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Wildlife associations in Rocky Mountain juniper in the northern Great Plains, South DakotaAuthor(s): Mark A. Rumble; John E. Gobeille
Source: In: Shaw, Douglas W.; Aldon, Earl F.; LoSapio, Carol, comps. Desired future conditions for pinon-juniper ecosystems: August 8-12, 1994, Flagstaff, Arizona. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-258. Fort Collins, Colo.: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. p. 80-90.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
PDF: View PDF (515.21 KB)
DescriptionRocky Mountain juniper is an important habitat component in the northern Great Plains. These woodlands provide vertical and horizontal vegetative structure that enhances wildlife use. Ecological approaches to managing habitats require understanding relationships between wildlife species and succession in plant communities. We determined bird, small mammals and large mammals habitat use in seral stages of Rocky Mountain juniper woodlands along the Missouri River in South Dakota. Fifty-three bird species occurred in these woodlands. Bird species diversity averaged 2.7 across 24 study sites and we tallied an average of 4.6 bird species during a 3day sample session at each site. Black-billed Magpies and Blue Jays were the only tree-nesting species whose abundance differed statistically among seral stages of juniper. Trends in the data suggested tree and shrub nesting guilds, total bird abundance, bird species diversity, and birds species richness increased in early and late seral stages. Snags and cavity-nesting species were rare in all seral stages. Northern Flickers were more abundant in late seral juniper; House Wrens were more abundant in intermediate seral juniper. Ground-nesting species declined from low seral to high seral stages. White-footed mice, deer mice, prairie voles, total small mammal abundance, and small mammal species richness were higher in the intermediate seral stage of juniper. Eastern cottontail abundance was greatest in late seral juniper. Trends in deer use suggested higher use of early and late seral stages of juniper woodlands. Patch size, juxtaposition of other woodlands, and animal home range size likely influenced wildlife abundance in seral stages of Rocky Mountain juniper.
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CitationRumble, Mark A.; Gobeille, John E. 1995. Wildlife associations in Rocky Mountain juniper in the northern Great Plains, South Dakota. In: Shaw, Douglas W.; Aldon, Earl F.; LoSapio, Carol, comps. Desired future conditions for pinon-juniper ecosystems: August 8-12, 1994, Flagstaff, Arizona. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-258. Fort Collins, Colo.: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. p. 80-90.
KeywordsJuniperus scopulorum, habitat selection, seral stages, woodlands, South Dakota
- The value of Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) woodlands in South Dakota as small mammal habitat
- Rocky Mountain juniper study: Preliminary results
- Genetic variation in Great Plains Juniperus
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