The aim of the study was to determine the species richness (S, Chao- 1 index) and diversity (Shannon–Wiener H’ index, diversity profiles) of small mammal assemblages in woodland reserves in an urban agglomeration and to compare the similarity of assemblages (with the use of Ward’s method) in terms of proportions of small mammals connected to the habitats of different level of naturalness. The work was conducted from 2004–2015 at 9 woodland reserves in Warsaw (Poland). On the basis of the analysis of pellets of tawny owls Strix aluco, 2792 individuals were identified (24 species). Reserves supported from 7 to 16 of the small mammal species, the highest overall number of species estimated (Chao-1) was 19. Species present in every reserve were Apodemus flavicollis, A. agrarius, Rattus norvegicus, Sorex araneus and Talpa europaea. Least frequent were Microtus agrestis and M. subterraneus. Seven species of bats were detected. Species diversity was lower in the biggest forest complexes, where forest rodents dominated small mammal assemblage. The heterogeneity of habitats within reserve and in the surroundings, in combination with limited human-interference, resulted in an increase in the species diversity. Overall, the reserves under study were an important refuge for small mammals within the Warsaw agglomeration. However, safeguarding of adjacent areas against excessive anthropogenic change is needed and ecological corridors that link different areas need to be retained.
|Source||Folia Forestalia Polonica, Series A – Forestry|
|Type of article
||Woodland reserves within an urban agglomeration as important refuges for small mammals|
|Publisher||The Committee on Forestry Sciences and Wood Technology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Forest Research Institute in Sekocin Stary|