Stable coexistence of ecologically similar species is often a complicated phenomenon involving a synergy of biotic and abiotic factors. We investigated competitive interactions and small scale division of space in the closely related vole species Microtus montanus and Microtus longicaudus, which co- occur across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) in the Rocky Mountains. We directly manipulated in situ populations of these species in two habitat types over three consecutive years. We confirmed previously described habitat associations of the study species: M. montanus was most abundant in open grassy meadows; M. longicaudus was most abundant in ecotonal areas with greater woody vegetation cover. Additionally, removal experiments conducted in both habitat types revealed a habitat-dependent competitive interaction between species: M. montanus excluded M. longicaudus from resource-rich meadows; M. longicaudus was limited to patchy ecotonal habitats that M. montanus was not observed to colonize. We did not observe an effect of the experimental treatment on either species' body mass. The outcome of the asymmetric competition between these species is influenced by local environmental conditions and enables their coexistence in the GYE.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.