 
Summary: Airoldi, J.P. (1992). Dynamics of the burrow system construction of the fossorial form of the water
vole (Arvicola terrestris L.) in a vertical terrarium and in the field. Revue suisse Zool. 99 (1) : 87
108. (In French, English summary)
Two kinds of experiments were carried out in order to study the construction dynamics of the
burrow system of the water vole's fossorial form (Arvicola terrestris L.).
a) animals released in the field
b) animals kept in a vertical terrarium (190 cm in length, 90 cm in height and 6 cm wide)
In the first case, 2 couples were released in the field and studied over a period of 10 or 26 days. A
map of the mounds was made on average twice a day. At the end of each experiment, the burrow
system was excavated and mapped. The dynamics of the burrow development were reconstructed
according to the position and emergence of mounds as a function of time. The following variables
were evaluated for each observation: total length, number, surface area and volume of mounds,
increments in burrow length, surface area and volume of mounds between 2 observations, number of
vertices (= intersections and deadends), edges (= distances between 2 vertices) and the correspon
ding mean and standard deviation, as well as the increase of length, surface area and volume of the
mounds as a function of time.
Total length of the system, cumulated surface area and volume of the mounds over time, number of
vertices and edges strongly correlated with each other and with time; surface area and volume
differences correlated only with each other; mean and standard deviation of the edges correlated
strongly with each other. The average increase in length of the studied burrow systems was about 80
