Coexistence of the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, and the golden mouse, Ochrotomys nuttalli, in a southeastern forested peninsula : a removal study
Christopher, Cory Chad
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Much attention has been devoted to interactions among similar coexisting species. Most of this literature, however, concerns negative interactions such as competition, whereas there is less information concerning positive interactions, especially mutualistic interactions, among similar small mammal species. This investigation addresses interactions between two similar small mammal species, the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, and the golden mouse, Ochrotomys nuttalli, and seeks to determine how positive and negative interactions, integrated with community interactions such as vegetative cover and food resources, function in population and community regulation. Peromyscus leucopus was removed from 4 experimental grids within the study site to assess the removal effects on population dynamics of O. nuttalli. Following removal of P. leucopus, O. nuttalli showed no difference in population density, but showed a change in habitat use by extending use of vertical habitat. I believe that abundant resources (e.g., Quercus nigra mast crop) precluded extreme competition between these species.