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Seasonal Variation in Population and Community Structure of Shrews in a Tropical Forest of Gabon

Violaine Nicolas 1 Patrick Barrière 1 Marc Colyn 1 
1 EVE - Ethologie, éVolution, Ecologie
EthoS - Ethologie animale et humaine
Abstract : The composition, structure and reproductive phenology of a shrew community were investigated for 1 y at two neighbouring sites in an undisturbed African forest of south-western Gabon. We captured 717 shrews, belonging to four genera and 10 species. The data were analysed to answer three main questions: (1) to what extent does the shrew abundance vary seasonally? (2) is there a shift in species dominance over time? and (3) does the intensity of breeding activity vary seasonally? The number of species captured varied seasonally and tended to be least during the period of minimal trap success. Trap success for the four most abundant species (Sylvisorex johnstoni, Crocidura batesi, Paracrocidura schoutedeni and Sylvisorex ollula) varied seasonally with a minimum around the long dry season. Sylvisorex johnstoni remained the dominant species throughout the year. Seasonal variation in trap success of shrews might be related, at least partly, to their reproductive characteristics. Litter size, based on embryo counts, ranged from 1-4 among the species. Breeding occurred throughout the year. but its intensity was lower during the long dry season corresponding with the period of higher ecological constraints for shrews.
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Violaine Nicolas, Patrick Barrière, Marc Colyn. Seasonal Variation in Population and Community Structure of Shrews in a Tropical Forest of Gabon. Journal of Tropical Ecology, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2005, 21 (2), pp.161-169. ⟨10.1017/S0266467404002123⟩. ⟨hal-01346191⟩



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