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Effect of Patch Size and Habitat Variables on Small Rodents Population in Urban Woods

Effect of Patch Size and Habitat Variables on Small Rodents Population in Urban Woods

Hyun-Ju Cho1, Eun-Jae Lee2 and Shin-Jae Rhim3*

1Department of Landscape Architecture, Daegu University, Kyungsan, South Korea
2Urban Planning Research Group, Daejeon Sejong Research Institute, Daejeon, South Korea
3School of Bioresource and Bioscience, Chung-Ang University, Ansung, South Korea
 
* Corresponding author: sjrhim@cau.ac.kr

ABSTRACT

This study was conducted to investigate the relationships between patch size and habitat variables in the context of small rodent populations in the urban woods of the Daejeon metropolitan area in South Korea. The forested patches included in this study ranged from 2.1 to 1934.1 ha in size. Six species of small rodents were captured during this study. The number of small rodent species and the total number of captured individuals were correlated with patch size. We focused on the patch size and preferred habitat variables of two dominant small rodents, Apodemus agrarius and A. peninsulae, and found that the numbers of captured individuals of both species were highly related to the patch size. We determined that understory coverage and the volume of coarse woody debris were the habitat variables associated with the A. agrarius population, while the corresponding variables associated with A. peninsulae population were suboverstory coverage, understory coverage, and the volume of coarse woody debris as preferred habitat variables. We found that patch size and habitat variables had major direct effects on small rodent populations. Investigations of biodiversity in urban areas are necessary and should be considered in urban planning for the conservation of biodiversity.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 54, Iss. 4, Pages 1501-2001

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