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1 June 2005 PATCH SHAPE, CONNECTIVITY, AND FORAGING BY OLDFIELD MICE (PEROMYSCUS POLIONOTUS)
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Abstract

We examined how corridors and patch shape affect foraging by the oldfield mouse (Peromyscus polionotus) by deploying foraging trays and live traps in experimental landscapes with 3 different patch types: patches connected with a corridor, unconnected patches with projecting corridorlike portions (“winged” patches), and unconnected rectangular patches. Corridors did not lead to different levels of activity of P. polionotus among the 3 patch types. Rather, corridors influenced activity by changing patch shape: foraging in seed trays and total number of captures of P. polionotus tended to be greater at the patch center than at the patch edge, but only in connected and winged patches where corridors or wings increased the amount of patch edge relative to the amount of core habitat in the patch. P. polionotus avoided open microhabitats near the patch edge in winged and connected patches, but not open microhabitats near the patch interior, suggesting that predation risk caused shifts in foraging near edges in connected and winged patches. Foraging in corridors and wings was generally low, suggesting that both are high-risk habitats where predation risk is not ameliorated by proximity to vegetative cover. By changing patch shape, corridors caused changes in within-patch activity of P. polionotus, changing foraging patterns and potentially altering the dynamics of P. polionotus and the seeds they consume.

John L. Orrock and Brent J. Danielson "PATCH SHAPE, CONNECTIVITY, AND FORAGING BY OLDFIELD MICE (PEROMYSCUS POLIONOTUS)," Journal of Mammalogy 86(3), (1 June 2005). https://doi.org/10.1644/1545-1542(2005)86[569:PSCAFB]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 28 September 2004; Published: 1 June 2005
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