Seed production, predators and house mouse populations eruptions in New Zealand beech forests.

Wendy RUSCOE, D. Choquenot, Richard Heyward, Ivor Yockney, Nigel Young, Kevin Drew

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


    Periodic heavy seed production in New Zealand beech forests increases the food supply available to both native birds and exotic pests, including the house mouse. We tracked changes in beech seedfall and mouse abundance as well as rats and stoats in two valleys in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, between 1999 and 2001. Mouse population eruptions occurred only in areas and years where the beech forest was producing large quantities of seed. This
    autumn injection of highly nutritious food allowed winter breeding by mice, triggering a population eruption. Beech seed is no longer available after spring and mouse populations crash until the next beech seedfall. The presence of
    stoats (a predator) did not affect the rate of increase of mouse populations, or have any modifying effect on the influence of seedfall.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationACIAR Monograph Series
    Subtitle of host publicationRats, Mice and People: Rodent Biology and Management
    EditorsGrant Singleton, Lyn Hinds, Charles Krebs, Dave Spratt
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherAustralian Centre for International Agricultural Research
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Electronic)1-86320-357-5
    ISBN (Print)1-86320-356-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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