Fire in woodlands causes a dramatic decrease in rodent populations. The aim of this study was to detect rodent succession in three different management regimes of a post-fire habitat on Mount Carmel: (1) a control area of mixed woodlands of burnt pine and oak; (2) a mixed burnt woodland in which the burnt pine trees were cut and left in situ; and (3) a mixed burnt woodland in which burnt pines were cut and removed from the plot. Two plots in an unburnt mixed woodland were used as controls.
The first invader species observed in the post-fire habitats were Mus macedonicus, which was the most abundant species in all burnt plots, Gerbillus dasyurus, which was mainly trapped in plots where the burnt pine trees were removed, and Meriones tristrami, which was mainly trapped in plots where the burnt pine trees were left in situ. The highest species diversity was recorded in the control plots of the burnt pine and oak woodland. In these burnt control plots the field mice (Apodemus) of both species reappeared. However, the numbers of trapped A. flavicollis were rather higher than of A. mystacinus. It is thus assumed that the invading species will be replaced by the originial woodland rodent species through resilience.
*This study is dedicated in the memory of our colleague Mr. D. Banin.