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Pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) and meadow voles (M. pennsylvanicus) co-occur in orchards but may exhibit mutual avoidance through temporal or spatial isolation. Though pine and meadow voles have exhibited overlapping home ranges, individuals of the two species seldom occupy the same 2m area at the same time (Pagano & Madison, 1981). Differences in habitat use by pine and meadow voles may contribute to their spatial separation in orchards. McAnich (1979) found a weak relationship between meadow vole numbers and soil compaction, soil moisture, thatch depth, and light intensity and no relationship between meadow vole occurrence and soil organic matter or cover density. However, Pagano and Madison (1981) report a strong correlation between meadow vole numbers and abundant cover during August. Pine voles exhibited a significant relationship with soil compaction, thatch depth, and light intensity.
Studies concerning pine and meadow vole movements and habitat use have monitored established vole populations usually in maintained orchards. This paper reports on the ecological parameters associated with pine vole colonization of an abandoned orchard. Thus, site selection by pine voles and the effect of pine vole movement and establishment on meadow voles could be determined.