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Does fungus consumption by the woodland jumping mouse vary with habitat type or the abundance of other small mammals?

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Fungi are important in the diet of many small mammal species, but patterns of fungus consumption (mycophagy) in eastern forests of North America have received little attention. Examination of stomach contents of the woodland jumping mouse, Napaeozapus insignis, revealed that fungi were an important dietary component in both eastern hemlock and mixed mesophytic habitats. Jumping mice in both forest types consumed mostly Glomalean fungi (primarily from the genera Glomus and Endogone), in agreement with previous studies. Mice also consumed fungi from the genera Elaphomyces and Melanogaster, previously unreported in the literature. Fungi from the genus Hymenogaster were only found in mice from eastern hemlock habitats. Melanogaster spores occurred more frequently in jumping mice from sites in which deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, were abundant, whereas Glomalean fungi were less frequent in the diet of N. insignis when deer mice were abundant. Overall frequency of spores in the diet of jumping mice was negatively related to the abundance of deer mice, suggesting that interactions between species may shape patterns of mycophagy.

Les champignons constituent une partie importante du régime alimentaire de plusieurs espèces de petits mammifères, mais les patterns de consommation de champignons (mycophagie) ont été peu étudiés dans les forêts de l'est de l'Amérique du Nord. L'examen des contenus stomacaux de souris-sauteuses des bois, Napaeozapus insignis, montre que les champignons sont un élément important de leur régime alimentaire, tant dans les habitats de pruches de l'Est que dans les forêts mixtes mésophytiques. Comme l'ont indiqué des études antérieures, les souris-sauteuses consomment surtout des glomales (particulièrement des genres Glomus et Endogone). Ils mangent aussi des champignons des genres Elaphomyces et Melanogaster, ce qui n'avait jamais été signalé dans la littérature. Les champignons du genre Hymenogaster sont utilisés seulement dans les habitats de pruches de l'Est. Les spores de Melanogaster se retrouvent plus fréquemment chez les souris-sauteuses aux sites où les souris sylvestres, Peromyscus maniculatus, sont abondantes, alors que les glomales sont moins fréquentes. La fréquence totale des spores dans le régime des souris-sauteuses est en relation négative avec la densité des souris sylvestres, ce qui laisse croire que les interactions entre les deux espèces structurent les patterns de mycophagie.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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