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Comparison of red fox Vulpes vulpes and pine marten Martes martes food habits in a decidous forest in Hungary

Lanszki, József and Zalewski, Andrzej and Horváth, Győző (2007) Comparison of red fox Vulpes vulpes and pine marten Martes martes food habits in a decidous forest in Hungary. WILDLIFE BIOLOGY, 13 (3). pp. 258-271. ISSN 0909-6396

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Abstract

Feeding habits and interspecific trophic niche overlap of two sympatric predators, the pine marten (Martes martes) and the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), were studied in a deciduous forest habitat in Hungary with conditions of differing abundance and dominance in the rodent community. The main food source of the predators consisted of small mammals, mainly rodents. Consumption of small mammals was higher during bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) dominated years in comparison with Apodemus mice dominated years. Both predators preferred bank voles as prey and consumed less Apodemus mice and shrews (Soricidae) than expected by availability. The two opportunistic predators utilized different, seasonally-dependent food resources. Martens consumed more plants, reptiles, amphibians and fish, while foxes consumed more small mammals and ungulate carcasses. In summer and autumn, percentage biomass of bank voles in marten diets and Apodemus mice in fox diets, were positively correlated with the number of rodents in the available food resources. In winter and spring, the density of rodents varied slightly, therefore, variations in the diets of predators were not related to preys density. The prey consumed was characteristically terrestrial and small-sized (less than 50 g). There was no difference in prey weight distribution between martens and foxes, but martens consumed more arboreal and foxes more terrestrial prey. The standardized food niche breadth did not differ significantly between the two species. Food niche overlap between the predators was higher in winter and spring, but the difference between seasons was not significant (mean overlap = 72%). In comparison with higher latitudes, a larger food niche overlap was found in this study.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QL Zoology / állattan
S Agriculture / mezőgazdaság > SK Hunting sports / vadgazdálkodás, vadászat
SWORD Depositor: MTMT SWORD
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2013 10:12
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2013 10:12
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/7106

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