Master's Theses

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Date of Award

Summer 1982

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Dr. Eugene Flaherty


Populations of small mammals were studied in the wheat/grain sorghum rotation agro- system in west-central Kansas. Two areas, each representing a different phase of the crop rotation cycle, were live-trapped. Diversity, evenness, richness, and relative densities of small mammals in the crop fields and in two uncultivated habitats were compared. Croplands had the lowest diversity and overall relative densities although the wheat field supported the greatest relative density of P. maniculatus. The grain sorghum field exhibited high diversity and evenness but had the lowest relative density. Community similarity coefficients indicated that croplands were least similar in their small mammal compositions, whereas the wheat field and adjoining edge habitat were most similar. Peromyscus maniculatus was the only species that was a common resident in croplands throughout the year, and ecological characteristics of this species were evaluated. Populations of deer mice peaked in spring during the period of rapid growth of wheat. Occasional disruptions in the wheat field did not have a detrimental effect on the population of deer mice, whereas the more frequent cultivations in the grain sorghum field might have contributed to the low population densities of small mammals found therein.


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© 1982 Kirk W. Navo

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