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Habitat preference of Clethrionomys rufocanus in boreal Sweden
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap.
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap.
2006 (Engelska)Ingår i: Landscape Ecology, ISSN 0921-2973, E-ISSN 1572-9761, Vol. 21, nr 2, s. 185-194Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

A long-term decline of vole populations in boreal Sweden, especially of the grey-sided vole (Clethrionomysrufocanus Sund.), has been revealed by snap-trapping in 1971–2004. We identified important habitats forthe grey-sided vole by mapping the distribution of cumulated number of reproductive females in 1971–1978, prior to the major decline in the 1980s. Mean abundance of C. rufocanus was higher in the western(inland) than eastern (coastland) part of the study area. As the inland appeared to represent the most, as faras we know, pristine, abundant part of the population, we based identification of high quality habitats oninland data only. Four habitats were more important than others and yielded nearly 86% of the reproductivefemales in spring: (1) forests of dry, (2) moist and (3) wet/hydric dwarf-shrub type, in addition to (4)forest/swamp complexes rich in dwarf-shrubs. The latter three habitats were used more frequently thanexpected from their occurrence in the landscape. Still, the variation in density of reproductive femaleswithin patches of the same habitat was frequently high. This suggested that habitat composition in thesurrounding landscape, perhaps may have affected local vole density at the patch scale. Clear-cut samplingplots appeared to be low-frequently used by reproductive females, but also by males and immatures. Inconclusion, our study indicated the importance of also studying habitat at a larger scale than that of thepatch to get a deeper understanding on how habitat influences local and regional densities and populationdynamics of C. rufocanus.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
The Hague: SPB Academic Publ. , 2006. Vol. 21, nr 2, s. 185-194
Nyckelord [en]
habitat patches, habitat quality, immatures, landscape design, local habitat, reproductive females, reproductive males
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5351DOI: 10.1007/s10980-005-1052-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-5351DiVA, id: diva2:144842
Tillgänglig från: 2006-09-27 Skapad: 2006-09-27 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-09Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. The long-term decline of the grey-sided vole (Clethrionomys rufocanus) in boreal Sweden: importance of focal forest patch and matrix
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The long-term decline of the grey-sided vole (Clethrionomys rufocanus) in boreal Sweden: importance of focal forest patch and matrix
2006 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

There has been a long-term decline in number of cyclic vole populations in boreal Sweden since the 1970s. Several hypotheses have been suggested to explain this decline. Commonly for C. glareolus, C. rufocanus and M. agrestis, the decline has followed upon an increased frequency and severeness of winter declines and has shown up as a drop in spring densities. The spring decline is most pronounced for C. rufocanus. In contrast to other voles, C. rufocanus also show a decline in fall densities, suggesting some additional disturbance in this species. Habitat fragmentation has been suggested as such an additional disturbance and in this thesis the effect of habitat fragmentation on C. rufocanus is explored.

At first the sampling method was evaluated i.e. whether the decline could be due to destructive sampling when the method in use in the long-term monitoring is snap-trapping. This resulted in a rejection of the destructive sampling hypothesis as a possible cause behind the decline in C. rufocanus. Habitat preference revealed that three habitats at the local scale (trap station) were high quality habitats for C. rufocanus: forest of moist and wet/hydric dwarf-shrub type, in addition to forest/swamp complexes rich in dwarf-shrubs. The occurrence of C. rufocanus at the landscape scale was positively correlated with the amount of boulder fields and a low degree of fragmentation of old-growth pine forests. There was considerable local variation in the decline in vole density among the 58 1-ha sampling plots, with respect to both density and timing of the decline, which suggested that habitat destruction outside sampling plots might be involved. Overall, clear-cuts had a negative influence on vole densities at both the local and landscape scale. A multiple regression analysis suggested that having both a high quality habitat at the local scale and a high proximity among xeric-mesic mires and a low connectivity among clear-cuts at the landscape scale were important for the occurrence of C. rufocanus.

Initial analysis at the landscape scale were based on landscape data collected from 2.5 x 2.5 km areas centred on the individual vole sampling plots. Further investigations, however, on the patch level suggest that focal forest patch size and quality was of major importance in determining occurrence and persistence of C. rufocanus. Although not tested formally in these studies, the habitat fragmentation hypothesis has so far received support. Currently C. rufocanus seems to be affected negatively by too low patch sizes of suitable habitats in the surrounding landscape suggesting that the amount of suitable habitats could already be below the fragmentation threshold. However, this has to be evaluated further. Work is in progress to establish time-series over local landscape changes, and to evaluate if such changes have been associated with local declines of C. rufocanus and whether habitat loss, true habitat fragmentation or both have been influential.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Umeå: Ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap, 2006. s. 35
Nyckelord
: Destructive sampling, high quality habitat, focal habitat, landscape, habitat fragmentation, threshold, clear-cut, patch size and quality, long-term time-series
Nationell ämneskategori
Ekologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-876 (URN)91-7264-150-9 (ISBN)
Disputation
2006-10-20, Stora hörsalen, KBC-huset, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 10:00
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2006-09-27 Skapad: 2006-09-27 Senast uppdaterad: 2011-03-14Bibliografiskt granskad

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