A preliminary study of two sympatric maxomys rats in Sarawak, Malaysia: Spacing patterns and population dynamics

Michiko Nakagawa, Hideo Miguchi, Kaori Sato, Tohru Nakashizuka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An ecological study focusing on the spacing patterns and population dynamics of two sympatric rats, Maxomys rajah and M. whiteheadi, was conducted using wire-mesh live cage traps over eight years in a primary tropical rain forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. Home range size, observed range length, the distribution of home ranges, and fluctuations in abundance of the two species were quantified. No significant differences were found in home range size or observed range lengths between conspecific sexes or between species. Overlaps of home range were mostly detected between heterospecific individuals, but occasionally between conspecific individuals. Populations of both rats fluctuated widely throughout the study period. The similar-sized home ranges of sexes within species and the significantly broad, overlapping home ranges between species respectively suggest a monogamous mating system in Maxomys and a mechanism, facilitating interspecific coexistence. Natural disturbances such as severe drought or changes in food availability (like mass fruiting) may influence the population dynamics of these rats.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-387
    Number of pages7
    JournalRaffles Bulletin of Zoology
    Volume55
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug 31

    Keywords

    • Disturbance
    • General flowering
    • Home range
    • Mating system
    • Observed range length
    • Tropical forest

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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