Publication details

Traditional and diversified crops in South Moravia (Czech Republic): Habitat preferences of common vole and mice species.



Year of publication 2011
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Mammalian Biology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords Microtus arvalis; Apodemus sylvaticus; Agroecosystems; Agricultural landscape; Crop
Description Substantial changes in the composition of crops in Central Europe during the last two decades(increasing areas of maize,rape and sunflower fields)have significantly in fluenced the structure and dynamics of animal communities,thought here is a lack of data available for small rodents.In this study,weassessed the importance of these three crops for rodents and compared it with traditionalcrops(alfalfa,barley, wheat). We observed that herbivorous species(especially the commonvole)do not live in crops which do not have green leaves near the ground(e.g. sunflower, maize),while mobile granivorous species can inhabit all types of crop. We confirmed the presumed differences in habitat preferences; however we rejected the hypothesis of a general increase of rodent abundance during the vegetative season in managed fields. We found that(1)and sunflower had no importance for common voles, but they were favored habitats for wood mice;(2)numbers of wood mice in rape decreased during the season, while abundances of common voles increased;(3)common vole populations tended to increase during the season in all suitable crops(alfalfa, barley, wheat,tendency in maizean drape);(4)wood mice popula- tions seemed stable in all crops; i.e. without a seasonal increase. It can be concluded that even if the new crop fields are an important part ofthe agricultural landscape,they are only a temporal habitat for small mammals, especially granivorous species.
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