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Gewählte Publikation:

Publikationstyp: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Dokumentart: Originalarbeit

Publikationsjahr: 2018

AutorInnen: Fauteux, D; Gauthier, G; Berteaux, D; Palme, R; Boonstra, R

Titel: High Arctic lemmings remain reproductively active under predator-induced elevated stress.

Quelle: Oecologia. 2018; 187(3):657-666

Autor/innen der Vetmeduni Vienna:

Palme Rupert,

Beteiligte Vetmed-Organisationseinheiten
Abteilung für Physiologie, Pathophysiologie und experimentelle Endokrinologie,

Non-consumptive effects of predation have rarely been assessed in wildlife populations even though their impact could be as important as lethal effects. Reproduction of individuals is one of the most important demographic parameters that could be affected by predator-induced stress, which in turn can have important consequences on population dynamics. We studied non-consumptive effects of predation on the reproductive activity (i.e., mating and fertilization) of a cyclic population of brown lemmings exposed to intense summer predation in the Canadian High Arctic. Lemmings were live-trapped, their reproductive activity (i.e., testes visible in males, pregnancy/lactation in females) assessed, and predators were monitored during the summers of 2014 and 2015 within a 9 ha predator-reduction exclosure delimited by a fence and covered by a net, and on an 11 ha control area. Stress levels were quantified non-invasively with fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM). We found that FCM levels of lemmings captured outside the predator exclosure (n = 50) were 1.6 times higher than inside (n = 51). The proportion of pregnant/lactating adult females did not differ between the two areas, nor did the proportion of adult scrotal males. We found that lemmings showed physiological stress reactions due to high predation risk, but had no sign of reduced mating activity or fertility. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis of reproductive suppression by predator-induced stress.

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