Dispersal of common dormiceMuscardinus avellanarius in a habitat mosaic
In the eastern part of Saxony (Germany), common dormiceMuscardinus avellanarius (Linnaeus, 1758) were found in very small woods (average area of 10 woods was 2.9 ± 1.4 ha) isolated within agricultural fields for more than 100 years (average distance to the next, larger wood 268 ± 84 m). Dormice reproduced even in wood islands smaller than two hectares. Altogether 6 marked dormice were recorded migrating across the open landscape. Of these, 5 were juveniles. Minimum and maximum distances in treeless areas between points of capture and recapture were 250 and 500 m respectively. These migrations over open ground seem to be rare but normal events and explain the presence of common dormice in very small patches of woodland in habitat mosaics.
Key wordsMuscardinus avellanarius fragmentation migration
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