Vlautin, Christian Thomas, "The Effect of Contextual Variables on Intraspecific Interactions and Space-Use in Meadow Voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 689.