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The Quintessential NaturalistHonoring the Life and Legacy of Oliver P. Pearson$
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Douglas Kelt and Deborah Kaspin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520098596

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520098596.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Physiological Flexibility in Field Urine Osmolality of Rodents from Semi-Arid Chile

Physiological Flexibility in Field Urine Osmolality of Rodents from Semi-Arid Chile

Flexibilidad FisiolóGica En La Osmolaridad Urinaria De Campo En Roedores De Chile Semi-áRido

(p.165) Physiological Flexibility in Field Urine Osmolality of Rodents from Semi-Arid Chile
The Quintessential Naturalist

Francisco Bozinovic

Mauricio Lima

Leonardo D. Bacigalupe

Julio R. Gutiérrez

Mario Rosenmann

Arturo Cortés

University of California Press

This chapter assesses long-term physiological responses in field urine osmolality (Uosm) of four murid rodents from semi-arid Chile, as a function of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. It observes that all of the rodent species studied showed important temporal fluctuations in their Uosm-values, indicating both seasonal and annual patterns of physiological variability characterized by high Uosm-values during the Austral spring–summer and low Uosm-values during autumn–winter. The chapter further observes significant effects of year and season on Uosm-values, with a year x season interaction. It demonstrates how flexibility of physiological mechanisms allows small mammals in arid or semi-arid regions to cope with long-term seasonal and annual water variability in their semi-arid habitat. The chapter notes that the trends of seasonal water balance during contrasting years (i.e., El Niño vs. dry years) is likely to be a consequence of plant cover, since this is the principal food and water source of rodents at Fray Jorge.

Keywords:   physiological responses, field urine osmolality, rodents, Chile, El Niño, small mammals, habitat, plant cover, Fray Jorge

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