The interaction of disturbances and small mammal community dynamics in a lowland forest in Belize

KLINGER, R. (2006) The interaction of disturbances and small mammal community dynamics in a lowland forest in Belize. Journal of Animal Ecology, 75 (6). pp. 1227-1238. ISSN 0021-8790

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    1. Three floods (July 2000, August 2002, September 2003) and a hurricane (October 2001) that occurred in a lowland forest in the southern Maya Mountains of Belize presented an opportunity to evaluate the influence of these disturbances on the structure of a small mammal assemblage. 2. Four terrestrial and four primarily scansorial/arboreal species were trapped July 2000–March 2005 in six grids over 14 irregularly spaced trapping periods. 3. Community dynamics were characterized more by changes in species composition than changes in diversity. The dynamics were driven by species-specific variation in abundance, with changes in composition generally, but not exclusively, due to the occurrence or disappearance of species at low abundance. Despite the disturbances, species richness remained relatively constant. Evenness within the assemblage was consistently low, primarily as a result of dominance by one species, Heteromys desmarestianus . 4. Effects of flooding on community structure were direct but relatively brief ( < 1 year), and varied with the duration and intensity of flooding. Effects from the hurricane were indirect but long-lasting and strongly related to severely reduced food resources. 5. This study suggests that long-term dynamics in the structure of many animal communities in the tropics often results from interactions between direct and indirect effects of disturbance. It also suggests that community resistance will depend on variation in disturbance type and regime, but resilience will be determined by the life-history characteristics of each species.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
    Unique ID or DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01158.x
    Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
    Keywords: community resilience, community resistance, community stability, diversity, resource limitation
    Subjects: (A) Biodiversity > (AG) Mammals > (AGD) Small Mammals
    (Z) Other or Unspecified
    Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3C) Other Universities
    Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2010 15:01
    Last Modified: 20 Jan 2011 14:24

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