Publication Details

A pre-treatment assessment of small mammals in the hardwood ecosystem experiment

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Urban, Natasha A.; Swihart, Robert K.

Year Published

2013

Publication

In: Swihart, Robert K.; Saunders, Michael R.; Kalb, Rebecca A.; Haulton, G. Scott; Michler, Charles H., eds. 2013. The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: a framework for studying responses to forest management. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-108. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 151-175.

Abstract

The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) is a 100-year, replicated experiment implemented in south-central Indiana to examine the impacts of multiple timber management regimes on forest ecosystems. A secondary objective of the HEE is to evaluate responses of small mammal assemblages. We trapped at 32 sites prior to silvicultural treatments to assess pre-treatment small mammal communities. Trapping at all sites in both years allowed for modeling of multi-season occupancy and relative abundance using environmental covariates while incorporating imperfect detection. Estimated occupancy probabilities and species richness were larger than naïve estimates. Species richness was not significantly different between treatments or years. Except for the abundance of eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), the probability of occupancy and relative abundance of species did not differ among proposed treatment units. Abundance of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) and short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and survival of local populations of pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) were greater for sites with northeastern aspects. Abundance of short-tailed shrews and pine voles also increased with greater herbaceous ground cover. By incorporating detection probability, we were able to derive more accurate estimates of relative abundance and, when coupled with a Bayesian framework, estimate occupancy for uncommon species. The baseline responses reported here can be used by forest managers to determine impacts of even-aged and uneven-aged oak (Quercus) management on small mammals subsequent to timber harvest.

Keywords

bats, beetles, birds, Central Hardwoods, experiment, forest management, human attitudes, Indiana, moths, oak, reptiles, salamanders, silviculture, small mammals, wildlife

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Citation

Urban, Natasha A.; Swihart, Robert K. 2013. A pre-treatment assessment of small mammals in the hardwood ecosystem experiment. In: Swihart, Robert K.; Saunders, Michael R.; Kalb, Rebecca A.; Haulton, G. Scott; Michler, Charles H., eds. 2013. The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: a framework for studying responses to forest management. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-108. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 151-175.

Last updated on: March 1, 2013