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Microhabitat Associations of Small Mammals in Southeastern Colorado, with Special Emphasis on Peromyscus (Rodentia)

David O. Ribble and Fred B. Samson
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 32, No. 3 (Sep. 28, 1987), pp. 291-303
DOI: 10.2307/3671446
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3671446
Page Count: 13
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Microhabitat Associations of Small Mammals in Southeastern Colorado, with Special Emphasis on Peromyscus (Rodentia)
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Abstract

Microhabitat associations of 10 species of small mammals were investigated in 1983 in four vegetation types in southeastern Colorado. Vegetation types included shortgrass prairie and three sub-types of pinyon-juniper forest. Reithrodontomys megalotis, Dipodomys ordii, and Peromyscus truei were identified as microhabitat specialists, and Peromyscus leucopus, Peromyscus maniculatus, Perognathus flavus, and Neotoma (N. albigula and N. micropus) as microhabitat generalists. Further analysis revealed differences in microhabitat use between three species of coexisting Peromyscus. Peromyscus truei occurred in microhabitats with increased canopy cover, decreased herbaceous cover, and decreased tree dispersion as compared to P. leucopus and P. maniculatus. Conversely, P. leucopus occurred in microhabitats with decreased canopy cover, increased herbaceous cover, and increased tree dispersion. Peromyscus maniculatus preferred intermediate microhabitats. Microhabitat breadth of each Peromyscus species was similar, suggesting that the three species were equally opportunistic in exploiting available microhabitat.

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