Habitat Preferences of Clethrionomys Rufocanus in Boreal Sweden Research Article Received: 30 November 2004 Accepted: 19 July 2005 DOI:
Cite this article as: Christensen, P. & Hörnfeldt, B. Landscape Ecol (2006) 21: 185. doi:10.1007/s10980-005-1052-6 Abstract
A long-term decline of vole populations in boreal Sweden, especially of the grey-sided vole (
Clethrionomys rufocanus Sund.), has been revealed by snap-trapping in 1971–2004. We identified important habitats for the grey-sided vole by mapping the distribution of cumulated number of reproductive females in 1971–1978, prior to the major decline in the 1980s. Mean abundance of C. rufocanus was higher in the western (inland) than eastern (coastland) part of the study area. As the inland appeared to represent the most, as far as we know, pristine, abundant part of the population, we based identification of high quality habitats on inland data only. Four habitats were more important than others and yielded nearly 86% of the reproductive females in spring: (1) forests of dry, (2) moist and (3) wet/hydric dwarf-shrub type, in addition to (4) forest/swamp complexes rich in dwarf-shrubs. The latter three habitats were used more frequently than expected from their occurrence in the landscape. Still, the variation in density of reproductive females within patches of the same habitat was frequently high. This suggested that habitat composition in the surrounding landscape, perhaps may have affected local vole density at the patch scale. Clear-cut sampling plots appeared to be low-frequently used by reproductive females, but also by males and immatures. In conclusion, our study indicated the importance of also studying habitat at a larger scale than that of the patch to get a deeper understanding on how habitat influences local and regional densities and population dynamics of C. rufocanus. Keywords Habitat patches Habitat quality Immatures Landscape design Local habitat Reproductive females Reproductive males References Ahti, T., Hämet-Ahti, L., Jalas, J. 1968 Vegetation zones and their sections in northwestern Europe Ann. Bot. Fenn. 5 169 211 Google Scholar Andrèn, H. 1994 Effects of habitat fragmentation on birds and mammals in landscapes with different proportions of suitable habitat: a review Oikos 71 355 366 Google Scholar Arnborg, T. 1990 Forest types of Northern Sweden – introduction to and translation of ‘Det nordsvenska skogstypsschemat’ Vegetatio 90 1 13 CrossRef Google Scholar Christensen, P., Hörnfeldt, B. 2003 Long-term decline of vole populations in Northern Sweden: a test of the destructive sampling hypothesis J. Mammal. 84 1292 1299 CrossRef Google Scholar Ecke, F., Löfgren, O., Hörnfeldt, B., Eklund, U., Christensen, P., Sörlin, D. 2001 Abundance and diversity of small mammals in relation to structural habitat factors Ecol. Bull. 49 165 171 Google Scholar Ecke, F., Löfgren, O., Sörlin, D. 2002 Population dynamics of small mammals in relation to forest age and structural habitat factors in northern Sweden J. Appl. Ecol. 39 781 792 CrossRef Google Scholar
Ecke F., Christensen P., Sandström P. and Hörnfeldt B. Identification of landscape elements related to local declines of a boreal grey-sided vole population. In: Ecke F. 2003. Effects of landscape patterns on small mammal abundance. PhD Thesis, Luleå Uiversity of Technology.
