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Acta zoológica mexicana

On-line version ISSN 2448-8445Print version ISSN 0065-1737


GARCIA-ESTRADA, Carlos; ROMERO-ALMARAZ, Ma. de Lourdes  and  SANCHEZ-HERNANDEZ, Cornelio. Comparison of rodent communities in sites with different degrees of disturbance in deciduous forest of southeartern Morelos, Mexico. Acta Zool. Mex [online]. 2002, n.85, pp.153-168. ISSN 2448-8445.

This study is the first work that compares rodent communities in a deciduous forest in Mexico. It documents differences between sites experiencing different degrees of disturbance caused by firewood and lumber extraction, and cattle grazing; a relatively undisturbed site (Site 1) and another more disturbed site (Site 2) in southeastern Morelos State. In each site we captured six species of rodents. Though habitat disturbance did not modify diversity or evenness of rodent species, the total number of individuals captured in Site 1 (n = 319) was greater than in Site 2 (n = 90). Effects of habitat fragmentation were expressed in significant differences in population density, age structure and microhabitat preference between two sites for Baiomys musculus, Peromyscus levipes and P. melanophrys. The disturbance of deciduous forest appears to be the principal factor explaining differences in demographic parameters of rodent species between the two study sites, as these two sites have the same climate, similar soils, and topography which differ only slightly.

Keywords : rodent communities; disturbance; diversity; population ecology; deciduous forest; Mexico.

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