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Israel Journal of Zoology
  Issue:  Volume 46, Number 4 / 2000
  Pages:  305 - 312
  URL:  Linking Options

METABOLIC RATE AND THERMOREGULATION IN THE MACEDONIANMOUSE MUS MACEDONICUS

ARIEL SHABTAY A1, ZEEV ARAD A1, ABRAHAM HAIM A2

A1 Department of Biology, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel
A2 Department of Biology, University of Haifa—Oranim, Qiryat Tiv’on 36006, Israel

Abstract:

The metabolic and thermoregulatory capacities of the Macedonian mouse (Mus macedonicus) of a population from a post-fire habitat on Mount Carmel, Israel, were studied. Post-fire habitats in the Mediterranean ecosystem of Mount Carmel are invaded by species that exist in the forest margins, including M. macedonicus, which established the largest mice population at early stages ofrecovery. Therefore, it was of great interest to study its thermo regulatory physiology. Mice were acclimated to a photoperiod of 12L:12D at an ambient temperature of 27C. The aim of this study was to reveal the physiological capacities of M. macedonicus that enable its invasion into the exposed, dry and hot post-fire habitats on Mount Carmel at the early stages of recovery. The results of our study show that M. macedonicus has a relatively low metabolicrate, which is also reflected in its relatively low food and energy consumption. Its thermoneutral zone is 32–37 C, with a high lower critical point, similar to desert-adapted rodent species. This species has a relatively high overall thermal conductance 0.295+0.04 ml O2.g–1.h–1.shivering thermogenesis capacity is within the range of other rodent species of a mesic origin, such as wood-mice. These physiological adaptations can partly explain its ability to cope with the challenges of post-fire habitats.


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