Fitness of the pestiferous small rodent Mastomys natalensis in an agroecosystem in Mayuge district, Lake Victoria Crescent, Uganda

Alex Mayambahttp://orcid.org/https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5180-1869 1 , 2 , 3 , Bram Vanden Broecke 4 , Herwig Leirs 4 , Brian E. Isabirye 5 , Robert M. Byamungu 2 , Alice Nakiyemba 1 , Moses Isabirye 1 , David Kifumba 1 , Apia W. Massawe 3 , Didas N. Kimaro 6 , Mshaka E. Mdangi 7  and Loth S. Mulungu 3
  • 1 Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Busitema University, P.O. Box 236, Tororo, Uganda
  • 2 Department of Wildlife and Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • 3 Pest Management Centre, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3110, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • 4 Evolutionary Ecology Group, Universiteit Antwerpen, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
  • 5 Kawanda Agribusiness Consult, Kampala, Uganda
  • 6 Department of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3003, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • 7 Department of Training, Extension services and Research, Ministry of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2182, Dodoma, Tanzania
Alex MayambaORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5180-1869
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Busitema University, P.O. Box 236, Tororo, Uganda
  • Department of Wildlife and Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • Pest Management Centre, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3110, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • orcid.org/0000-0001-5180-1869
  • Email
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Bram Vanden Broecke
  • Evolutionary Ecology Group, Universiteit Antwerpen, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Herwig Leirs
  • Evolutionary Ecology Group, Universiteit Antwerpen, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Brian E. Isabirye, Robert M. Byamungu
  • Department of Wildlife and Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Alice Nakiyemba
  • Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Busitema University, P.O. Box 236, Tororo, Uganda
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Moses Isabirye
  • Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Busitema University, P.O. Box 236, Tororo, Uganda
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, David Kifumba
  • Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Busitema University, P.O. Box 236, Tororo, Uganda
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Apia W. Massawe
  • Pest Management Centre, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3110, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Didas N. Kimaro
  • Department of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3003, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Mshaka E. Mdangi
  • Department of Training, Extension services and Research, Ministry of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2182, Dodoma, Tanzania
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
and Loth S. Mulungu
  • Pest Management Centre, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3110, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar

Abstract

A 2.5-year study was conducted to understand the fitness of Mastomys natalensis in an agroecosystem in relationship with environmental predictors. The study was conducted in Mayuge district, in the Lake Victoria Crescent zone in Eastern Uganda. Fitness was measured in terms of survival, maturation and capture probability and estimated using multi-event capture-recapture models. Survival rates were higher after high rainfall in the previous month and increased with increasing population density of the animals. Maturation rate, on the other hand, showed no significant association with any predictor variables, while capture probability was significantly associated with sex of the animals, with higher capture probability for males. The results demonstrate that the fitness of M. natalensis in an agroecosystem is dependent on rainfall, sex and current population density. The aforementioned results were associated with increasing vegetation which provides cover for animal nesting and abundant food for the animals during rainfall periods and thus increased survival, high mobility in males in search for mates thus exposing animals to high chances of being captured and increased prey saturation at high population density resulting in high animal survival. These results have important implications for the timing of management strategies, i.e. control efforts should be enforced during the rainfall seasons to prevent high population buildup in the succeeding seasons.

  • Amagloh, F.K., T. Chiridza, M.-E. Lemercier, A. Broomfield, P.C.H. Morel and J. Coad. 2015. Sweetpotato- and cereal-based infant foods: protein quality assessment, and effect on body composition using Sprague Dawley rats as a model. PLoS One 10: e0120121.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Begg, C.M., K.S. Begg, J.T. Du Toit and M.G.L. Mills. 2005. Spatial organization of the honey badger Mellivora capensis in the southern Kalahari: home-range size and movement patterns. J. Zool. (London) 265: 23–35.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Borremans, B., N.K. Hughes, J. Reijniers, V. Sluydts, A.A.S. Katakweba, L.S. Mulungu and H. Leirs. 2014. Happily, together forever: temporal variation in spatial patterns and complete lack of territoriality in a promiscuous rodent. Popul. Ecol. 56: 109–118.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Borremans, B., V. Sluydts, R.H. Makundi, and H. Leirs. 2015. Evaluation of short-, mid- and long-term effects of toe clipping on a wild rodent. Wildl. Res. 42: 143–148.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Burnham, K.P. and D.R. Anderson. 2004. Multimodel inference: understanding AIC and BIC in model selection. Sociol. Methods Res. 33: 261–304.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Choquet, R., L. Rouan and R. Pradel. 2009a. Program E-Surge: a software application for fitting multievent models. In: (D.L. Thomson, E.G. Cooch and M.J. Conroy, eds.) Modeling demographic processes in marked populations. pp. 845–865. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-78151-8_39.

