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Predicting grey-sided vole occurrence in northern Sweden at multiple spatial scales
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5796-7728
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8218-1153
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2013 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 3, no 13, 4365-4376 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Forestry is continually changing the habitats for many forest-dwelling species around the world. The grey-sided vole (Myodes rufocanus) has declined since the 1970s in forests of northern Sweden. Previous studies suggested that this might partly be caused by reduced focal forest patch size due to clear-cutting. Proximity and access to old pine forest and that microhabitats often contains stones have also been suggested previously but never been evaluated at multiple spatial scales. In a field study in 2010–2011 in northern Sweden, we investigated whether occurrence of grey-sided voles would be higher in (1) large focal patches of >60 years old forest, (2) in patches with high connectivity to sur- rounding patches, and (3) in patches in proximity to stone fields. We trapped animals in forest patches in two study areas (V€asterbotten and Norrbotten). At each trap station, we surveyed structural microhabitat characteristics. Land- scape-scale features were investigated using satellite-based forest data combined with geological maps. Unexpectedly, the vole was almost completely absent in Norrbotten. The trap sites in Norrbotten had a considerably lower amount of stone holes compared with sites with voles in V€asterbotten. We suggest this might help to explain the absence in Norrbotten. In V€asterbotten, the distance from forest patches with voles to stone fields was significantly shorter than from patches without voles. In addition, connectivity to surrounding patches and size of the focal forest patches was indeed related to the occurrence of grey-sided voles, with connectivity being the overall best predictor. Our results support previous findings on the importance of large forest patches, but also highlight the importance of connectivity for occurrence of grey-sided voles. The results further suggest that proximity to stone fields increase habitat quality of the forests for the vole and that the presence of stone fields enhances the voles’ ability to move between nearby forest patches through the matrix

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 3, no 13, 4365-4376 p.
Keyword [en]
boreal forest, connectivity, conservation, forest patch size, grey-sided vole, myodes, population ecology, small mammals, stone
National Category
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97613DOI: 10.1002/ece3.827ISI: 000326824300007OAI: diva2:679583
Available from: 2013-12-16 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2014-11-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Spatial complexity and fit between ecology and management: Making sense of patterns in fragmented landscapes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spatial complexity and fit between ecology and management: Making sense of patterns in fragmented landscapes
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Avoiding the negative effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity is especially challenging when also the management institutions are spatially and administratively distributed. This doctoral thesis introduces five case studies that investigate ecological, social and social-ecological relations in fragmented landscapes. I present new approaches in which research and governance can detect and manage mismatches between landscape ecology and planning. The case studies include urban and forested landscapes where an intense land-use is limiting the connectivity, i.e., the potential for many species to disperse between the remaining patches of habitat. Graph-theoretic (network) models are applied to map connectivity patterns and to estimate the outcome for dispersing species at the patch level and for the whole study system. In particular, the network models are applied to evaluate the spatial complexity and the potential mismatches between ecological connectivity and geographically distributed management institutions like protected areas and municipalities. Interviews with municipal ecologists complement the spatial analysis; revealing some problems and ways forward regarding the communication and integration of ecological knowledge within local spatial-planning agencies. The results also show that network models are useful to identify and communicate critical ecological and social-ecological patterns that call for management attention. I suggest some developments of network models as to include interactions between species and across governance levels. Finally, I conclude that more effort is needed for network models to materialize into ecological learning and transformation in management processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 2013. 30 p.
Connectivity; Conservation; Dispersal; Ecological knowledge; Ecology; Forest; Fragmentation; Graph theory; Institutional fit; Landscape; Management; Metapopulation; Municipal ecologist; Network; Planning; Protected area; Scale mismatch; Social-Ecological; Urban; Wetland
National Category
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97618 (URN)978-91-7447-834-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-01-21, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-12-29 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2014-11-07Bibliographically approved

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