ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (4): 344-353.DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201704004

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Effects of spatial and genetic distance on urine marking behavior in Mongolian gerbils at different life-history stages

DENG Ke, LIU Wei, WANG Dehua,ZHENG Xiuling   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Online:2017-11-13 Published:2017-10-24


邓可 刘伟 王德华 郑秀玲   

  1. 中国科学院动物研究所,农业虫害鼠害综合治理研究国家重点实验室
  • 通讯作者: 刘伟 E-mail:
  • 基金资助:
    国家自然科学基金资助项目 (31372211) ;中国科学院创新方向项目 (KSCX2-EW-N-005)

Abstract: Scent-marking is widespread among mammals and conveys various information to conspecifics, such as territoriality, social hierarchy and reproductive status. To investigate whether marking behavior is influenced by spatial proximity and kinship in Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), we collected data from a wild free-living population of Mongolian gerbils in Zhenglanqi, Xilingol League, Inner-Mongolia, China. Using the capture-mark-recapture method, we conducted urine-marking behavior tests between gerbils living in different social groups from April to October in 2014. The distance between burrow systems was calculated using the Pythagorean theorem, and pairwise genetic relatedness was estimated using microsatellite DNA markers by ML-RELATE software. Generalized linear mixed effects analysis revealed that neither spatial nor genetic distance had significant effects on the intensity of urine marking in males, and it was same for females during breeding season. However, during the food-hoarding season, the genetic distance significantly affected the intensity of urine marking in females, and there was a significant interaction between spatial and genetic distance. Our results imply that urine-marking behavior of Mongolian gerbils is influenced by kinship and spatial proximity, which may match the breeding or food-hoarding traits in Mongolian gerbils.

Key words: Life-history, Mark-recapture, Microsatellite DNA, Relatedness, Territoriality

摘要: 气味标记普遍存在于哺乳动物类群中,它能向同类传达领地占有、社会等级及繁殖状态等多种信息。2014年4月至10月,我们在内蒙古锡林郭勒正蓝旗对长爪沙鼠 (Meriones unguiculatus) 野外种群进行了标志重捕,采用中立场的方式测定了不同社群间同性别长爪沙鼠的尿标记行为。通过建立洞群样地坐标后用勾股弦方法计算群间距离,并用微卫星DNA分子标记估算个体间的亲缘系数,以探讨野生动物标记行为是否受个体间空间和遗传距离的影响。广义线性混合效应分析显示,雄鼠间的尿标记强度在繁殖期和贮食期受空间距离或遗传距离的影响均不显著。繁殖期雌鼠间的尿标记强度受空间或遗传距离的影响亦不明显,但在贮食期,遗传距离对雌鼠间标记的强度有显著影响,且遗传距离与空间距离对标记强度有明显的交互作用。本研究结果暗示亲缘关系和空间距离对长爪沙鼠的尿标记行为具有一定影响,这与长爪沙鼠的繁殖或贮食行为相适应。

关键词: 标志重捕, 生活史, 微卫星DNA, 亲缘系数, 领域性