Summer foraging patterns and diet selection of muskrats inhabiting a fen wetland

M. J. Lacki, W. T. Peneston, K. B. Adams, F. D. Vogt, J. C. Houppert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Ondatra zibethicus were studied at an alkaline fen in N New York, Cattail Typha latifolia was the most prominent plant food item. Foraging bouts decreased from the lakeshore denning area with distance into the fen. This pattern of reduced feeding activity was associated with declines in both open water travel routes (sluiceways) and cattail biomass. Muskrats preferentially selected the core of the cattails, which contain low amounts of lignin and only moderate levels of cellulose. Predator avoidance behavior strongly influenced muskrat foraging movements. Muskrats attempted to maximize feeding efficiency within the constraint of access to available open water escape routes. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1167
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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