Gromov V.S. 2021. Reduced reproductive success in voles Microtus arvalis and Myodes glareolus: Male presence negatively affects offspring survival and their growth rates // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.20. No.1. P.11–18 [in English].
Vladimir S. Gromov [email@example.com], A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky pr. 33, Moscow 119071, Russia.
ABSTRACT. The effect of the presence or absence of the male on pup survival and pup growth was measured from birth through day 30 after birth in the common vole (Microtus arvalis) and the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). It was found that the presence of the male can result in some decrease in the offspring survival in both species under study. In the common vole, the growth rates of pups reared by single females were significantly higher than in the pups reared by both parents, and the presence of the sire negatively affected the growth rates of the young males. As for the bank vole, the presence of the male was found to have no effect on the growth rates of the young individuals. The results of the study indicate a decrease in reproductive success, and, accordingly, in fitness, of males of the species under study, especially in the common vole, if they choose a reproductive strategy based on pair bonding and biparental care. Possible factors favoring the formation of family groups and increasing individual indirect fitness in social (biparental) rodent species are discussed.
KEY WORDS: Microtus arvalis, Myodes glareolus, male presence, growth rate, offspring survival.