INTRAPOPULATION VARIATION IN THE DIET OF THE WOOD MOUSE APODEMUS-SYLVATICUS

S.S.J. Montgomery, Ian Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variation in the diet of wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus, was investigated in two contrasting habitats, deciduous and coniferous woodland, over 26 months and in 10 additional sites trapped during winter. Stomach contents were categorized as seed, fruit, green plant, root and animal material. Diet was evaluated using the percentage occurrence of each food type. Age and sex differences in diet occurred infrequently. Seed predominated throughout but was especially prevalent in autumn and winter. There was a peak in the incidence of animal material in the spring and early summer. Animal food was generally more frequent in mice caught in conifer plantations than in deciduous woodland during the longer-term study. Further, mice from the additional coniferous habitats had greater percentage occurrence of animal food than those from the additional deciduous sites. There was a negative, non-linear association between relative population size and diet in these winter samples. This suggests that spatial variation in numbers of A. sylvaticus is dictated by food availability and density is locally food limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-651
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Zoology
Volume222
Publication statusPublished - 1990

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