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    Author(s): Joshua Laerm; Michael A. Menzel; Dorothy J. Wolf; James R. Welch
    Date: 1997
    Source: First Biennial North American Forest Ecology Workshop, June 24-26, 1997, North Carolina St. Univ., Raleigh, NC
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (383 KB)

    Description

    Riparian zones have been shown to be important in structuring vertebrate communities and in maintaining biodiversity. We examined the role of riparian zones in structuring small mammal communities in a southern Appalachian watershed at Coweeta Hydrological Laboratory, Macon County, North Carolina. We established pitfall and live-trap grids in three replicates each of seeps, first-order, second-order, and third-order stream riparian zones. We established upland non-riparian controls for each replicate at a distance greater than 100 m from the respective riparian zones. These sites, were distributed over northern hardwood, cove hardwood, moderate oak, and xeric-oak-pine cover types along an elevational gradient from 678 to 1,592 m. We found no significant differences in the composition of small mammal communities, between riprian and non-riparian zones at these sites. Patterns of species richness, diversity, and evenness for both pitfall surveys and live trapping estimators were similar for riparian and non-riparian areas. Within-stream order comparisons yielded similar results; no differences were found between riparian and non-riparian sites for seeps, second-order, or third-order streams. The only exception was in first-order stream comparisons where Blarina brevicauda was found to be more abundtint in non-riparian sites. The lack of significant differences between riparian and non-riparian sites in small mammal parameters examined would appear to be associated with the general lack of structural and vegetative distinction between riparian and non-riparian zones in the southern Appalachians.

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    Citation

    Laerm, Joshua; Menzel, Michael A.; Wolf, Dorothy J.; Welch, James R. 1997. The Effect of Riparian Zones in Structuring Small Mammal Communities in the Southern Appalachians. First Biennial North American Forest Ecology Workshop, June 24-26, 1997, North Carolina St. Univ., Raleigh, NC

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