Skip to Main Content
Response of small mammal populations to fuel treatment and precipitation in a ponderosa pine forest, New MexicoAuthor(s): Karen E. Bagne; Deborah M. Finch
Source: Restoration Ecology. 18(S2): 409-417.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
View PDF (610.92 KB)
DescriptionMechanical and fire treatments are commonly used to reduce fuels where land use practices have encouraged accumulation of woody debris and high densities of trees. Treatments focus on restoration of vegetation structure, but will also affect wildlife populations. Small mammal populations were monitored before and after dense tree stands were thinned on 2,800 ha in NM, U.S.A. Mammals were live-trapped in upland and riparian habitats from 2002 to 2006 in thinned and unthinned forests. Populations of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and voles (Microtus spp.) were estimated using markrecapture data. An index of abundance was used for chipmunks (Tamias spp.) and woodrats (Neotoma spp.). Deer mice responded positively to thinning in 2005 in upland and riparian habitats. Voles responded positively to thinning in 2005 and 2006 in riparian habitats. There was no change related to thinning in relative abundance of chipmunks and woodrats or in total small mammal biomass. Because abiotic processes affect wildlife populations, we also examined response of deer mouse populations to precipitation. After removing treatment effects, populations were modeled with winter and summer precipitation. In both upland and riparian habitats, deer mouse populations had a curvilinear response to precipitation from the preceding winter, while responding negatively to summer rainfall only in riparian habitats. Increases in deer mice populations occurred on thinned sites during a year of high winter precipitation, generally associated with depressed populations, indicating that forest thinning moderated this relationship. Results suggest that precipitation plays a role in determining timing and presence of response to restoration treatments.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationBagne, Karen E.; Finch, Deborah M. 2009. Response of small mammal populations to fuel treatment and precipitation in a ponderosa pine forest, New Mexico. Restoration Ecology. 18(S2): 409-417.
Keywordschipmunk, deer mouse, Microtus, New Mexico, Peromyscus manuculatus, thinning
- Effects of wildfire severity on small mammals in northern Arizona ponderosa pine forests
- Deer mouse predation on the biological control agent, Urophora spp., introduced to control spotted knapweed
- Prey ecology of Mexican spotted owls in pine-oak forests of northern Arizona
XML: View XML