Population ecology of Apodemus flavicollis in two lowland forest habitats (Rodentia: Muridae) [Populačná ekológia Apodemus flavicollis v dvoch typoch nížinného lesa (Rodentia: Muridae)]
David Žiak, Kristína Trubenová, Peter Miklós
Several population characteristics were studied and compared between populations of Apodemus flavicollis inhabiting two different lowland forest habitats. Small mammals were live-trapped during 2000–2002 on two 1.44 ha plots in alder forest and oak-elm forest (Nature Reserve Jurský Šúr, Slovakia). The density of A. flavicollis was 0.0–25.3 individuals per ha in alder forest and 3.1–28.0 individuals per ha in oak-elm forest. Throughout the study, A. flavicollis was the most numerous species in oak-elm forest (72–100%), while in alder forest its proportion was much lower (0–50%). Higher reproductive activity in alder forest was probably caused by higher food and shelter availability in this area during breeding season. Animals of both sexes were heavier in oak-elm forest which suggests a better fitness of individuals in this habitat. While the degree of male residency was significantly higher in oak-elm forest, we did not find any difference in resident rate of females. Different occurrence and residency of individuals on the study plots are probably caused by higher heterogeneity and larger total area of alder forest together with temporary winter insufficiency of resources on the local study plot.