Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



THE PRAIRIE NATURALIST, Volume 37, No. 1, March 2005, pp. 29-40.


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


We examined factors that potentially influenced persistence of the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) during 1981 to 1988 at Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas. We predicted that both abiotic (e.g., precipitation and temperature) and biotic (e.g., availability of food and density of conspecifics) factors would influence persisten~e of individuals at the study site. Persistence of individual white-footed mice on the study site differed among years and seasons. White-footed mice that were first captured in summer or in autumn persisted longer than those first captured in spring. Young females (less than 20 g) had greater persistence than young males, whereas old males (greater than or equal to 25 g) had greater persistence than old females. Persistence of white-footed mice captured in summer, autumn, and spring was related to abundance of white-footed mice, to production of seeds by woody plants, and to precipitation during MarchMay, respectively. Ambient temperature had no influence on persistence. We suggest that biotic and abiotic factors that influence persistence of white-footed mice are local in scale and that they affect persistence differentially at different times of the year.