Long-term dynamics of mouse-like rodents population size in dark coniferous forest of the East Sayan mountains
Long-term dynamics of small mammals communities from dark coniferous forests of the East Sayan was studied for a period of 26 years. The study was conducted in the natural reserve «Stolby» and the adjacent areas. The analysis of the long-term dynamics has shown that various species population size fluctuations phases do not coincide. It results in the changes of structure of dominance with the leading position taken by northern red-backed vole (Myodes rutilus) and gray red-backed vole (Myodes rufocanus). The duration of the population cycle varies in different species from two to four years. In general, the community is characterized by clear harmonic fluctuations with a four-year amplitude. Unidirectional irreversible changes in population in this community do not exist, that in general characterizes it as stable and sustainable. The leading impact on the population size in the studied group of species is caused by the total summer temperature and the rainfalls. These factors control fluctuations of the small mammals numbers in the range of 31–56%. In addition, the influence of seed productivity as well as predators’ (smaller mustelids) pressure should not be underestimated.DOI: 10.15298/rusjtheriol.8.2.03
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