  • Choquet, R., J.-D. Lebreton, O. Gimenez, A.-M. Reboulet and R. Pradel. 2009b. U-CARE: utilities for performing goodness of fit tests and manipulating Capture Recapture data. Ecographys 32: 1071–1074.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Cole, D.C. and L. Cole. 2000. A long-term study of Rattus norvegicus in the London borough of Enfield using baiting returns as an indicator of sewer population levels. Epidemiol. Infect. 125: 441–445.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Colvin, B.A. and W.B. Jackson. 1999. Urban rodent control programs for the 21st century. In: (G.R. Singleton, L.A. Hinds, H. Leirs and Z. Zhang, eds.) Ecologically-based management of rodent pests. ACIAR Monograph no. 59. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra. pp. 243–257.

  • Cowan, D.P., R.J. Quy and M.S. Lambert. 2003. Ecological perspectives on the management of commensal rodents. In: (G.R. Singleton, L.A. Hinds, C.J. Krebs and D. Spratt, eds.) Rats, mice and people: rodent biology and management. ACIAR Monograph no. 96. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra. pp. 433–439.

  • Davis, S.A., H. Leirs, R. Pech, Z. Zhang and N.C. Stenseth. 2004. On the economic benefit of predicting rodent outbreaks in agricultural systems. Crop Prot. 23: 305–314.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Ebensperger, L.A. and D.T. Blumstein. 2007. Nonparental infanticide. In: (J.O. Wolff and P.W. Sherman, eds.) Rodent societies: an ecological and evolutionary perspective, 1st ed. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London. pp. 267–279.

  • Eccard, J.A., I. Klemme, T.J. Horne and H. Ylönen. 2002. Effects of competition and season on survival and maturation of young bank vole females. Evol. Ecol. 16: 85–99.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Happold, D.C.D. (ed.) 2013. Mammals of Africa, volume III: rodents, hares and rabbits. Bloomsbury Publishing, London. pp. 784.

  • Haneishi, Y., S. Okello, G. Asea, T. Tsuboi, A. Maruyama, M. Takagaki and M. Kikuchi. 2013. Exploration of rainfed rice farming in Uganda based on a nationwide survey: Evolution, regionality, farmers and land. Afr. J. Agric. Res. 8: 3318–3329.

  • Hayes, L.D., A.S. Chesh and L.A. Ebensperger. 2007. Ecological predictors of range areas and use of burrow systems in the diurnal rodent, Octodon degus. Ethology 113: 155–165.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Isaac, J.L. 2005. Mass loss during the mating season in male common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula): implications for age-specific variation in mating strategy. J. Zool. 266: 181–185.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Jackson, W.B. 1998. Ecology of pest rodents in the urban environment. In: (R.S. Ambasht, ed.) Modern trends in ecology and environment. Backhuys, Leiden, The Netherlands. pp. 101–113.

  • Julliard, R., H. Leirs, N.C. Stenseth, N.G. Yoccoz, A.C. Prévot-Julliard, R. Verhagen and W. Verheyen 1999. Survival-variation within and between functional categories of the African multimammate rat. J. Anim. Ecol. 68: 550–561.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Kennis, J., V. Sluydts, H. Leirs and W.F.P. van Hooft. 2008. Polyandry and polygyny in an African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis. Mammalia 72: 150–160.

  • Kirkland, G.L. and N. Layne. 1989. Advances in the study of Peromyscus (Rodentia). Texas Tech University Press.

  • Koivunen, V., E. Korpima and H. Hakkarainen. 1996. Differential avian predation on sex and size classes of small mammals: doomed surplus or dominant individuals? Ann. Zool. Fennici 33: 293–301.

  • Lambert, M.S., R.J. Quy, R.H. Smith and D.P. Cowan. 2008. The effect of habitat management on home-range size and survival of rural Norway rat populations. J. Appl. Ecol. 45: 1753–1761.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Leirs H. 1992. Population ecology of Mastomys natalensis (Smith 1834) multimammate rats: possible implications for rodent control in Africa. PhD Thesis. University of Antwerp, Belgium.

