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Influence of Supplemental Food on Local Populations of Peromyscus leucopus

Lonnie P. Hansen , George O. Batzli
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1379805 335-342 First published online: 29 May 1979


The influence of supplemental food on the movement and demography of the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) was studied; on two experimental and two control grids established within a 24-ha tract of deciduous forest. Preliminary trapping for 1 year prior to supplemental feeding indicated only minor differences between grids. After supplemental feeding, mice bred somewhat earlier in the spring on the experimental plot, but densities, survival, movement, reproductive intensity, and weights were not influenced by supplemental food. These parameters varied more between years than between the experimental and control plots within a year. We concluded that natural food supply was not limiting population densities at the time of supplemental feeding. However, increased food availability (mast crop) may have affected winter survival, thus causing the increased densities observed on all grids during the second year.

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