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      Rodent Damage to Natural and Replanted Mountain Forest Regeneration

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          Abstract

          Impact of small rodents on mountain forest regeneration was studied in National Nature Reserve in the Beskydy Mountains (Czech Republic). A considerable amount of bark damage was found on young trees (20%) in spring after the peak abundance of field voles ( Microtus agrestis) in combination with long winter with heavy snowfall. In contrast, little damage to young trees was noted under high densities of bank voles ( Myodes glareolus) with a lower snow cover the following winter. The bark of deciduous trees was more attractive to voles (22% damaged) than conifers (8%). Young trees growing in open and grassy localities suffered more damage from voles than those under canopy of forest stands ( χ 2 = 44.04, P < 0.001). Natural regeneration in Nature Reserve was less damaged compared to planted trees ( χ 2 = 55.89, P < 0.001). The main factors influencing the impact of rodent species on tree regeneration were open, grassy habitat conditions, higher abundance of vole species, tree species preferences- and snow-cover condition. Under these conditions, the impact of rodents on forest regeneration can be predicted. Foresters should prefer natural regeneration to the artificial plantings.

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          Population Cycles in Voles and Lemmings: Density Dependence and Phase Dependence in a Stochastic World

           Nils Stenseth (1999)
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            Predator-induced synchrony in population oscillations of coexisting small mammal species.

            Comprehensive analyses of long-term (1977-2003) small-mammal abundance data from western Finland showed that populations of Microtus voles (field voles M. agrestis and sibling voles M. rossiaemeridionalis) voles, bank (Clethrionomys glareolus) and common shrews (Sorex araneus) fluctuated synchronously in 3 year population cycles. Time-series analyses indicated that interspecific synchrony is influenced strongly by density-dependent processes. Synchrony among Microtus and bank voles appeared additionally to be influenced by density-independent processes. To test whether interspecific synchronization through density-dependent processes is caused by predation, we experimentally reduced the densities of the main predators of small mammals in four large agricultural areas, and compared small mammal abundances in these to those in four control areas (2.5-3 km(2)) through a 3 year small-mammal population cycle. Predator reduction increased densities of the main prey species, Microtus voles, in all phases of the population cycle, while bank voles, the most important alternative prey of predators, responded positively only in the low and the increase phase. Manipulation also increased the autumn densities of water voles (Arvicola terrestris) in the increase phase of the cycle. No treatment effects were detected for common shrews or mice. Our results are in accordance with the alternative prey hypothesis, by which predators successively reduce the densities of both main and alternative prey species after the peak phase of small-mammal population cycles, thus inducing a synchronous low phase.
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              Demographic Mechanisms in the Fluctuating Populations of the Field Vole Microtus agrestis

               A. Myllymaki (1977)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                ScientificWorldJournal
                ScientificWorldJournal
                TSWJ
                The Scientific World Journal
                The Scientific World Journal
                1537-744X
                2012
                1 May 2012
                : 2012
                Affiliations
                1Institute of Vertebrate Biology, ASCR, Květná 8, 603 65 Brno, Czech Republic
                2Institute of Forest Ecology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 3, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
                Author notes
                *Marta Heroldová: heroldova@ 123456ivb.cz

                Academic Editor: Riccardo Castiglia

                Article
                10.1100/2012/872536
                3361340
                22666163
                Copyright © 2012 Marta Heroldová et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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