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The Influence of Rice Rats Oryzomys palustris on the Habitat Use of the Seaside Sparrow Ammospiza maritima

William Post
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 9, No. 1 (1981), pp. 35-40
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4599407
Page Count: 6
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The Influence of Rice Rats Oryzomys palustris on the Habitat Use of the Seaside Sparrow Ammospiza maritima
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Abstract

The influence of rodent activity on the distribution of the seaside sparrow Ammospiza maritima was investigated. 1. Seaside sparrows nest in Juncus less frequently than in shorter, sparser vegetation (Distichlis and Salicornia), where nests are more often subjected to flooding and predation by fish crows. 2. The activity spaces of seaside sparrows and rice rats Oryzomys palustris overlap, and the two species use similar nesting sites, but rice rats nest more frequently in Juncus. Information from the predation of natural and artificial bird nests demonstrates that rice rats attack more bird nests in Juncus than in other vegetation types. 3. It is concluded that the activity of rice rats influences the habitat distribution of seaside sparrows and that the two species compete for nesting sites.

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