Effects of Strip-cropping on Small Mammal Population Dynamics in Soybean Agroecosystems
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v94, n4 (September, 1994), 94-98
The present study examined the effects of strip-cropping and harvesting practices on small mammal population dynamics in soybean agroecosystems. Small mammals were live-trapped in four treatments (three replicates each): soybean monoculture, soybean-clover, soybean-buckwheat, and soybean-corn. Peromyscus maniculatus was found in all four treatment types, whereas Mus musculus resided mainly in the soybean-corn treatment. Peromyscus population densities were significantly greater in the soybean monoculture during the week preceding harvest than in the soybean-clover strip-cropped treatment. Peromyscus population densities immediately increased following harvesting practices, then declined. Short-term changes in density were attributed to seed accessibility; long-term changes appeared to be in response to reduced crop cover resulting in increased predation. Populations of Mus were unaffected by harvest practices. Interestingly, more Peromyscus dispersed from strip-cropped treatments than from the monoculture (control) treatment. Female deer mice were found to have larger mean home ranges in the corn strip-cropped treatment than in the monoculture or buckwheat strip-cropped treatment suggesting an impact of spatial resource patterning on small mammal population dynamics.
Author Institution: Department of Zoology, Miami University
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