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Small mammal communities of high elevation central Appalachian wetlandsAuthor(s): Karen E. Francl; Steven B. Castleberry; W. Mark Ford
Source: The American Midland Naturalist. 151: 388-398.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
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DescriptionWe surveyed small mammal assemblages at 20 high-elevation wetlands in West Virginia and Maryland and examined relationships among mammal capture rates, richness and evenness and landscape features at multiple spatial scales. In 24,693 trap nights we captured 1451 individuals of 12 species. Small mammal species richness increased with wetland size and was negatively correlated with trail density. Generalists, such as meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and shrews (Sorex cinereus, Blarina brevicauda), dominated larger, more open wetlands, whereas southern red-backed voles (Clethrionomys gapperi) were more prevalent at smaller sites surrounded by mixed coniferous-deciduous forest stands. Furthermore, meadow voles were captured more often at sites with higher road density and lower trail density. Southern bog lemmings (Synaptomys cooperi) were captured at less than half the sites, all of which were surrounded by a high proportion of deciduous forest. Although significant relationships were found, landscape features explained <20% of total variation at any spatial scale. Other factors, such as land use history or competition, likely have exerted a greater influence in small mammal abundance and distribution at these sites.
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CitationFrancl, Karen E.; Castleberry, Steven B.; Ford, W. Mark. 2004. Small mammal communities of high elevation central Appalachian wetlands. The American Midland Naturalist. 151: 388?398.
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