Neighbourhood landscape effect on population kinetics of the fossorial water vole (Arvicola terrestris scherman)

Abstract : This paper addresses the issue of whether landscape structure affects A. terrestris population kinetics on a neighbourhood spatial scale, and if so, at what spatial scale is that effect at its maximum. We investigated how the growth of A. terrestris populations is influenced by the landscape context of parcels used for hay production in the French Jura Mountains. Five landscape metrics (relative area of grassland, mean patch area of grassland, patch density of grassland, woodland patch density in grassland, grassland-woodland edge density) were computed over an increasing radius around each parcel (max. 3 km). Redundancy analysis showed that the extent, rate and early onset of A. terrestris population growth were favoured in open grassland areas. Landscape effects on A. terrestris populations as determined by the five metrics are scale-dependent: mean patch area of grassland, patch density of grassland and woodland patch density in grassland had an impact on a grassland parcel within a neighbourhood radius of about 800 m, while relative area of grassland and grassland-woodland edge density had an impact within a neighbourhood radius of about 400 m. Those findings corroborate earlier hypotheses about a multifactorial regulation of A. terrestris populations and a spatial hierarchy of regulating factors. They have potential implications in terms of landscape management and small mammal pest control
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 3:52:22 PM
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Céline Morilhat, Nadine Bernard, Jean-Christophe Foltête, Patrick Giraudoux. Neighbourhood landscape effect on population kinetics of the fossorial water vole (Arvicola terrestris scherman). Landscape Ecology, Springer Verlag, 2008, 23 (5), pp.569-577. ⟨10.1007/s10980-008-9216-9⟩. ⟨hal-00342519⟩

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