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The influence of cereal harvest on the home-range use of the European hare ( Lepus europaeus )

The influence of cereal harvest on the home-range use of the European hare ( Lepus europaeus ) Abstract In farming areas predominated by one field crop, harvest changes food and cover availability for European hares ( Lepus europaeus ) within a short time frame. In this study, we tracked European hares by GPS (n=9) and VHF (n=19) in an agricultural area with 54% of cereal cropping before, during, and after harvest. In particular, we focused on the question whether and how harvest affects European hares’ space use. We found that, during activity, hares’ 24-h home-ranges were significantly larger after harvest than before, whereas on weekly home-range size, harvest had only a significant effect when calculated by the Minimum Convex Polygon method. We suggest that the effect of harvest on the species’ home-range size is time scale dependent. Changes in home-range use were mainly due to hares using less cereal fields after harvest. Furthermore, after harvest, active hares stayed further away from field edges, whereas resting animals were closer to field edges. In conclusion, our results show that cereal harvest influenced European hares’ space use, but this influence might only be discernible on the small time scale. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mammalia de Gruyter

The influence of cereal harvest on the home-range use of the European hare ( Lepus europaeus )

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References (45)

Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by the
ISSN
0025-1461
eISSN
1864-1547
DOI
10.1515/mammalia-2013-0099
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract In farming areas predominated by one field crop, harvest changes food and cover availability for European hares ( Lepus europaeus ) within a short time frame. In this study, we tracked European hares by GPS (n=9) and VHF (n=19) in an agricultural area with 54% of cereal cropping before, during, and after harvest. In particular, we focused on the question whether and how harvest affects European hares’ space use. We found that, during activity, hares’ 24-h home-ranges were significantly larger after harvest than before, whereas on weekly home-range size, harvest had only a significant effect when calculated by the Minimum Convex Polygon method. We suggest that the effect of harvest on the species’ home-range size is time scale dependent. Changes in home-range use were mainly due to hares using less cereal fields after harvest. Furthermore, after harvest, active hares stayed further away from field edges, whereas resting animals were closer to field edges. In conclusion, our results show that cereal harvest influenced European hares’ space use, but this influence might only be discernible on the small time scale.

Journal

Mammaliade Gruyter

Published: Nov 1, 2014

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