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Lack of interspecific interactions of everglades rodents on 2 spatial scales


, : Lack of interspecific interactions of everglades rodents on 2 spatial scales. Acta Theriologica 25(1-13): 61-70

Peromyscus gossypinus, Sigmodon hispidus and Oryzomys palustris are the co-dominant rodents that inhabit the Everglades of south Florida, USA. Here the 3 spp. occur micro-sympatrically at extremely high densities of high species richness on small discrete habitat islands of hammock vegetation that dot the Everglades sawgrass prairie. A long-term live-trapping study was conducted to determine whether the species were distributed independently of one another. Data are analyzed on 2 spatial scales. Among hammock islands there was no evidence of complementarity (an increase in the population of 1 sp. negatively affecting the density of another) between all combinations of species pairs. There were 2 noticeable vegetative zones on the hammock islands. While preferences between zones were demonstrated by each rodent, the distribution of each species on hammocks was probably independent of the presence of the other species. Space may be an important niche dimension in rodents, yet these data do not reject the hypothesis that local and regional densities of the species on hammocks are independent.

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