THREATENED VOLES IN FRAGMENTED MEDITERRANEAN FARMLAND: INSIGHTS ON MOVEMENT BEHAVIOUR, HABITAT USE, OCCUPANCY AND COEXISTENCE

with Ricardo Pita, APPLECOL,CIBIO-InBIO/UE | December 16, 2016 -15h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão

 

Habitat fragmentation has been long recognised has a major threat to many species living in human-dominated landscapes. A main consequence of habitat fragmentation is that species may become restricted to remnant habitats, often exhibiting spatially structured distribution patterns. This may result in a decreasing of their persistence abilities, which in the long term may result in significant decreases in overall biological diversity. Understanding the effects of habitat fragmentation on spatially structured populations requires analysing processes operating at multiple spatial scales (within patches, among patches, across patch-networks). I will present empirical results of my current research focusing on threatened voles (namely Cabrera and water voles) in fragmented Mediterranean farmland, particularly regarding processes that influence species persistence within and beyond local habitat patches, including movement and habitat selection behaviours, occupancy, and species interactions. I will also draft on possible conservation guidelines favouring species persistence and coexistence in patchy, heterogeneous environments.

 

Ricardo Pita is PhD in Biology by the University of Évora (UE), and pos-doc at CIBIO-UE (Applied Ecology research group) since 2011. His research interests include the relationships between species and their (changing) environment at multiple spatial and temporal scales. His current research has focused on the interaction between habitat fragmentation and spatial (meta)population processes in small mammal species of conservation importance, and also in understanding how environmental change may influence interspecific interactions across space and time.

 

[Group Leader: Pedro Beja, Applied Ecology]