Microhabitat selection when detection is imperfect: The case of an endemic Atlantic forest mammal

  • Kajin M
  • Grelle C
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Abstract

Studies on habitat selection based on the presence and absence of individuals still rarely include the uncertainty of absence. With it, one can model the probability of detection, which is a parameter of interest especially when dealing with species where non-detection is common. Here, we performed an analysis of microhabitat selection of a New World marsupial (Marmosa paraguayana, Tate 1931)-an arboreal species endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic forest-accounting for false absence. We found empirical evidence supporting one of our hypotheses: the angle of the terrain's inclination at a site positively affects detection probability. This is probably due to the fact that, at an inclined site, the area available to the animals tends to be larger and the probability of detection of M. paraguayana would be higher, due either to greater local abundance or increased frequency of moving. The probability of resource use was heterogeneous, or rather, not constant in space, but constant in time. We found weak evidence for the correlation between the canopy volume and the probability of resource use. However, we observed a tendency in the estimates of site-specific probability of resource use: the highest values of the probability of resource use appeared in the upper part of the study grid, where the canopies were denser as well as more closed. Thus, this specie's probability of resource use possibly diminishes in habitats such as early secondary forest with tiny canopies. © 2012 The Ecological Society of Japan.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Arboreal
  • Canopy
  • Inclination
  • Marmosa
  • Probability of resource use

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