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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2011

Authors: Hackländer, K; Zeitlhofer, C; Ceulemans, T; Suchentrunk, F

Title: Continentality affects body condition and size but not yearly reproductive output in female European hares (Lepus europaeus).

Source: Mamm Biol (76), 5 662-664.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Suchentrunk Franz

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology

Life history in reproductive pattern in hares are affected by ambient temperature. We hypothesized that European hares dwelling in areas of higher energy demands would have larger body sizes, larger fat depots and a delayed first reproduction. To test this assumption we compared yearly reproductive output as well as age, body size, body weight and body condition of female European hares from Belgium (temperate oceanic climate) and Lower Austria (temperate continental climate). Our results reveal that there was no effect of study site on annual reproductive output in female European hares. However, adult female hares from Belgium were significantly smaller and had significantly lower body condition in late autumn compared to the Lower Austrian sample, although Belgian individuals were actually older than Lower Austrians. These findings suggest that females in Belgium are more under an r-selection regime whereas Lower Austrian females might be more under K-selection within the r-K-continuum. (C) 2011 Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Saugetierkunde. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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