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The importance of field mice

Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) have carried out a study in which they have analyzed the importance of the field mouse as a key element in the regeneration of oak forests. The importance is that they store and hide acorns. And they also transport them up to a distance of 130 meters.

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Index
  1. How Field Mice Live
  2. Field mouse power
  3. Field mouse survival
  4. The field mouse and reforestation

How Field Mice Live

The field mice hide the acorns under the ground or in the litter and many are forgotten, thus favoring the dispersal and natural regeneration of the oaks. An unknown work of rodents, dark, silent, but essential for this type of forest. And that, in short, demonstrates the important work that any living being performs in the conservation of an ecosystem.

Finally, the importance of biodiversity. The investigations have been carried out in the Hayedo de Montejo, one of the southernmost beech forests in Europe, located in the Community of Madrid (Spain), by researchers from the UPM’s Higher Technical School of Forestry Engineers. They are the fruits of oaks, holm oaks, cork oaks and gall oaks, resulting in a very nutritious and appetizing food for a large part of the fauna.

Field mouse power

Many animals feed on acorns, from small beetles that pierce the shell to feed on the reserves to large roe deer and wild boar that eat them, we could almost say that with a certain anxiety, passing through medium-sized animals such as field mice or birds such as the jay or nuthatch.

However, some of these animals, in addition to eating them, also hide them in burrows, under the ground or in cavities next to the trunks of trees. These animals are called dispersers in specialized language, since they are responsible for transporting the acorns and storing them in places where they cannot be discovered by others. They hide them .

The buried and forgotten acorns will give rise to new oak seedlings which, if all goes well, will replace the old trees, thus maintaining the natural dynamics of the forest. An irreplaceable function Acorns are basically made up of reserves (lipids) and present a very small (less than 1% of its volume).

Field mouse survival

Thus, as long as the embryo survives, the acorn can germinate. Studies show that mice of field , which can weigh 36 grams, are not able to completely consume larger acorns (which can weigh up to 13 grams). If the mice are satiated, they leave remains of the acorn without consuming. These acorns, even being partially eaten, have enough reserves to be able to germinate and develop , giving rise to small oaks. Studies by UPM researchers have shown how oaks benefit from mice, so that they move their heavy seeds , colonizing new places and dispersing their genes.

In turn, the mice will feed on some of these acorns , essential fruits to spend the winter, thus establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between the tree and the animal. If the acorns were not dispersed and buried by the mice, they would all remain under the top of the tree where competition with other acorns to make a new tree would be much greater and where compulsive eaters of acorns, such as wild boars or deer, could destroy them. The mice, by dispersing and burying the acorns one by one, make them go unnoticed by other animals.

The field mouse and reforestation

Thus, the role of the field mouse in the regeneration of oak forests is unquestionable. One of the main functions of the forest engineer is to ensure the regeneration of forests. But nature has already devised its own mechanisms . We only have to discover them through research to be able to favor them. The field mouse has proven to be an untitled forestry engineer with a specialty in acorn dispersal. An irreplaceable living being . A unique animal.

If you want to read more articles similar to The importance of field mice , we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category .

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