Small mammal assemblage in beaver-modified habitats

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/331333

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Sundell , J , Liao , W & Nummi , P 2021 , ' Small mammal assemblage in beaver-modified habitats ' , Mammal research , vol. 66 , pp. 181–186 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s13364-020-00545-4

Title: Small mammal assemblage in beaver-modified habitats
Author: Sundell, Janne; Liao, Wenfei; Nummi, Petri
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Lammi Biological Station
University of Helsinki, Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
University of Helsinki, Wetland Ecology Group
Date: 2021-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 6
Belongs to series: Mammal research
ISSN: 2199-2401
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/331333
Abstract: One of the less studied positive interactions among organisms is facilitation. Facilitation may have significant impact on diversity of species especially in low productive environments. We studied the effects of well-known facilitator and ecosystem engineer, the North American beaver (Castor canadensis), on small mammal assemblages in the boreal zone. The small mammals, namely voles, mice, and shrews, were trapped over 2 years in ten beaver-modified habitats and in ten control sites. Contrary to our expectations, we did not observe any differences between species or individual numbers between beaver-modified and control sites. However, there were differences in species composition between sites; grass-eating field voles (Microtus agrestis) and invertebrate-eating shrews (Sorex araneus, Neomys fodiens) tended to be more common in beaver sites while forest-dwelling wood lemmings (Myopus schisticolor) and yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) were only captured in control sites. The most common species in both habitats was the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), which is a generalist in its habitat requirements. The bank vole’s population structures were similar between the two habitat types. The actions of beavers in water bodies within boreal forests seem to have no effect on the small mammal diversity and their numbers at the regional scale but may have positive effect on them at the larger landscape level as beavers are increasing the overall habitat diversity in the landscape.
Subject: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Biodiversity
Castor
Ecosystem engineer
Facilitation
Wetland
ECOSYSTEM ENGINEER
SPECIES RICHNESS
SPACING BEHAVIOR
FACILITATION
SUCCESSION
VOLES
POPULATIONS
MICROTINE
DYNAMICS
ECOLOGY
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