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Habitat preference and distribution of mammals in California chaparralAuthor(s): Ronald D. Quinn
Source: Res. Pap. PSW-RP-202. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 11 p
Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionForty-nine species of mammals regularly occur in California chaparral, but none lives only in chaparral. Among the 49 species, 7 are found primarily in mature chaparral, 9 in young chaparral or along ecotones between chaparral and other plant communities, and 19 in riparian areas. Five species occur in many habitats but prefer chaparral in California,and 9 have wide ranges that encompass many communities including chaparral. By altering the structure of the plant community, fire in chaparral is important in determining the distribution and abundance of mammalian populations. Fire is not permanently destructive to the mammalian fauna. Wildlife habitat can be optimized by maintaining chaparral in many age classes, by restricting fuel reduction treatments to 1 to 100 ha, by protecting all trees, and by enhancing water sources. A given area of chaparral and contains two to four common, and two to nine total, species of rodents. Seeds, fruits, and young vegetative growth are the most important plant foods in chaparral. Only 12 species of mammals are endemic to chaparral because of the limited opportunity in both time and space for speciation to occur. Only kangamo rats (Dipodomys) and chipunks (Euromios) have speciated in chaparral.
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CitationQuinn, Ronald D. 1990. Habitat preference and distribution of mammals in California chaparral. Res. Pap. PSW-RP-202. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 11 p
Keywordswildlife, fire, plant community, ecology, California
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