Individual study: Forest management affects individual and population parameters of the hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius
Sozio G., Iannarilli F., Melcore I., Boschetti M., Fipaldini D., Luciani M., Roviani D., Schiavano A. & Mortelliti A. (2016) Forest management affects individual and population parameters of the hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius. Mammalian Biology, 81, 96-103
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Restore or create forest
A replicated study in 2010–2012 of 10 deciduous woodland sites in a protected area in central Italy (Sozio et al. 2016) found that forest regrowing on previously cultivated and/or grazed land had a greater abundance of hazel dormice Muscardinus avellanarius, and they had greater survival rates, than in coppiced forest. Peak abundance was higher in regrowing forest plots (17 dormice/plot) than in recent coppice (0–1/plot) and old coppice (1–7/plot). Monthly survival probability in regrowing forest (0.75) was higher than in old coppice (0.43). Too few dormice were recorded in young coppice to calculate survival. Forest type did not affect average litter size (regrowing forest: 4.5 young/litter; old coppice: 4.8 young/litter; no litters found in new coppice). Hazel dormice were surveyed within a grid of 36 tree-mounted wooden nest boxes/plot. Two recently coppiced plots (1–5 years since coppicing), three old coppice plots (20–30 years since coppicing) and two regrowing plots (formerly cultivated and/or grazed areas, unmanaged for 20 years) were sampled.
(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)