Genetic changes in a population of field-mice (Apodemus-Sylvaticus) during one winter

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Abstract

The ecological genetics of a population of fieldmice at the edge of a deciduous wood was studied over two years using starch-gel electrophoresis and mark-recapture techniques. Numbers fluctuated widely and the survival rates indicated a high degree of dispersal away from the grid in summer. In autumn 1974 a large influx of animals occurred when the adjacent fields were harvested. During the following winter significant changes in the phosphoglucomutase genotype frequency were observed, associated with a marked fall in numbers. Winter survival is normally good in Apodemus. These results are therefore of some interest. Either differential mortality or differential emigration could be responsible for the genetic changes. The former explanation is preferred in this situation. Fieldmice are known to exploit both field and wood habitats where they meet, and could be subject to differences in selection pressure in the two niches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume182
Issue numberJuly
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1977

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