Coexistence between species with similar niche requirements is often facilitated by displacement of morphological, behavioral, or physiological characteristics. Experiments comparing treatments with and without the presence of potential competitors are ideal for testing hypotheses of interspecific competition. Here, we investigate a fundamental aspect in the natural history of a species: the home range. We determined whether co-occurrence can influence the home range size of 2 subterranean rodent species, Ctenomys flamarioni and C. minutus. We evaluated home range size in populations of both species in allopatry and sympatry along the coastal plain of southern Brazil. Animals were radiotracked, and the home range size of each individual was estimated using grid cells and minimum convex polygon methods. We found no significant differences in home range size between sites or species, and the interaction was nonsignificant. We also found no relationship between home range size and body mass or sex. Our results suggest that co-occurrence may not influence home range size in these species, perhaps due to environmental adaptations that facilitate coexistence (e.g., microhabitat segregation and dietary modifications). Further, the characteristics of the sandy dune habitat may act as environmental filters, favoring similar home range sizes for both species.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6