Great Basin Naturalist


Niche pattern of a desert rodent community in shrub habitats of central Utah was examined in the canonical space formed by the first four principal components of trapsite, microhabitat. Positions of species centroids differed significantly (P < .05) in this space and were consistent with the known habits of each; thus, it appears that the principal components measured biologically meaningful facts. Abundance in optimal habitat (a1) increased with niche breadth (v1) and decreased with increasing difference of centroids of a species from the overall mean habitat (d1). V1 was positively related to d1. Differences between niche pattern of this community and that of deciduous forest small mammals are discussed.