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Title: Species Composition, Abundance and Habitat Association of Rodents in Awash National Park and Metahara sugarcane Plantation
Authors: Solomon, Mengistu
Advisors: Afework Bekele(Prof.)
Keywords: Abundance
Awash National Park and Metahara sugarcane plantation
association of rodents
seasonal variation
, species composition
trap success
Copyright: Feb-2011
Date Added: 5-Jul-2012
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: A study on the species composition, distribution, relative abundance and habitat association of rodents species was carried out in Awash National Park and Metahara Sugarcane Plantation from August 2005 to 2007. Eight trapping grids were randomly selected based on the vegetation composition in Awash (riverine forest, Acacia woodland, Shrub bushland and grassland) and on growth stages of cane in Metahara (immature sugarcane plant, young sugarcane plant, and old sugarcane plant). An additional grid was selected from shrub bushland area outside the sugarcane plantation. A total of 1002 captures were obtained in 5880 trap nights. Of these, 309 individuals (40.98%) represented six species of rodents (Mastomys natalensis, Acomys cahirinus, Arvicanthis dembeensis, Mastomys erythroleucus, Tatera robusta and Mus musculus) in Awash and 445 (59.02%) represented eight species of rodents (M. natalensis, A. dembeensis, A. cahirinus, Mylomys albipes,Tatera robusta, M. musculus,and Rattus rattus) in Metahara. M. natalensis was the most abundant species constituting 26.5% of the total catch. A. dembeensis (17.8%), A. cahirinus (16.2%), M. erythroleucus (12.3%), T. robusta (11.8%), M. albipes (7.3%), M. musculus (5.4%), and R. rattus (2.7%) constituted the total catch. Variation in abundance among the rodent species between the two sites was significant. Most of the rodent species from Awash were trapped from shrub bushland and grassland areas. Riverine forest was the least preferred habitat by rodents in the study area. M. natalensis, A. dembeensis, A. cahirinus, M. albipes and M. erythroleucus preferred young sugarcane plants to other growth stages of the cane. T. robusta and R. rattus were trapped in more number in old sugarcane than other growth stages. M. musculus was equally abundant in both young and old sugarcane growth stages. The overall difference of the species abundance between the different stages of sugarcane plantation was significant. There was seasonal difference in the abundance of the rodent species in both Awash and Matehara. However, the overall difference in the abundance of rodents species between the two seasons was not statistically significant in Metahara. Variation in trap success in different habitats of Awash was statistically insignificant. Variation in trap success between different growth stages of the canes was statistically significant. However, there was no significant difference in trap success between the seasons. All age groups were represented in the population of most species with seasonal variation. The highest damage of sugarcane was recorded in old sugarcane plantation during both wet and dry seasons, followed by young and immature sugarcane plantations.
Description: A Thesis Presented to School of Graduate Studies of the Addis Ababa University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Biology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3287
Appears in:Thesis - Biology

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