*Mutagenesis Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, P.O. Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 27709, U.S.A.
Genetic changes in a population of fieldmice (Apodemus sylvaticus) during one winter
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 182, Issue 3, pages 281–289, July 1977
How to Cite
Brown, A. J. L. (1977), Genetic changes in a population of fieldmice (Apodemus sylvaticus) during one winter. Journal of Zoology, 182: 281–289. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1977.tb03910.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Accepted 27 September 1976
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.