We studied factors shaping the diversity and abundance of small mammals in temperate woodlands in northeastern Poland at local (within the forests) and regional (among the forests) scales. We compared diversity and abundance of rodents and insectivores in habitats covering the widest possible range of forest productivity in Central Europe, from dry coniferous to wet deciduous forests. Small mammals were live-trapped during summer (2004–2006) on 206 circular plots. On the regional scale, the number of small mammal (rodent and shrew) species positively correlated with the proportion of deciduous stands in the woodland's area. In all forests, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) and the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) dominated, and their joint proportion in the community increased with share of deciduous forest habitats. On the local scale, the number of species increased significantly with productivity of both capture site and the whole woodland. Variation in rodent abundance was influenced mainly by forest productivity at the capture site, productivity of the whole woodland, and month of capture. Only a minor part of the variation in shrew abundance was explained by habitat productivity. The relationship between forest productivity and small mammal diversity was linear and positive on both local and regional scales. The different responses of rodents and insectivores to increasing productivity could be due to a wider ecological niche of shrews and their competition for space with rodents.
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Vol. 17 • No. 1