Supplementary feeding increases wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus density due to better overwintered and juvenile survival, Marley Wood, Oxfordshire, England
Published source details
Flowerdew J.R. (1972) The effect of supplementary food on a population of wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). Journal of Animal Ecology, 41, 553-566
Published source details Flowerdew J.R. (1972) The effect of supplementary food on a population of wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). Journal of Animal Ecology, 41, 553-566
Earlier studies in Oxfordshire, (southern England) had shown that the amount of natural food available to wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus influences their quality and survival. In this study,the food supply was artificially increased to assess the effect on over-winter survival and to see if it improved juvenile survival during the summer. The study was undertaken in a deciduous woodland, Marley Wood, on the Wytham Estate, Oxfordshire.
Wood mice were live-trapped in two triangular study plots (60 m apart at closest point). Wheat was provided at 45 live-trapping points within each. In the supplemental feeding plot (hereafter ‘wheat plot’; 1.1 ha) traps were spaced 20 m apart; in the control (1.5 ha; no supplemental food provided) traps were 23 m apart.
Upon addition of wheat the mice in the wheat plot began to increase in weight, and in the two springs, average weights of males and females were up to 20% higher than those in the control. In the spring of 1968, the breeding season also appeared to start at least a week earlier in the wheat plot.