Research article

Response of the dominant rodent species to close-to-nature logging practices in a temperate mixed forest

Peter Lešo , Andrea Lešová, Rudolf Kropil, Peter Kaňuch

Peter Lešo
Department of Forest Protection and Game Management, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 20, SK–96053 Zvolen, Slovakia. Email:
Andrea Lešová
State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, Tajovského 28B, SK–974 09 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Rudolf Kropil
Department of Forest Protection and Game Management, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 20, SK–96053 Zvolen, Slovakia
Peter Kaňuch
Institute of Forest Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Štúrova 2, SK–96053 Zvolen, Slovakia

Online First: June 13, 2016
Lešo, P., Lešová, A., Kropil, R., Kaňuch, P. 2016. Response of the dominant rodent species to close-to-nature logging practices in a temperate mixed forest. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2016.620

The paper aims to answer the question whether differences exist in microhabitat preferences of the yellow-necked mouse and the bank vole between the natural forest and close-to-nature managed forest in the phase of stand regeneration. The two species were live-trapped during two periods in 2006 and 2007 on a square trapping grid established in a managed forest and a natural one. Ten microhabitat variables of each trapping point were measured to analyse their influence on the spatial distribution of the two species. At trapping points, the number of capture records for each species as a dependent variable was modelled using Generalised Linear Models. The herbal cover and a distance to the nearest woody debris were the most important measured microhabitat variables which affect the spatial distribution of both species. In the natural forest, the number of captures in both species increased significantly (p < 0.05) with a decreasing number of trees, increasing undergrowth coverage and decreasing distance to the nearest woody debris. In the managed forest, an increasing distance to the nearest tree and increasing herbal cover had a negative effect on the yellow-necked mouse occurrence (p < 0.001), while in contrast, the increase in values of the same variables increased frequency of occurrence of the bank vole (p < 0.001). Moreover, the bank vole was more frequent in the presence of woody debris (p < 0.002). The study demonstrated clearly that these species modify their spatial activity depending on the management of the woodland.

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