Many studies have examined coexistence among similar small mammal species. Most investigations have tended to focus on interactions such as predation and competition, with less emphasis on use of habitat space, plant cover stratification, and food resource partitioning. We investigated 2 similar small mammal species, the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) and the golden mouse (Ochrotomys nuttalli) to determine how differences in 3-dimensional habitat use, vegetative cover, and food resources allow for similar species to coexist. P. leucopus was removed from 4 of 8 experimental grids within a forested riparian peninsula to assess the effect of competitive removal on population dynamics of O. nuttalli. After removal of P. leucopus, the relative abundance of O. nuttalli in removal grids did not change significantly from abundance in control grids. However, differences in use of 3-dimensional habitat appeared to provide enough niche segregation to allow these 2 species to coexist in the same habitat. Abundant resources (acorn mast crop of Quercus nigra and heavy vegetative cover of Ligustrum sinense) also appeared to dampen competition between these 2 species.
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