Effect of microhabitat features on habitat use by Peromyscus leucopus

TitleEffect of microhabitat features on habitat use by Peromyscus leucopus
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1983
AuthorsKaufman, DW, Peterson, SK, Fristik, R, Kaufman, GA
JournalThe American Midland Naturalist
Pagination177 -185
Accession NumberKNZ0046

Habitat use and selection by the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) were examined in riparian woods and associated grassy, shrubbby and limestone outcrop habitats on the Konza Prairie Research Natural Area near Manhattan, Kansas. Analysis of captures on a large, irregular grid (843 stations) demonstrated significant differential use of habitat types by P. leucopus. Selection of habitat types was related to the verticle structure of the vegetation with areas of complex verticle structure (trees with large shrubs, large shrubs without trees or trees with small shrubs) selected over those with less well-developed verticle structure (trees without shrubs, small shrubs without trees or grass). The same basic pattern persisted when microhabitat features in the immediate area of traps were examined. Use of microhabitats associated with rocks, logs, stumps, and fallen trees in the riparian woods revealed greater use of areas with dense cover. The use of microhabitats associated with limestone outcrops confirmed a pattern of greater use of protected than of open areas. Patterns of habitat and microhabitat use were generally consistent with the use of habitat features to avoid predators; however, food distribution was not examined and availability of food in different sites may explain part of the use patterns. Limited observations on habitat selection by Neotoma floridana suggested that competitive interactions between P. leucopus and N. floridana were relatively unimportant in the macro- and microhabitats use patterns of P. leucopus