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The effect of small rodents on northern red oak acorns in north-central West VirginiaAuthor(s): Linda S. Gribko; David M. Hix
Source: In: Gillespie, Andrew R.; Parker, George R.; Pope, Phillip E.; Rink, George: eds. Proceedings of the 9th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-161. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 400-408
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.46 MB)
DescriptionThe effects of small mammals on surface-sown northern red oak (Quercus rubra) acorns was assessed in highly productive Appalachian hardwood stands. Study plots were established in October 1990 on excellent (average site index of 89 feet for red oak) and good (average site index of 72 feet) sites. Each plot included: 1) a rodent-proof exclosure, 2) an exclosure accessible only to small rodents, and 3) a non-enclosed open quadrat. By comparing the survival of acorns on the rodent-accessible quadrats with that on the open quadrats, it was determined that small rodents have a highly significant effect on the acorn crop. Of the 360 acorns placed in the open, only 10 survived until June. Only seventeen of 360 survived on the partially enclosed quadrats. It was determined through snap-trapping that white-footed and deer mice (Peromyscus spp.) were primarily responsible for removal of the acorns from the partially enclosed quadrats. In addition, it was determined through the use of regression analysis that small rodent damage to the acorn crop was greatest in stands that included small snags and large non-red oaks in the upper canopy.
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CitationGribko, Linda S.; Hix, David M. 1993. The effect of small rodents on northern red oak acorns in north-central West Virginia. In: Gillespie, Andrew R.; Parker, George R.; Pope, Phillip E.; Rink, George: eds. Proceedings of the 9th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-161. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 400-408
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