Anthropisation et effets de lisière : impacts sur la diversité des rongeurs dans la Réserve Forestière de Masako (Kisangani, R.D. Congo)
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Tropical conservation science
, p. 270-283
Anthropogenic effects on rodent richness, diversity, abundance, and relative density were studied in 4 habitats of the Masako Reserve, situated in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A primary forest dominated by Gilbertiodendron dewevrei as well as 3 anthropogenic habitats (secondary forest, fallow land, and the edge zone situated between the fallow land and the secondary forest) were sampled for rodents between May 2009 and April 2010. 1275 specimens (24 species and 5 families) were captured to quantify the differences in composition and abundance between the non disturbed habitat and the anthropogenic habitats, and between the edge zone and its adjacent habitats. Results indicated a non uniform rodent distribution across the four habitats. Richness and diversity were high in the edge habitat and low in the primary forest. Every habitat was characterized by a different relative density, of which the highest values were observed for the secondary forest and for the fallow habitat; the lowest value was observed for the primary forest. Edge zone characteristics differed from the adjacent habitats which suggested the existence of edge effects. Abundances differed significantly between habitats except between the secondary forest and the fallow land. The low evenness values observed in all habitats reflected the relative instability of the ecosystems at study. A chi-squared test confirmed the existence of seasonal effects on rodent abundance; the impact of anthropogenic activities on rodent presence was shown in the same way for the anthropogenic habitats but not for the primary forest habitat.