Response of the dominant rodent species to close-to-nature logging practices in a temperate mixed forest
The paper aims to answer the question whether differences exist in microhabitat preferences of the yellow-necked mouse and the bank vole between the natural forest and close-to-nature managed forest in the phase of stand regeneration. The two species were live-trapped during two periods in 2006 and 2007 on a square trapping grid established in a managed forest and a natural one. Ten microhabitat variables of each trapping point were measured to analyse their influence on the spatial distribution of the two species. At trapping points, the number of capture records for each species as a dependent variable was modelled using Generalised Linear Models. The herbal cover and a distance to the nearest woody debris were the most important measured microhabitat variables which affect the spatial distribution of both species. In the natural forest, the number of captures in both species increased significantly (p < 0.05) with a decreasing number of trees, increasing undergrowth coverage and decreasing distance to the nearest woody debris. In the managed forest, an increasing distance to the nearest tree and increasing herbal cover had a negative effect on the yellow-necked mouse occurrence (p < 0.001), while in contrast, the increase in values of the same variables increased frequency of occurrence of the bank vole (p < 0.001). Moreover, the bank vole was more frequent in the presence of woody debris (p < 0.002). The study demonstrated clearly that these species modify their spatial activity depending on the management of the woodland.