Winter ecology of prairie deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) in cultivated habitats: Implications for agricultural ecosystem services

Winter ecology of prairie deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) in cultivated habitats:... •Our study investigated the winter ecology of prairie deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii), which are permanent residents of row-crop fields in the Midwestern United Sates and may provide ecosystem services by regulating weed seed and waste grain populations.•We used a combination of novel spatial mark-recapture demographic and stable isotope dietary analyses to investigate the ecology of prairie deer mice within corn and soybean agro-ecosystems of west-central Indiana.•We found that overwinter populations were robust, capable of surviving across winter, and maintained diets dominated by waste grains.•We estimate that prairie deer mice consume 6.3kg/ha of waste corn and 7.1kg/ha of waste soybean seeds during the non-growing season – a substantial reduction in waste grains remaining on the soil surface following crop harvest.•Collectively, our results suggest that prairie deer mice make meaningful contributions to reducing waste-grain populations during winter in post-harvest row-crop fields, during a time of year when most other seed predators are inactive. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment Elsevier

Winter ecology of prairie deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) in cultivated habitats: Implications for agricultural ecosystem services

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0167-8809
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.agee.2017.08.019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

•Our study investigated the winter ecology of prairie deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii), which are permanent residents of row-crop fields in the Midwestern United Sates and may provide ecosystem services by regulating weed seed and waste grain populations.•We used a combination of novel spatial mark-recapture demographic and stable isotope dietary analyses to investigate the ecology of prairie deer mice within corn and soybean agro-ecosystems of west-central Indiana.•We found that overwinter populations were robust, capable of surviving across winter, and maintained diets dominated by waste grains.•We estimate that prairie deer mice consume 6.3kg/ha of waste corn and 7.1kg/ha of waste soybean seeds during the non-growing season – a substantial reduction in waste grains remaining on the soil surface following crop harvest.•Collectively, our results suggest that prairie deer mice make meaningful contributions to reducing waste-grain populations during winter in post-harvest row-crop fields, during a time of year when most other seed predators are inactive.

Journal

Agriculture, Ecosystems & EnvironmentElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2017

References

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