  • Leirs, H., J. Stuyck, R. Verhagen and W. Verheyen. 1990. Seasonal variation in growth of Mastomys natalensis (Rodentia: Muridae) in Morogoro, Tanzania. Afr. J. Ecol. 28: 298–306.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Leirs, H., R. Verhagen, A.S. Christopher, M. Patrick and W.N. Verheyen. 1997a. Spatial dynamics of Mastomys natalensis in a field-fallow mosaic in Tanzania. Belg. J. Zool. 127: 29–38.

  • Leirs, H., N.C. Stenseth, J.D. Nichols, J.E. Hines, R. Verhagen and W. Verheyen. 1997b. Stochastic seasonality and nonlinear density dependent factors regulate population size in an African rodent. Nature 389: 176–180.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Lidicker, W.Z. 1978. Regulation of numbers in small mammals – historical reflections and synthesis. In: (D.P. Snyder, ed.) Populations of small mammals under natural conditions. Special Publication Series, Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, University of Pittsburgh 5, 1–237. pp. 122–141.

  • Lima, M. and F.M. Jaksic. 1999. Population dynamics of three Neotropical small mammals: time series models and the role of delayed density-dependence in population irruptions. Aust. J. Ecol. 24: 25–34.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Lima, M., R. Julliard, N.C. Stenseth and F.M. Jaksic. 2001. Demographic dynamics of a neotropical small rodent (Phyllotis darwini): feedback structure, predation and climatic factors. J. Anim. Ecol. 70: 761–775.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Makundi, R.H., N.O. Oguge and P.S. Mwanjabe. 1999. Rodent pest management in East Africa – an ecological approach. In: (G.R. Singleton, L. Hinds, H. Leirs and Z. Zhang, eds.) Ecologically-based rodent management. For International Agricultural Research, Canberra, Australia. pp. 460–476.

  • Mariën, J., V. Sluydts, B. Borremans, S. Gryseels, B. Vanden Broecke, C.A. Sabuni and H. Leirs. 2018. Arenavirus infection correlates with lower survival of its natural rodent host in a long-term capture-mark-recapture study. Parasite. Vector. 11: 90.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Massawe, A.W., R.H. Makundi, L.S. Mulungu, A. Katakweba and T.N. Shayo. 2012. Breeding dynamics of rodent species inhabiting farm-fallow mosaic fields in Central Tanzania. Afr. Zool. 47: 128–137.

  • Mdangi, M. (2013). Assessment of rodent damage to stored maize (Zea mays L.) on smallholder farms in Tanzania. Int. J. Pest Manage. 59: 55–62.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Mlyashimbi, E.C.M., J. Mariën, D.N. Kimaro, A.J.P. Tarimo, M. Isabirye, R.H. Makundi, A.W. Massawe, M.E. Mdangi, D. Kifumba, A. Nakiyemba, H. Leirs, S.R. Belmain and L.S. Mulungu. 2018. Relationships between seasonal changes in diet of Multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis) and its breeding patterns in semi-arid areas in Tanzania. Cogent Food Agric. 4: 1–13.

  • Mulungu, L.S. 2017. Control of rodent pests in maize cultivation: the case of Africa. In: (D. Watson, ed.) Achieving sustainable maize cultivation, Vol. 2. Francis Dodds, Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge, UK. pp. 318–337.

  • Mulungu, L.S., V. Ngowo, E.M. Mdangi, A.S. Katakweba, P. Tesha, F.P. Mrosso, M. Mchomvu, A.W. Massawe, A. Monadjem, B. Kilonzo and S.R. Belmain. 2015a. Survival and recruitment of the multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis (Smith 1834), in a rice agro-ecosystem. Mammalia 80: 205–210.

  • Mulungu, L.S., V. Sixbert, V. Ngowo, M. Mdangi, A.S. Katakweba, P. Tesha, F.P. Mrosso, M. Mchomvu, B.S. Kilonzo and S.R. Belmain. 2015b. Spatio-temporal patterns in the distribution of the multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, in rice crop and fallow land habitats in Tanzania. Mammalia 79: 177–184.

