Mammalian Biology

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 83–91 | Cite as

Small mammal assemblages in a disturbed tropical landscape at Pozuzo, Peru

  • José Luis MenaEmail author
  • Rodrigo A. Medellín
Original Investigation


Deforestation in the Peruvian pre-montane forests has increased alarmingly in recent years. Particularly, fragmentation in these forests takes place against a background of very extensive continuous forest. Until now, no studies have detailed how Peruvian small mammals responded to forest fragmentation. In this paper, we report the results of an assessment of nonvolant small mammal fauna in forest remnants (one large fragment and one small fragment) and cattle pasture in a disturbed landscape at Pozuzo, formerly a pre-montane tropical forest in central Peru. In each forest remnant, we quantify habitat parameters and identified small mammals to know if there is a relationship between forest remnant size or microhabitat structure and small mammal assemblages. In addition, we investigated the influence of habitat structure on the presence of small mammal species. We did not find any evidence that habitat structure in large fragment was greater than small fragment. Actually, both forest remnants presented habitat features typical of forests subject to higher levels of disturbance. We found that abundance of small trees (10–19 cm DBH) was positively associated with the presence of Marmosops noctivagus, but negatively with the presence of Oecomys bicolor. Likewise, the presence of the arboreal Rhipidomys leucodactylus was associated with the abundance of larger trees (DBH > 50 cm). We recorded 12 small mammal species in large fragment, 9 in small fragment and 3 in cattle pasture. No significant differences were found in species richness between both fragments, but marsupial abundance in the small fragment was greater than large fragment. At Pozuzo, we recorded 9 species restricted to forest habitat and 3 to forest and cattle pastures. However, it is necessary to assess more fragments to improve our knowledge about species survival in this landscape.


Small mammals Forest remnants Fragmentation Patch scale Peru 


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© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LincePeru
  2. 2.Instituto de EcologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoDistrito FederalMéxico

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