Effects of timber harvest on small mammal captures in experimental forestry plots

In: Animal Biology
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078, USA
  • 2 Division of Natural and Social Sciences, New England College, Henniker, New Hampshire 03287, USA
  • 3 Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA
  • 4 Current address: S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, USGS, Turner Falls, Massachusetts 01376, USA
  • 5 Department of Biology, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608, USA
  • 6 Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 60269, USA

To investigate effects of timber harvest on small mammals, we compared capture rates in experimental forestry arrays of uncut forest, partial cut forest, and clearcuts with high and low coarse downed wood in Missouri, USA. Past studies show that effects of timber harvest on small mammals depend on species and forest type. We used an information theoretic approach to compare the effects of timber harvest treatment and habitat characteristics on capture rates. Sorex longirostris captures were best predicted by timber harvest treatment. S. longirostris had higher captures in the clearcut with low downed wood, intermediate numbers of captures in the partial cut and clearcut with high downed wood, and low captures in uncut forest. However, despite differences in captures between the clearcuts with high and low downed wood, we found no difference in habitat variables between the two clearcut types. Blarina spp., Microtus pinetorum, and Peromyscus spp. captures were best predicted by habitat variables rather than timber harvest treatment. Blarina spp. captures were associated with lower leaf litter depth. Peromyscus spp. and M. pinetorum captures were associated with increased coarse downed wood, possibly due to their preference for nest building under logs. Some of these relationships differ from results in other areas of the United States, which may reflect differences in species-habitat relationships in different forest types or regions. Relationships between species and habitat variables will be useful in adjusting forestry practices to meet species management objectives.

  • Burnham K.P., Anderson D.R. (2002) Model Selection and Multimodel Inference: a Practical Information-Theoretic Approach. Springer, New York, NY, USA.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cheveau M., Drapeau P., Imbeau L. (2004) Owl winter irruptions as an indicator of small mammal population cycles in the boreal forest of eastern North America. Oikos, 107, 190-198.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Childs J.E., Ksiazek T.G., Rollese P.E., Krebs J.W., Zaki S., Nichol S.T., Peters C.J., Glass G.E. (1994) Hanta viruses and their rodent reservoirs in the United States. In: Proc. 16th Vertebr. Pest Conf., pp. 188-191.

  • Craig V.J., Klenner W., Feller M.C., Sullivan T.P. (2006) Relationships between deer mice and downed wood in managed forests of southern British Columbia. Can. J. For. Res., 36, 2189-2203.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Davis J.C., Castleberry S.B., Kilgo J.C. (2010) Influence of coarse woody debris on the soricid community in southeastern Coastal Plain pine stands. J. Mammal., 91, 993-999.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Earl J.E., Semlitsch R.D. (2015) Importance of forestry practices relative to microhabitat and microclimate changes for juvenile pond-breeding amphibians. For. Ecol. Manag., 357, 151-160.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fritts S.R., Moorman C.E., Grodsky S.M., Hazel D.W., Homyack J.A., Farrell C.B., Castleberry S.B. (2015) Shrew response to variable woody debris retention: implications for sustainable forest bioenergy. For. Ecol. Manag., 336, 35-43.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Getz L.L. (1961) Factors influencing the local distribution of shrews. Am. Midl. Nat., 65, 67-88.

  • Kellner K.F., Swihart R.K. (2014) Changes in small mammal microhabitat use following silvicultural disturbance. Am. Midl. Nat., 172, 348-358.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kellner K.F., Urban N.A., Swihart R.K. (2013) Short-term responses of small mammals to timber harvest in the United States central hardwood forest region. J. Wildl. Manag., 77, 1650-1663.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kirkland G.L. Jr. (1990) Patterns of initial small mammal community change after clearcutting of temperate North American forests. Oikos, 59, 313-320.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maehr D.S., Brady J.R. (1986) Food habits of bobcats in Florida. J. Mammal., 67, 133-138.

  • Marshall P., Davis G., LeMay V. (2000) Using line intersect sampling for coarse woody debris. Technical Report TR-003. Research Section, Vancouver Forest Region, BC Ministry of Forests.

  • Maser C., Trappe J.M., Nussbaum R.A. (1978) Fungal-small mammal interrelationships with emphasis on Oregon coniferous forests. Ecology, 59, 799-809.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCay T.S., Komoroski M.J. (2004) Demographic responses of shrews to removal of coarse woody debris in a managed pine forest. For. Ecol. Manag., 189, 387-395.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller D.H., Getz L.L. (1977) Factors influencing local distribution and species diversity of forest small mammals in New England. Can. J. Zool., 55, 806-814.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moseley K.R., Owens A.K., Castleberry S.B., Ford W.M., Kilgo J.C., McCay T.S. (2008) Soricid response to coarse woody debris manipulations in Coastal Plain loblolly pine forests. For. Ecol. Manag., 255, 2306-2311.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ostfeld R.S., Canham C.D., Oggenfuss K., Winchcombe R.J., Keesing F. (2006) Climate, deer, rodents, and acorns as determinants of variation in lyme-disease risk. PLoS Biol., 4, 1058-1068.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Riffell S., Verschuyl J., Miller D., Wigley T.B. (2011) Biofuel harvests, coarse woody debris, and biodiversity – a meta-analysis. For. Ecol. Manag., 261, 878-887.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rodríguez-Robles J.A. (2002) Feeding ecology of North American gopher snakes (Pituophis catenifer, Colubridae). Biol. J. Linn. Soc., 77, 165-183.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SAS (2004) SAS/STAT User’s Guide. SAS Institute, Cary, North Carolina, USA.

  • Schwartz C.W., Schwartz E.R. (2002) The Wild Mammals of Missouri. University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, USA.

  • Semlitsch R.D., Conner C.A., Hocking D.J., Rittenhouse T.A.G., Harper E.B. (2008) Effects of timber harvesting on pond-breeding amphibian persistence: testing the evacuation hypothesis. Ecol. Appl., 18, 283-289.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Semlitsch R.D., Todd B.D., Blomquist S.M., Calhoun A.J.K., Gibbons J.W., Gibbs J.P., Graeter G.J., Harper E.B., Hocking D.J., Hunter M.L. Jr., Patrick D.A., Rittenhouse T.A.G., Rothermel B.B. (2009) Effects of timber harvest on amphibian populations: understanding mechanisms from forest experiments. Bioscience, 59, 853-862.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stephens R.B., Anderson E.M. (2014) Habitat associations and assemblages of small mammals in natural plant communities of Wisconsin. J. Mammal., 95, 404-420.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sutton W.B., Wang Y., Schweitzer C.J., Steen D.A. (2014) Lizard microhabitat and microclimate relationships in southeastern pine-hardwood forests managed with prescribed burning and thinning. For. Sci., 60, 180-190.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tallmon D.A., Jules E.S., Radke N.J., Mills L.S. (2003) Of mice and men and trillium: cascading effects of forest fragmentation. Ecol. Appl., 13, 1193-1203.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verschuyl J., Riffell S., Miller D., Wigley T.B. (2011) Biodiversity response to intensive biomass production from forest thinning in North American forests – a meta-analysis. For. Ecol. Manag., 261, 221-232.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zwolak R. (2009) A meta-analysis of wildfire, clearcutting, and partial harvest on the abundance of North American small mammals. For. Ecol. Manag., 258, 539-545.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 202 86 1
Full Text Views 162 4 0
PDF Downloads 16 2 0