[en] small mammals ; altitudinal distribution ; vegetation ; Pyrenees ; France
[en] In the Pyrénées-Orientales, distribution of small mammals and relative densities of the different species are governed by the lanscape: coastal and brackish water vegetation, agricultural areas in the Roussillon plain, mediterranean land vegetation, forests of lower montain and subalpine levels, alpine pastures. Finally topographic plays its role in the linkage of biocenoses and in particular by the orientation of the three main valleys with the resulting distribution of solar impact: mediterranean species attaining relatively high altitudes in warm sites paralleled by mountain species descending fairly low on shady slopes. In the area studied, the subalpine and low mountain levels are characterized by the absence of Crocidurinae, and the presence of Sorex "araneus", Sorex minutus, Microtus arvalis, Arvicola terrestris and Clethrionomys glareolus. The mediterranean level is characterized by the absence of Sorex and the presence of Pitymys duodecimcostatus and Mus spretus. Crocidura russula, C. suaveolens and Suncus etruscus occur in considerable numbers, but their presence is not typical of the mediterranean biome. The submediterranean level (transition zone) is the richest in terms of species number, as it comprises the zone of faunal overlap according to local solar impact.