Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): David R. Bowne; John D. Peles; Gary W. Barrett
    Date: 1999
    Source: Lanscape Ecology 14: 53-65, 1999
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (498 KB)


    A large-scale experimental landscape study was conducted to examine the use of corridors and the forest matrix habitat by the hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus). The role of micro-habitat selection by S. hispidus in influencing routes of movement was also investigated. The experimental landscape consisted of ten 1.64-ha patches (each 128 x 128 m) established in a loblolly (Pinus teada) forest. Four of the patches were isolated while the other six were connected in pairs by a 32-m wide corridor. Cotton rats (N=96) were simultaneously released into both an isolated and connected patch, and monitored by radiotelemetry for 10 days. We found that the forest matrix was not a barrier to movements of cotton rats. Fifty percent of the cotton rats moved through the matrix. Corridors had no significant effect on the number of animals leaving connected patches (60%) compared to isolated patches (50%). However, corridors were the preferred route to leave a connected patch. Colonization success for cotton rats leaving connected and isolated patches did not significantly differ. Cotton rats exhibited micro-habitat preferences and these preferences differed within patch/corridor and matrix habitats. In patch/corridor habitats, cotton rats selected sites with tall (> 1 m) shrubs and high percent cover. In the forest matrix, cotton rats selected sites with abundant cover by vines and low tree canopy cover. Movement patterns of Sigmodon hispidus are not strongly influenced by large-scale landscape spatial structures. Micro-habitat selection, however, does influence movement patterns. These findings have important implications regarding habitat connectivity for small mammals.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Bowne, David R.; Peles, John D.; Barrett, Gary W. 1999. Effects of Spatial Structure on Movement Patterns of the Hispid Cotton Rat. Lanscape Ecology 14: 53-65, 1999


    corridor, matrix, cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus, movement patterns, micro-habitat selection, spatial structure

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page