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Data from: American marten and fisher do not segregate in space and time during winter in a mixed-forest system

Citation

Croose, Elizabeth et al. (2019), Data from: American marten and fisher do not segregate in space and time during winter in a mixed-forest system, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.452n6d3

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms of coexistence between ecologically similar species is an important issue in ecology. Carnivore coexistence may be facilitated by spatial segregation, temporal avoidance, and differential habitat selection. American martens Martes americana and fishers Pekania pennanti are medium‐sized mustelids that occur sympatrically across portions of North America, yet mechanisms of coexistence between the two species are not fully understood. We assessed spatial and temporal partitioning in martens and fishers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, using camera trap data collected during winter 2013–2015. To investigate spatial segregation, we used a dynamic occupancy model to estimate species’ occupancy probabilities and probabilities of persistence and colonization as a function of covariates and yearly occupancy probability for the other species. Temporal segregation was assessed by estimating diel activity overlap between species. We found weak evidence of spatial or temporal niche partitioning of martens and fishers. There was high overlap in forest cover selection, and both marten and fisher occupancy were positively correlated with deciduous forests (excluding aspen [Populus tremuloides]). There was strong temporal overlap (equation/ece35097-math-0001.png; CI = 0.79–0.82) with both species exhibiting largely crepuscular activity patterns. Co‐occurrence of martens and fishers appears to be facilitated by mechanisms not investigated in this study, such as partitioning of snow features or diet. Our results add additional insights into resource partitioning of mesocarnivores, but further research is required to enhance our understanding of mechanisms that facilitate marten and fisher coexistence.

Usage Notes

Location

USA
Upper Peninsula of Michigan