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Fungi in the diets of northern flying squirrels and lodgepole chipmunks in the Sierra NevadaAuthor(s): Marc D. Meyer; Malcolm P. North; Douglas A. Kelt
Source: Can. J. Zool., Vol. 83: 1581-1589
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe diets of a fungal specialist, northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus (Shaw, 1801)), and a dietary generalist, lodgepole chipmunk (Neotamias speciosus (Merriam, 1890)), were examined in the old-growth, mixed-conifer forest at the Teakettle Experimental Forest in California's southern Sierra Nevada. Spores of fungi were identified from fecal pellets collected from both species during spring and summer of 1999 through 2002. Frequency of fungi in the diets of both squirrel species was consistently high across all seasons and years of study. Overall, G. sabrinus diets contained about 30% greater richness and evenness of fungal taxa than N. speciosus diets. There were no seasonal differences in richness and evenness of fungal taxa in squirrel diets. Richness of fungal taxa in diets was positively correlated with hypogeous sporocarp biomass and rainfall from June through August for N. speciosus but not for G. sabrinus. Dietary overlap between G. sabrinus and N. speciosus was high with respect to the most frequently consumed fungal taxa, although Gautieria and Gastroboletus were consumed in greater proportions by G. sabrinus than N. speciosus. Our results indicate that in the southern Sierra Nevada both G. sabrinus and N. speciosus were frequent consumers of a similar, diverse assemblage of fungal taxa and that consumption was proportional to seasonal differences in availability. For the more strongly mycophagist G. sabrinus, however, diet had a greater proportion of select fungal taxa and avoidance of less desirable taxa.
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CitationMeyer, Marc D.; North, Malcolm P.; Kelt, Douglas A. 2005. Fungi in the diets of northern flying squirrels and lodgepole chipmunks in the Sierra Nevada. Can. J. Zool., Vol. 83: 1581-1589
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