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Title: Landscape Characteristics Affecting Small Mammal Occurrence in Heterogeneous Olive Grove Agro-Ecosystems
Authors: Barão, Isabel
Queirós, João
Vale-Gonçalves, Hélia
Paupério, Joana
Pita, Ricardo
Editors: Cianfaglione, Kevin
Keywords: agricultural biodiversity
genetic non-invasive sampling
occupancy modeling
pest species
threatened species
Issue Date: 10-Jan-2022
Publisher: Conservation (mdpi)
Citation: Barão I., Queirós J., Vale‐Gonçalves H., Paupério J., Pita R. (2022). Landscape characteristics affecting small mammal occurrence in heterogeneous olive grove agroecosystems. Conservation 2(1):51‐67
Abstract: Understanding how small mammals (SM) are associated with environmental characteristics in olive groves is important to identify potential threats to agriculture and assess the overall conservation value and functioning of agro-ecosystems. Here, we provide first insights on this topic applied to traditional olive groves in northeast (NE) Portugal by assessing the landscape attributes that determine SM occurrence, focusing on one species of conservation concern (Microtus cabrerae Thomas 1906) and one species often perceived as a potential pest of olives (Microtus lusitanicus Gerbe 1879). Based on SM genetic non-invasive sampling in 51 olive groves and surrounding habitats, we identified seven rodent species and one insectivore. Occupancy modelling indicated that SM were generally less detected within olive groves than in surrounding habitats. The vulnerable M. cabrerae reached a mean occupancy (95% CI) of 0.77 (0.61–0.87), while M. lusitanicus stood at 0.37 (0.24–0.52). M. cabrerae was more likely to occur in land mosaics with high density of agricultural field edges, while M. lusitanicus was more associated with high density of pastureland patches. Overall, our study suggests that the complex structure and spatial heterogeneity of traditionally managed olive grove agro-ecosystems may favor the occurrence of species-rich SM communities, possibly including well-established populations of species of conservation importance, while keeping potential pest species at relatively low occupancy rates.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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