Google Scholar Engelmark, O., Hytteborn, H. 1999 Coniferous forests Rydin, H. Snoeijs, P. Diekmann, M. eds. Swedish Plant Geography Svenska Växtgeografiska Sällskapet Uppsala, Sweden 55 74 Google Scholar Hambäck, P.A., Schneider, M., Oksanen, T. 1998 Winter herbivory by voles during a population peak: the relative importance of local factors and landscape pattern J. Anim. Ecol. 67 544 553 Google Scholar Hansen, T.F., Stenseth, N.C., Henttonen, H., Tast, J. 1999 Interspecific and intraspecific competition as causes of direct and delayed density dependence in a fluctuating vole populations Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 96 986 991 PubMed Google Scholar Hanski, I., Henttonen, H. 1996 Predation on competing rodent species: a simple explanation of complex patterns J. Anim. Ecol. 65 220 232 Google Scholar Hanski, I., Turchin, P., Korpimäki, E., Henttonen, H. 1993 Population oscillations of boreal rodents: regulation by mustelid predators leads to chaos Nature 364 232 235 CrossRef PubMed Google Scholar Hansson, L. 1977 Landscape ecology and stability of populations Landscape Plann. 4 85 93 Google Scholar Hansson, L. 1999 Intraspecific variation in dynamics: small rodents between food and predation in changing landscapes Oikos 86 159 169 Google Scholar Henttonen, H. 2000 Long-term dynamics of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus at Pallasjärvinorthern Finnish taiga Polish J. Ecol. 48 87 96 Google Scholar Henttonen, H., Hansson, L., Saitoh, T. 1992 Rodent dynamics and community structure: Clethrionomys rufocanus in northern Fennoscandia and Hokkaido Ann. Zool. Fenn. 29 1 6 Google Scholar Hörnfeldt, B. 1978 Synchronous population fluctuations in voles, small gameowls, and tularemia in northern Sweden Oecologia 32 141 152 CrossRef Google Scholar Hörnfeldt, B. 1991Cycles of voles, predators, and alternative prey in boreal Sweden University of Umeå Umeå, Sweden 24 Google Scholar Hörnfeldt, B. 1994 Delayed density dependence as a determinant of vole cycles Ecology 75 791 806 Google Scholar Hörnfeldt, B. 1995 Long-term decline in numbers of cyclic voles in northern Sweden Rapport från Världsnaturfonden WWF 3 21 24 Google Scholar Hörnfeldt, B. 1998 Voles as indicator species for environmental changes Fauna och Flora 93 137 144 Google Scholar Hörnfeldt, B. 2004 Long-term decline in numbers of cyclic voles in boreal Sweden: analysis and presentation of hypotheses Oikos 107 376 392 Google Scholar
Hörnfeldt B. 2005. Miljöövervakning av smådäggdjur. (in Swedish).
Ims, R.A. 1987 Differential reproductive success in a peak population of the grey-sided vole Clethrionomys rufocanus Oikos 50 103 113 Google Scholar Ims, R.A. 1989 Kinship and origin effects on dispersal and space sharing in Clethrionomys rufocanus Ecology 70 607 616 Google Scholar Johannesen, E., Mauritzen, M. 1999 Habitat selection of grey-sided voles and bank voles in two sub-alpine populations in southern Norway Ann. Zool. Fenn. 36 215 222 Google Scholar Kaneko, Y., Nakata, K., Saitoh, T., Stenseth, N.C., Björnstad, O.N. 1998 The biology of the vole Clethrionomys rufocanus: a review Res. Popul. Ecol. 40 21 37 Google Scholar Lidicker, W.Z., Jr. 1985 Population structuring as an factor in understanding microtine cycles Acta Zool. Fenn. 173 23 27 Google Scholar Lidicker, W.Z., Jr. 1988 Solving the enigma of microtine cycles J. Mammal. 69 225 235 Google Scholar Lidicker, W.Z., Jr. 2000 A food web/landscape interaction model for microtine rodent density cycles Oikos 91 435 445 Google Scholar Lundmark, J.E. 1986Skogsmarkens ekologi – ståndortsanpassat skogsbruk del 1: grunder Skogsstyrelsen Jönköping, Sweden Google Scholar Löfgren, O. 1995 Spatial organization of cyclic females: occupancy of all available space at peak densities? Oikos 72 29 35 Google Scholar Minitab 12 1998MINITAB Release 12 for Windows Minitab Inc. State College, PA Google Scholar Oksanen, T., Oksanen, L., Schneider, M., Aunapuu, M. 2001 Regulation, cycles and stability in northern carnivore–herbivore systems: back to first principles Oikos 94 101 117 Google Scholar Oksanen, T., Schneider, M., Rammul, U., Hambäck, P., Aunapuu, M. 1999 Population fluctuations of voles in Northern Fennoscandian tundra: contrasting dynamics in adjacent areas with different habitat composition Oikos 86 463 478 Google Scholar Pulliam, H.R. 1988 Sources, sinks, and population regulation Am. Nat. 132 652 661 CrossRef Google Scholar Saitoh, T., Nakatsu, A. 1997 The impact of forestry plantations on the small rodent community of HokkaidoJapan Mammal Study 22 27 38 Google Scholar Siivonen, L. 1968Nordeuropas däggdjur P.A. Nordstedt & Söners förlag Stockholm Google Scholar
Svensson S.A. 1980. The Swedish National Forest Service 1973–1977. State of forests, growth and annual cut. Report 30. Department of Forest Survey, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå , Sweden (in Swedish with English summary).
Google Scholar Horne, B. 1983 Density as a misleading indicator of habitat quality J. Wildlife Manage. 47 893 901 Google Scholar Viitala, J. 1977 Social organisation in cyclic subarctic populations of the voles Clethrionomys rufocanus (Sund.) and Microtus agrestis (L.) Ann. Zool. Fenn. 14 53 93 Google Scholar
Wielgolaski F.E. 1971. IBP i Norden. International Biological Programme, No 7. (in Swedish).