Juškaitis, R. 2007. Habitat Selection in the Common Dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius (L.) in Lithuania.  Baltic Forestry 13 (1): 89-95

The evaluation of habitat selection in the common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius L.) in Lithuania was based on comparisons between observed proportion of M. avellanarius localities in forest stands dominated by different tree species, and their proportion in the total forest cover of Lithuania. In Lithuania, most localities of M. avellanarius were situated in forests: 75% in forest stands and 21% in overgrown clearings and young Norway spruce (Picea abies) plantations. Among forest stands, 39% of localities were situated in stands dominated by Norway spruce, 20% in birch (Betula pendula and B. pubescens), and 13% in oak (Quercus robur)-dominated stands. In total, 39% of M. avellanarius localities were situated in conifer-dominated habitats with the majority of habitats also containing hazel (Corylus avellana). M. avellanarius preferred forest stands dominated by spruce and oak, but evidently avoided stands dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). Additionally, forest stand selection in M. avellanarius was analysed at two dormouse study sites with nestboxes. The highest proportion of nestboxes used by M. avellanarius was found in spruce-dominated and oak- dominated stands, respectively. Indirectly, habitat selection in M. avellanarius is related to soil fertility: more suitable habitats for M. avellanarius are situated on more fertile soils.

Key words: common dormouse, habitats, forest stands, overgrown clearings, nestbox use, Lithuania