The ongoing climatic change is forcing animal species to cope with global warming and to use different resources to improve their survival. Several species have been favoured by global warming, particularly the alien ones adapted to thrive in tropical and subtropical areas. As to Italian mammals, the crested porcupine Hystrix cristata, a large rodent of tropical African origin, has increased its range in the last 50 years, conquering most of the Northern regions, where it was historically absent. The species usually dig to find its main food, i.e. underground storage plant organs (roots, bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes). Cold months in 2021–2022 have been characterized by a severe drought in Central Italy which prevented porcupines from digging for food search. In this note, we showed that porcupines may adapt to local drought by using a food resource which is commonly avoided, i.e. tree barks. In particular, in Central Italy, the crested porcupine mostly debarked black elders, which show soft barks with medical properties.

Bark stripping behaviour by a large-sized rodent, the crested porcupine, as an adaptation to climate change / Mori E.; Viviano A.; Scarfo M.; Preti F.; Pucci C.; Ciuti F.; Giovannelli A.; Traversi M.L.; Senserini D.; Mazza G.. - In: BIOLOGIA. - ISSN 0006-3088. - ELETTRONICO. - (2022), pp. 0-0. [10.1007/s11756-022-01243-z]

Bark stripping behaviour by a large-sized rodent, the crested porcupine, as an adaptation to climate change

Preti F.;Traversi M. L.;
2022

Abstract

The ongoing climatic change is forcing animal species to cope with global warming and to use different resources to improve their survival. Several species have been favoured by global warming, particularly the alien ones adapted to thrive in tropical and subtropical areas. As to Italian mammals, the crested porcupine Hystrix cristata, a large rodent of tropical African origin, has increased its range in the last 50 years, conquering most of the Northern regions, where it was historically absent. The species usually dig to find its main food, i.e. underground storage plant organs (roots, bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes). Cold months in 2021–2022 have been characterized by a severe drought in Central Italy which prevented porcupines from digging for food search. In this note, we showed that porcupines may adapt to local drought by using a food resource which is commonly avoided, i.e. tree barks. In particular, in Central Italy, the crested porcupine mostly debarked black elders, which show soft barks with medical properties.
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Mori E.; Viviano A.; Scarfo M.; Preti F.; Pucci C.; Ciuti F.; Giovannelli A.; Traversi M.L.; Senserini D.; Mazza G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1291285
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