Digestibility and Nutritional Quality of Apple Tree Roots and Other Orchard Forages of the Pine Vole

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Servello, F. A.; Kirkpatrick, R. L.; Webb, K. E., Jr.
Environmental Health and Protection
article description
Analysis of the seasonal food habits of pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) by Cengel et a1. (1978) revealed that apple tree root consumption occurs only during winter months. Increased root consumption in the winter has been postulated to be due to a decrease in the quantity and quality of other foods in orchards. However, the normal translocation of carbohydrates into the root systems of trees during the dormant season may improve the quality of apple tree roots as a food source for voles. One objective of the pine vole nutrition studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is to examine the seasonal variation in the quality of the pine vole's diet and the seasonal quality of apple tree roots as a food source for pine voles.