Throughout most of the distributional range, the fat dormouse, Glis glis, relies heavily upon European beech as a key species in its habitat. In Lithuania however, situated beyond the continuous range of the beech, pedunculate oak becomes the essential tree in habitats of G. glis. In Lithuania, the dormouse activity season lasts from mid-May to mid-October, young are born during the short period from late July to mid-August, and the mean litter size is 5.9 young. Population density is low (0.8–2.0 ind./ha after hibernation and 1.2–4.8 ind./ha in autumn), but relatively stable. The mean body weights of adults (98 g after hibernation and 128 g before hibernation) are among the lowest across the range. Lithuanian dormice differ from those living in beech-dominated habitats by their lower population density and lower body weight. Such differences may be due to acorns being less suitable food for G. glis in comparison to beech nuts. In terms of inter-annual abundance dynamics, the G. glis population is comparatively stable as years in which dormice fail to reproduce are infrequent in Lithuania.
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Vol. 64 • No. 4