Response of small mammals to alternative stand structures in the mixed-conifer forest of northeastern California (1)

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From: Canadian Journal of Forest Research(Vol. 38, Issue 5)
Publisher: NRC Research Press
Document Type: Report
Length: 5,678 words
Lexile Measure: 1550L

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Abstract: A common, but largely untested, strategy for maintaining forest biodiversity is to enhance stand structural complexity. A silvicultural experiment was implemented from 1996 to 1998 at Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest, California, to test the efficacy of two levels of structural diversity (high versus low) and two levels of prescribed underburning (burn versus no burn) for maintaining or restoring biodiversity. Small mammals were trapped and tagged in experimental units for 2 noncontiguous weeks in fall 2003 and 2004. Total number of captures and number of captured individuals varied by year (P < 0.002). No treatment effects were detected for all species lumped together or for the three most frequent species analyzed separately (Tamias amoenus J.A. Allen, 1890, Peromyscus maniculatus (Wagner, 1845), and Spermophilus lateralis (Say, 1823)), with the exception that T. amoenus was captured more often in burned units in 2004 (P = 0.004 for year x burn interaction). Mixed-effects regression models indicated that the number of captures and captured individuals of T. amoenus and P. maniculatus decreased with increasing residual basal area of overstory trees, but opposite results were obtained for S. lateralis. After accounting for residual stand density differences, T. amoenus was captured more frequently in units of low structural diversity and S. lateralis in units of high structural diversity.

Resume : Bien qu'elle n'ait pratiquement pas ete testee, une strategie courante de maintien de la biodiversite forestiere consiste a accroitre la complexite structurale des peuplements. Un dispositif d'experimentation sylvicole a ete implante de 1996 a 1998 a la foret experimentale de Blacks Mountain, en Californie, pour tester l'efficacite de deux niveaux de diversite structurale (eleve vs faible) et deux intensites de brulage dirige au sol (brule vs non brule) pour maintenir ou restaurer de la biodiversite. Les petits mammiferes ont ete pieges et etiquetes dans les unites experimentales durant deux semaines non consecutives au cours des automnes 2003 et 2004. Le nombre total de captures et le nombre d'individus captures variaient selon les annees (P < 0,002). Aucun effet des traitements n'a ete detecte tant sur l'ensemble des especes regroupees que sur les trois especes les plus frequentes prises individuellement (Tamias amoenus J.A. Allen, 1890, Peromyscus maniculatus (Wagner, 1845) et Spermophilus lateralis (Say, 1823)), a l'exception de T. amoenus qui a ete capture plus souvent dans les unites brulees en 2004 (P = 0,004 pour l'interaction annee x brulage). Des modeles mixtes de regression indiquent que le nombre de captures et le nombre d'individus captures de T. amoenus et P. maniculatus ont diminue avec l'augmentation de la surface terriere residuelle des arbres de la canopee, tandis que le contraire a ete observe pour S. lateralis. Apres avoir pris en compte la difference de densite des peuplements residuels, il appert que T. amoenus a ete capture plus souvent dans les unites experimentales a faible diversite structurale et S. lateralis dans les unites a diversite structurale elevee.

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Introduction

Concerns about forest health and fire risk are prompting reductions in stand density across much of the...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A180697304