Life, Vol. 13, Pages 1223: Influences of Maternal Weight and Geographic Factors on Offspring Traits of the Edible Dormouse in the NE of the Iberian Peninsula

Life, Vol. 13, Pages 1223: Influences of Maternal Weight and Geographic Factors on Offspring Traits of the Edible Dormouse in the NE of the Iberian Peninsula

Life doi: 10.3390/life13051223

Authors:
Silvia Míguez
Ignasi Torre
Antoni Arrizabalaga
Lídia Freixas

The main goal of this study was to analyze the reproductive patterns of edible dormouse (Glis glis) populations in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula using an 18-year period of data obtained from nest boxes collected between 2004 and 2021. The average litter size in Catalonia (Spain) was 5.5 ± 1.60 (range: 2–9, n = 131), with litter sizes between 5 and 7 pups as the more frequent. The overall mean weight in pink, grey and open eyes pups was 4.8 g/pup, 11.7 g/pup and 23.6 g/pup, respectively. No differences in offspring weights between sexes were found in any of the three age groups. Maternal body weight was positively associated with mean pup weight, whereas no correlation between the weight of the mothers and litter size was found. The trade-off between offspring number and size was not detected at birth. Regarding litter size variation across the geographic gradient (and their climatic gradient associated) from the southernmost populations of the Iberian Peninsula located in Catalonia to the Pyrenees region in Andorra, no evidence to suggest that geographic variables affect litter size was found, discarding (1) an investment in larger litters to compensate shorter seasons related to higher altitudes or northern latitudes, and (2) variation in litter size related to weather changes (e.g., temperature and precipitation) along latitudinal and/or altitudinal gradients.

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