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Highway verges as habitat providers for small mammals in agrosilvopastoral environments

AuthorsAscensão, Fernando; Clevenger, Anthony P.; Grilo, Clara CSIC ORCID CVN; Filipe, Joel; Santos-Reis, Margarida
Issue Date2012
CitationBiodiversity and Conservation (2012) 21:3681–3697
AbstractThe Mediterranean Basin has an important conservation value given its high biodiversity and high number of endemic species, which have co-existed with human traditional practices for centuries. However, northern areas as the Iberian Peninsula have experienced intensification in livestock production in recent past, with consequent reduction in habitat quality. In this study we assessed the importance of fenced highway verges as habitat for small mammals in Mediterranean agrosilvopastoral landscapes. More specifically, we compared small mammal abundance between highway verges and the adjacent two main land uses (‘‘montado’’ and open areas); compared the vegetative structure among these land uses; and addressed how vegetation structure influences species occupancy. Thirty-six sites were sampled in agrosilvopastoral system areas in southern Portugal (sampling effort 8,840 trap-nights). A total of 351 individuals from target species
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-012-0390-3
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