Inbreeding's harmful consequences have been well documented under artificial conditions; however, studies under natural conditions are limited. I examined the effects of inbreeding on the fitness of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) in captivity and the field. In captivity, sibling and non-sibling pairs did not differ with regard to time to the first litter, litter size, or offspring weight. Another laboratory experiment examined these same variables in the following un-related pairs: non-inbred female/ male, inbred female/ male, non-inbred female/ inbred male, and inbred female/ non-inbred male. The only significant result was that the weaning weight of offspring born to non-inbred pairs was greater than offspring born to non-inbred female/ inbred male pairs. There also was no significant difference in the survival and reproduction of unrelated inbred and non-inbred voles released into semi-natural enclosures. This study did not find any evidence that inbred adults have lower fitness than non-inbred adults.
|Commitee:||Crist, Thomas O., Solomon, Nancy G.|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Inbreeding, Microtus ochrogaster, Prairie voles, Reproductive success, Semi-natural conditions, Survival|
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