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Title

Long-term patterns in Iberian hare population dynamics in a protected area (Doñana National Park) in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula: Effects of weather conditions and plant cover

AuthorsCarro, Francisco ; Soriguer, Ramón C.
KeywordsDoñana
Iberian Peninsula
Lepus granatensis
Population dynamics
Trends
Issue Date2017
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
CitationIntegrative Zoology, 12(1): 49-60 (2017)
AbstractThe Iberian hare (Lepus granatensis) is a widely distributed endemic species in the Iberian Peninsula. To improve our knowledge of its population dynamics, the relative abundance and population trends of the Iberian hare were studied in the autumns of 1995–2012 in a protected area (Doñana National Park) by spotlighting in 2 different habitats: marshland and ecotones. The average relative abundance was 0.38 hare/km (SD = 0.63) in the marshland and 3.6 hares/km (SD = 4.09) in ecotones. The Iberian hare population exhibited local interannual fluctuations and a negative population trend during the study period (1995–2012). The results suggest that its populations are in decline. The flooding of parts of the marshland in June, July and October favor hare abundance in the ecotone. Hare abundance in the marshland increases as the flooded surface area increases in October. These effects are more pronounced if the rains are early (October) and partially flood the marsh. By contrast, when marsh grasses and graminoids are very high and thick (as measured using the aerial herbaceous biomass [biomass marshland] as a proxy), the abundance of hares decreases dramatically as does the area of the marsh that is flooded (in November)
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1749-4877.12212
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/148199
DOI10.1111/1749-4877.12212
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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