Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Emily C. Oaks


Emily C. Oaks


Keith L. Dixon


Ivan G. Palmblad


Field work for the study was conducted in Logan Canyon and the valley at the base of that canyon in Cache County, Utah, during the three summer months of both 1968 and 1969, Microtus pennsylvanicus, found only in the valley, inhabits wet marshy areas. Microtus longicaudus is found in mixed deciduous woods a long the Logan River in the canyon. Microtus richardsoni, which occurs only at the higher elevations, inhabits the subalpine meadows. Microtus montanus inhabits mesic grassy fields in both the valley and Logan Canyon and also inhabits a mixed deciduous woods and tall canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) growing adjacent to impounded waters in the canyon.

Foods eaten by Microtus pennsylvanicus and Microtus montanus were studied from analysis of stomach and caecal contents. Both species appear selective in their feeding habits. Plants eaten by Microtus montanus in larger percentages, than they occurred in the field, included Agropyron trachycaulum, Agropyron Smithii, Festuca elator, and Melilotys officinalis, whereas the very abundant Poa pratensis and Glyceria elata were eaten in very small amounts. Plants eaten by Microtus pennsylvanicus in larger amounts, than they were present in the field, included Agropyron trachycaulum, Phalaris arundinacea, and Equisetum kansanum; and the very abundant Carex nebraskensis, Carex lanuginosa, and Juncus balticus were eaten in lesser amounts.

Food preference tests for Microtus montanus, taken from a habitat composed primarily of Phalaris arundinacea, demonstrated that these voles eat large amounts of that grass not because they prefer it but because of its extremely high abundance



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