Browsing by Subject "habitat use"

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  • Lehtonen, J.T.; Mustonen, O.; Ramiarinjanahary, H.; Niemelä, J.; Rita, H. (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001)
    We used logistic and Poisson regression models to determine factors of forest and landscape structure that influence the presence and abundance of rodent species in the rain forest of Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar. Rodents were collected using live-traps along a gradient of human disturbance. All five endemic rodent species (Nesomys rufus, N. audeberti, Eliurus tanala, E. minor and E. webbi) and the introduced rat Rattus rattus were captured in both secondary and primary forests, but the introduced Mus musculus was only trapped in secondary forest. The abundance of R. rattus increased with the level of habitat disturbance, and it was most common in the heavily logged secondary forest. Furthermore, the probability of the presence of R. rattus increased with decreasing distance from forest edge and decreasing canopy cover, while the probability of presence increased with increasing herbaceous cover, altitude and overstory tree height. The species was never observed farther than 500 m away from human habitation or camp-site. N. rufus prefered selectively-logged forest at altitudes above 900 m a.s.l. Its probability of presence increased with increasing canopy cover, herbaceous cover and distance from forest edge, and with decreasing density of fallen logs, overstory tree height and distance from human habitation. N. audeberti prefered heavily-logged areas, while E. tanala was the only species occurring along the entire range of forest disturbance. We suggest that in the Ranomafana National Park the spread of R. rattus is associated with deforestation.
  • Penado, Andreia; Rocha, Ricardo; Sampaio, Marta; Gil, Vanessa; Carreira, Bruno M.; Rebelo, Rui (2015)
    The Selvagens gecko (Tarentola boettgeri bischoffi Joger, 1984) is a medium sized gecko endemic to the Selvagens archipelago, Madeira, Portugal. The biology of this gecko is poorly known and in this study we present the first evidence regarding its habitat use. In 2010 (spring and autumn) and 2011 (spring), we collected data on the characteristics of the habitat surrounding 168 rocks used by these geckos as retreat sites, as well as on 75 randomly selected rocks. We also recorded body measurements of the individuals caught under each rock. In both seasons retreat site occupancy was found to be related to rock area, with geckos being found mainly under large rocks. Interestingly, we found that in spring heavier males, in better body condition, occupied the largest rocks and larger geckos occupied rocks closer to creek beds. Our results shed some light upon the behavioural ecology of this nocturnally active ecto-therm, that spends the day under a retreat site: i) intraspecific competition may be an ecological factor prevalent in this species, since larger individuals occupy larger rocks, located in a presumably high quality micro-habitat; ii) the possibility of spring territoriality in males, that compete for good quality shelters.
  • Vasko, Ville; Blomberg, Anna S.; Vesterinen, Eero J.; Suominen, Kati M.; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Brommer, Jon E.; Norrdahl, Kai; Niemelä, Pekka; Laine, Veronika N.; Santangeli, Andrea; Lilley, Thomas M. (2020)
    Bats utilize forests as roosting sites and feeding areas. However, it has not been documented how bats utilize these habitats in the boreal zone with methods afforded by recent technological advances. Forest structure and management practices can create a variety of three-dimensional habitats for organisms capable of flight, such as bats. Here, we study the presence of boreal bats in a forest forming a mosaic of different age classes, dominant tree species, canopy cover, soil fertility, and other environmental variables, throughout their active season in the summer using passive ultrasound detectors. Our results indicate a preference for mature forest by Eptesicus nilssonii and a pooled set of Myotis bats. Both groups of bats also showed temporal changes in their habitat use regarding forest age. In June and July, both groups occurred more often in mature than young forests, but from August onwards, the difference in occurrence became less evident in Myotis and disappeared completely in E. nilssonii. In addition, E. nilssonii was more often present in forests with low canopy cover, and its occurrence shifted from coniferous forests to deciduous forests during the season. The results reflect the within-season dynamics of bat communities and their ability to utilize different types of forest as environmental conditions change. Yet, the results most importantly emphasize the importance of mature forests to bat diversity and the need to conserve such environments in the boreal zone.