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International Journal of Zoology and Applied Biosciences

Year : 2020 | Volume: 5 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 119-124

doi: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3839103

Seasonal changes in the habitat structure affect the abundance of two species of small mammals in a temperate forest

Ivan M. De-la-Cruz, Alondra Castro-Campillo and Arturo Salame-Méndez

Received on: 04/18/2020

Revised on: 05/11/2020

Accepted on: 05/13/2020

Published on: 05/22/2020

  • Ivan M. De-la-Cruz, Alondra Castro-Campillo and Arturo Salame-Méndez( 2020).

    Seasonal changes in the habitat structure affect the abundance of two species of small mammals in a temperate forest

    . International Journal of Zoology and Applied Biosciences, 5( 3), 119-124.

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Abstract

One basic issue in ecology is to understand how seasonal shifts in habitat structure affect the abundance of species that coexist. To address this, we assessed the effect of the changes in the habitat structure (viz. biotic and physical components that structure the habitat), between two annual seasons (dry and rainy seasons) in a mid-latitude temperate forest on the abundance of two small mammals; Peromyscus difficilis and Peromyscus melanotis. The results of our analyses show different relationships between the habitat structure and the abundance of both species. As environmental conditions changed between dry and rainy season also changed the complexity of the habitat and this had an effect on the abundance of both species of Peromyscus. This study provides evidence of how two species of small mammals are affected by changes in the habitat structure. Our results provide information of habitat preferences for these two Peromyscus species that coexist and inhabits in an ecosystem at the edge of a megalopolis (Mexico City). Understand what elements of the habitat shape the abundance of the species is important to elaborate better strategies to preserve natural areas and the species that inhabit there. Urban growth produces fragmentation of natural microhabitats that are important to the small mammals, which play a fundamental role in the dispersal of seeds in the forest and as habitat architects.

Keywords

Coexistence, Habitat heterogeneity, Peromyscus, Small mammals’ conservation, Habitat preferences.