Habitat associations of opossums and rodents in a lowland forest in French Guiana

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Opossums and rodents were sampled by live-trapping at Paracou, French Guiana to study habitat use. Tomahawk and Sherman traps were placed on the ground and at various heights in the subcanopy and canopy. We captured 10 species of opossums and seven species of rodents. We measured 14 microhabitat variables at each of 485 sampling stations. Presence or absence at a trap station of the three most abundant species of opossums (Didelphis albiventris, Didelphis marsupialis, and Micoureus demerarae) and two rodents (Oecomys rutilus and Proechimys cuvieri) were related by logistic regression analysis to the microhabitat variables. All five species were associated with at least one habitat variable. Linear analysis of categorical data was used to determine the degree of arboreality. Didelphis marsupialis and P. cuvieri were more commonly captured on the ground, D. albiventris was equitably distributed between ground and arboreal traps, and the remaining species were mostly arboreal. Linear analysis was used to compare the distribution of arboreal captures among two substrate types, two heights, and two substrate diameters. Oecomys rutilus was more commonly captured on lianas, D. albiventris and O. rutilus were more commonly captured at lower heights, and D. marsupialis demonstrated a preference for larger arboreal substrates. © 2012 Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Saugetierkunde.

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Mammalian Biology

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