Where to sleep in a rural landscape? A comparative study of resting sites pattern in two syntopic <i>Martes</i> species - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Ecography Year : 2015

Where to sleep in a rural landscape? A comparative study of resting sites pattern in two syntopic Martes species

Abstract

The niche-complementarity hypothesis predicts that two sympatric species must differ in their requirements for one of the three main ecological dimensions (i.e. habitat use, diet, and activity time) to coexist. European pine marten Martes martes and stone marten M. foina are syntopic medium-sized mustelids with very similar morphology and ecology for which resting sites are a key resource. To better understand how these species coexist, we investigated whether key features of their resting site pattern (number of resting sites, area over which they are distributed, main habitat type used for resting) differed. We used diurnal telemetry to identify resident individuals (e.g. spatially stable individuals over time) and to locate them during resting periods in a fragmented forested area in France. Stone marten used fewer resting sites distributed over a smaller surface area than pine marten. Most stone marten resting sites were located in open habitat (83%) in the proximity of human habitations, whereas pine martens rested almost exclusively in forest (98%). Sex, age, and season explained some variability in both the number of resting sites and the probability of resting within forested habitat for stone marten but not pine marten. The area covered by resting sites was larger in males than in females, but age modulated this difference in an opposite way for the two species. Such a pattern was expected given the intra-sexual territoriality and the reproductive phenology of these species. Overall, stone marten showed higher inter-individual variability in resting site pattern than pine marten. The particular pattern observed in subadult male stone martens during summer (increase in resting site surface area and in the probability to rest in forest) may reflect an attempt to settle in forests, and we discuss these implications in the context of interspecific competition.
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Dates and versions

hal-02025589 , version 1 (31-08-2023)

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Jeremy Larroque, Sandrine Ruette, Jean-Michel Vandel, Sébastien Devillard. Where to sleep in a rural landscape? A comparative study of resting sites pattern in two syntopic Martes species. Ecography, 2015, 38 (11), pp.1129-1140. ⟨10.1111/ecog.01133⟩. ⟨hal-02025589⟩
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