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Population Dynamics of Oryzomys palustris and Microtus pennsylvanicus in Virginia Tidal Marshes

Christopher P. Bloch and Robert K. Rose
Northeastern Naturalist
Vol. 12, No. 3 (2005), pp. 295-306
Published by: Eagle Hill Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3858686
Page Count: 12
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Population Dynamics of Oryzomys palustris and Microtus pennsylvanicus in Virginia Tidal Marshes
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Abstract

Oryzomys palustris (marsh rice rat) and Microtus pennsylvanicus (meadow vole) cohabit coastal marshes in the mid-Atlantic US. Both were live-trapped for 23 months at two tidal marsh sites in Virginia to assess their demography near the margins of their distributions. In the presence of dense vegetation, population dynamics of the two species were seasonal and positively correlated, with densities declining through the winter. At the more sparsely vegetated site, densities of both species were lower, and densities of M. pennsylvanicus were negatively correlated with those of O. palustris. Patterns of reproduction differed between the species. O. palustris was reproductively most active in summer and least so in winter, whereas female M. pennsylvanicus decreased reproductive activity during summer.

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