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Spatial dynamics of wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) in an agricultural landscape under intensive use in the Mont Saint Michel Bay (France)

Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment

Abstract

Over the last decades intensification in agricultural use has lead to changes in landscape structure and composition. Seasonal fluctuations of the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) ate well known in cultivated landscapes, but not well explained. The main question relates to the fate of individuals during summer. The hypothesis of a seasonal dispersal of individuals from hedges to crops was investigated in the polder of the Mont Saint Michel Bay (France) at different landscape scales using GIS. Field and landscape scale parameters were analysed in relation to wood mouse abundance in the crops mosaic. The results tend to demonstrate that dilution of the population due to dispersal toward crops could be the main factor explaining the population drops in hedges. Hedgerows act as source habitat in spring whereas field colonisation rare depends on crop quality in summer. The heterogeneity of the crops matrix for the presence:of wood mouse has been studied. Variations in vegetation cover of the field plot and its surroundings appear to determine dispersal of mice during summer. Results may have implications in terms of pest management and/or food webs preservation in cultivated landscapes. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Ouin, A; Paillat, G; Butet, A; Burel, F

Journal: Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment

Year: 2000

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