  • Musiitwa, F. and E.T. Komutunga. 2001. Agricultural systems. In: (J.K. Mukiibi, ed.) Agriculture in Uganda, Vol. 1. NARO, CTA and Fountain Publishers, Kampala, Uganda. pp. 220–230.

  • Oli, M.K. and F.S. Dobson. 2001. Population cycles in small mammals: the α-hypothesis. J. Mamm. 82: 573–581.

  • Oswald, A. and J.K. Ransom. 2001. Striga control and improved farm productivity using croprotation. Crop Protect. 20: 113–120.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Pollock, K.H. 1982. A capture–recapture design robust to unequal probability of capture. J. Wildl. Manage. 46: 752.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Pradel, R. 2005. Multievent: an extension of multistate capture-recapture models to uncertain states. Biometrics 61: 442–447.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Pradel, R., C.M. Wintrebert and O. Gimenez. 2003. A Proposal for a goodness-of-fit test to the Arnason-Schwarz multisite capture-recapture model. Biometrics 59: 43–53.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Rémi, C., R. Anne-marie, L. Jean-Dominique, G. Olivier and P. Roger. 2005. U-CARE 2. 2 User’s manual. CEFE, Montpellier, France.

  • Saïd, S., J.M. Gaillard, P. Duncan, N. Guillon, S. Servanty, M. Pellerin, K. Lefeuvre, C. Martin and G. Van Laere. 2005. Ecological correlates of home range size in spring-summer for female roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in a deciduous woodland. J. Zool. (London) 267: 301–308.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Singleton, G.R., P.R. Brown, J. Jacob and K.P. Aplin. 2007. Unwanted and unintended effects of culling: a case for ecologically-based rodent management. Integr. Zool. 2: 247–259.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Skorping, A. and K.H. Jensen. 2004. Disease dynamics: all caused by males? Trends Ecol. Evol. 19: 219–220.

  • Sluydts, V., L. Crespin, S. Davis, M. Lima and H. Leirs. 2007. Survival and maturation rates of the African rodent, Mastomys natalensis: density dependence and rainfall. Integr. Zool. 2: 220–232.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • Sluydts, V., S. Davis, S. Mercelis, and H. Leirs 2009. Comparison of multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) demography in monoculture and mosaic agricultural habitat: implications for pest management. Crop Protect. 28: 647–654.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Stacey, L.H., C.R. Brown and W. Booth. 2017. Ecological and phenotypic effects on survival and habitat transitions of white-footed mice. J. Mamm. 98: 1356–1366.

  • Stenseth, N.C., H. Leirs, A. Skonhoft, S.A. Davis, R.P. Pech, H.P. Andreasson, G.R. Singleton, M. Lima, R.S. Machangu, R.H. Makundi, Z. Zhang, P.R. Brown, D. Shi and X. Wan. 2003. Mice, rats and people: the bio-economics of agricultural rodent pests. Front. Ecol. Environ. 1: 367–375.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Swanepoel, L.H., C.M. Swanepoel, P.R. Brown, S.J. Eiseb, M. Goodman, M. Keith, F. Kirsten, H. Leirs, T.A.M. Mahlaba, R.H. Makundi, P. Malebane, E.F. von Maltitz, A.W. Massawe, A. Monadjem, L.S. Mulungu, G.R. Singleton, P.J. Taylor, V. Soarimalala and S.R. Belmain. 2017. A systematic review of rodent pest research in Afro-Malagasy small-holder farming systems: are we asking the right questions? PLoS One 12: e0174554.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • White, G.C. and K.P. Burnham. 1999. Program MARK, survival estimation from populations of marked animals. Bird Study 46: 120–138.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • White, J., K. Horskins and J. Wilson. 1998. The control of rodent damage in Australian macadamia orchards by manipulation of adjacent non-crop habitats. Crop Protect. 17: 353–357.

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Witmer, G. 2007. The ecology of vertebrate pests and integrated pest management (IPM). In: (M. Kogan and P. Jepson, eds.) Perspectives in ecological theory and integrated pest management. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. pp. 393–410.

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
$42.00
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.


or
Log in with your institution

Journal + Issues

Mammalia is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the inventory, analysis and interpretation of Mammalian diversity. It publishes original results on all aspects of systematics (comparative, functional and evolutionary morphology; morphometrics; phylogeny; biogeography; taxonomy and nomenclature), biology, ecology and conservation of mammals.

Search