Landscape Ecology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 25–37

Effects of corridor width and presence on the population dynamics of the meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus)

  • Vincent N. La Polla
  • Gary W. Barrett
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00129865

Cite this article as:
La Polla, V.N. & Barrett, G.W. Landscape Ecol (1993) 8: 25. doi:10.1007/BF00129865

Abstract

We tested the effects of increased landscape corridor width and corridor presence on the population dynamics and home range use of the meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) within a small-scale fragmented landscape. Our objective was to observe how populations behaved in patchy landscapes where the animals home range exceeded or equaled patch size. We used a small-scale replicated experiment consisting of three sets of two patches each, unconnected or interconnected by 1-m or 5-m wide-corridors, established in an old-field community (S.W. Ohio). Control (0-m) treatments supported significantly lower vole densities than either corridor treatment. Females were the dominant resident sex establishing smaller home ranges (<150m2) than males (>450m2). Significantly more male voles dispersed between patches with corridors than between patches without corridors. However, no difference was observed regarding the number of male voles dispersing between patches connected by corridors when compared to the number dispersing across treatments. Dispersal between connected patches was restricted to corridors based on tracking tube data. Corridor presence was more important than corridor width regarding the movement of male voles within their home range.

Keywords

landscape ecologycorridorsmeadow voleMicrotus pennsylvanicus dispersalpopulation dynamicsconnectivity

Copyright information

© SPB Academic Publishing bv 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent N. La Polla
    • 1
  • Gary W. Barrett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyMiami UniversityOxfordUSA