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Title: Space use patterns and population dynamics in two common European rodents, Apodemus sylvaticus and Myodes glareolus
Author: Dressen, Severin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 8293
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Space use patterns are driven by the individual's need to acquire enough resources to survive and reproduce. Population dynamics, in turn, are determined by individual survival and reproduction. In rodents, these two key elements to a species' ecology have been investigated for decades, but often data quality is insufficient to address important questions. This thesis aims to improve our understanding of space use patterns and population dynamics in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) and the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus). I also try to overcome current methodological limitations by using a new method for field data collection and exploring the use of in-silico methods. In chapters 2 and 3, I analyse space use patterns of both species. My results highlight the importance of predation risk and food availability for space use patterns. Chapter 3 also reveals the advantage of using an individual based model to address space use related questions. In chapter 4, I analyse the density dependence of body weight and life history parameters in our wood mice population by constructing an integral projection model. I found mixed results for the density dependence of body weight but proof for changes of generation time and reproductive success at higher densities. Using an individual based model, I show in chapter 5 that sensitivity of space use estimates to low temporal resolution of location fixes varies between different movement types. This thesis shows that space use patterns are driven by interactions of many drivers, including sex, season, food availability and body weight, but are dominated by predation risk. It also supports the importance of population density for space use patterns and population dynamics. Finally, I highlight the potential of using in-silico methods to investigate the ecology of rodents and the current vulnerability of space use estimates to bias.
Supervisor: Coulson, Tim ; Malo, Aurelio Sponsor: Cusanuswerk
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available