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Feeding and Reproduction of Three Didelphid Marsupials in Two Neotropical Forests (French Guiana)
Didier Julien-Laferriere and Martine Atramentowicz
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 404-415
Published by: Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388558
Page Count: 12
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The reproductive patterns of three didelphid marsupial species (Caluromys philander. Didelphis marsupialis and Philander opossum) were studied in secondary and mature forest in French Guiana in relation to food supply and seasonal variation. Both forests exhibited a period of low fruit availability which was longer and more acute in the mature forest. Nevertheless, survival rate of pouch young was higher for C. philander and P. opossum in the mature forest. It was correlated with high nectar availability during the season of fruit scarcity, and with lower population density compared to the secondary forest site. Conversely, D. marsupialis had a more seasonal breeding pattern, with low mortality of pouch young on both sites, and thus appeared less directly dependent on environmental conditions. Annual variations in body weight were compared for the three species on both study areas. Influence of parturition dates, age and body weight of the female upon litter size and pouch young survival is discussed.
Biotropica © 1990 Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation