Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Major

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

First Advisor

Brent J. Danielson

Abstract

The prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) is a common year-round resident of Midwestern agricultural fields, and provides several ecosystem services. Previous studies and preliminary findings have shown that the mouse consumes large quantities of weed seeds and waste grain during the fall and winter. However, it is unknown how the spatial and temporal variation in resource types and their distribution affects foraging by deer mice in these crop fields. The following two studies were designed to 1) experimentally test how resource distribution (patchiness) within a field affects foraging by deer mice and 2) examine the temporal variation in diet composition of deer mice living in conventional corn fields. The results of these two studies add to our understanding of how weed populations and volunteer corn are regulated by deer mice in corn fields, which has important weed management implications. Ultimately, increased knowledge of the temporal variation in the deer mouse's diet and understanding how mice respond to variations in resource patchiness contribute to our basic ecological understanding of foraging in variable environments as well as emphasizing the value of these mice in the future of Midwestern agriculture.

Copyright Owner

Tatyana Jennifer Flick

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

70 pages

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