We undertook a 2-year (2002–2004) mark—recapture study to investigate demographic performance and habitat use of salt marsh harvest mice (Reithrodontomys raviventris halicoetes) in the Suisun Marsh. We examined the effects of different wetland types and microhabitats on 3 demographic variables: density, reproductive potential, and persistence. Our results indicate that microhabitats dominated by mixed vegetation or pickleweed (Salicornia spp.) supported similar salt marsh harvest mouse densities, reproductive potential, and persistence throughout much of the year, whereas few salt marsh harvest mice inhabited upland grass-dominated microhabitats. We found that densities were higher in diked wetlands, whereas post-winter persistence was higher in tidal wetlands, and reproductive potential did not differ statistically between wetland types. Our results emphasize the importance of mixed vegetation for providing adequate salt marsh harvest mouse habitat and suggest that, despite their physiognomic and hydrological differences, both diked and tidal wetlands support salt marsh harvest mouse populations by promoting different demographic attributes. We recommend that habitat management, restoration, and enhancement efforts include areas containing mixed vegetation in addition to pickleweed in both diked and tidal wetlands.
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