Date of this Version
Previous field studies in Virginia reported a longer breeding sea¬son in pine voles in maintained apple orchards than in abandoned orchards and attributed the difference to nutrition (Cengel et at. 1978, Noffsinger 1976). The maintained orchard was theorized to have better quantity and quality of forage in fall due to mowing, fertilizing and the presence of apple drops. Hasbrouck et a1. (1981) found adult male pine voles snap-trapped in November and December in an orchard where apples were present had significantly heavier reproductive organs and higher spermatozoa counts than those trapped in an area of the orchard where apples had been removed.
Noffsinger (1976) speculated an interaction between a declining or short photoperiod and level of energy intake determined length of the breeding season in pine voles in autumn. Noffsinger (1976) and Merson (1979) suggested studies be conducted to determine the effects of a declining photoperiod on reproduction. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of photoperiod and nutrition on food consumption, body condition and reproduction in the pine vole.