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dc.contributor.authorParker, Finn C. G.
dc.description.abstractRodent pests have posed significant problems to agriculture for thousands of years and reducing their impacts on cereal crops would drastically increase global food security. Rodent management typically relies on the broad scale use of rodenticides, which can have harmful consequences for non-target wildlife, can fail due to toxin tolerance and low bait acceptance and are not always cost-effective. New approaches are needed to manage rodent impacts rather than control their density by killing. Here we test whether olfactory misinformation can disrupt the foraging success of free-living house mice (Mus musculus) on newly sown wheat seeds. Mice locate buried wheat seeds using olfactory cues from the wheat germ, and the resulting seed loss and reduced yield leads to millions of dollars in damage annually. Dispersing wheat germ olfactory cues throughout a recently sown crop should reduce mice’s ability to pinpoint the location of seeds. To test this, we experimentally applied a wheat germ oil solution to plots (10 × 10 m) of newly sown winter wheat crops in south-eastern Australia during the 2021 mouse outbreak where mouse density estimates exceeded 300 mice/ha. Wheat germ odour was applied to plots either prior to (pre-exposure) or concurrently (camouflage) with sowing, along with procedural controls for oil and trampling effects. After two weeks, both pre-exposure and camouflage treatments had significantly reduced mouse damage by 73% and 58%, respectively. Our results demonstrate how targeting wheat crops with olfactory misinformation can disrupt mouse foraging success and reduce damage by mice.en_AU
dc.rightsCopyright All Rights Reserveden_AU
dc.titleData and R Script for Manuscript by Parker et al. (2022). Title: Olfactory misinformation reduces seed removal by wild house mice on winter wheat cropen_AU
dc.subject.asrc0608 Zoologyen_AU
dc.description.methodData was collected in the field and collated in microsoft excel.en_AU
usyd.facultySchool of Life and Environmental Sciencesen_AU
usyd.departmentBehavioural Ecology and Conservation Research Groupen_AU

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