Landscape Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 185–192 | Cite as

Effects of patch attributes, barriers, and distance between patches on the distribution of a rock-dwelling rodent (Lagidium viscacia)

  • R. Susan Walker
  • Andrés J. Novaro
  • Lyn C. Branch


We tested whether size of habitat patches and distance between patches are sufficient to predict the distribution of the mountain vizcacha Lagidium viscacia a large, rock-dwelling rodent of the Patagonian steppe Argentina, or whether information on other patch and landscape characteristics also is required. A logistic regression model including the distance between rock crevices and depth of crevices, distance between a patch and the nearest occupied patch, and whether or not there was a river separating it from the nearest occupied patch was a better predictor of patch occupancy by mountain vizcachas than was a model based only on patch size and distance between patches. Our results indicate that a simple metapopulation analysis based on size of habitat patches and distance between patches may not provide an accurate representation of regional population dynamics if patches vary in habitat quality independently of patch size and features in the matrix alter connectivity.

Argentina Barriers Chinchillidae Habitat quality Isolation Lagidium Matrix Metapopulation Mountain vizcacha Patagonia Patch size 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Susan Walker
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrés J. Novaro
    • 2
  • Lyn C. Branch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife Ecology and ConservationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Wildlife Conservation Society, at Neuquén Applied Ecology CenterNeuquénArgentina

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