Influence of canopy closure and shrub coverage on travel along coarse woody debris by Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus)
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Am. Midl. Nat. 150:151-157
We investigated relationships between canopy closure, shrub cover and the use of coarse woody debris as a travel path by eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) in the north central United States. Fine scale movements of chipmunks were followed with tracking spools and the percentage of each movement path directly along coarse woody debris was recorded. Availability of coarse woody debris was estimated using line intercepts. We predicted that, if chipmunks used coarse woody debris to reduce their risk of predation, movement along coarse woody debris would be greater for animals tracked at sites with open canopies and thick shrub cover. Travel along coarse woody debris was negatively associated with canopy closure and positively associated with the percent of coarse woody debris available at a site and the percentage of shrub cover at a site. Sex and age of eastern chipmunks did not appear to influence the amount of use of coarse woody debris. Our results suggest that coarse woody debris is more important to chipmunks in areas with open canopies and thick shrubs and are consistent with the hypothesis that coarse woody debris provides chipmunks with some protection from predators.
KeywordsCanopy closure; shrub cover; coarse woody debris; eastern chipmunk; Tamias striatus
Zollner, Patrick A.; Crane, Kevin J. 2003. Influence of canopy closure and shrub coverage on travel along coarse woody debris by Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus). Am. Midl. Nat. 150:151-157