Date of Award

Summer 1973

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Daniel E. Sonenshine

Committee Member

John H. Richardson

Committee Member

Ray S. Birdsong

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 P37


A computer simulation model was developed to explain the population dynamics of the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) in an area of the Great Dismal Swamp. The model was designed to provide an experimental base for future studies. The model indicates relationships between food availability, home range size, competition with Peromyscus nuttali habitat selection and reproduction.

White-footed mice were trapped in the Old Dismal Town site during each season from April, 1972 through March, 1973. The age-sex structure of the population was determined, and was compared with the simulated structure. Although there were significant discrepancies between the comparisons, the differences were explained, and so the model was accepted as representing the population dynamics in the study area.

The model constants were evaluated, and it was determined that the mortality rate of the young and food availability were the primary factors affecting population change. Other factors such as home range size and habitat selection might be of more relative importance at higher population densities.


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