Skip to Main Content
Response of arboreal rodents to increased availability of nest substrates in young forestsAuthor(s): Mark Linnell; Damon Lesmeister; John Bailey; Eric Forsman; James K. Swingle
Source: Journal of Mammalogy.99(5): 1174-1182.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionMany forest-dependent animals require complex branch and bole structural features as substrates for nesting, and these features may take decades or centuries to develop. In young forests, lack of suitable nest substrates may limit occurrence and abundance of arboreal rodents. To test this hypothesis, we measured the response of arboreal rodents to installation of 429 artificial nest platforms at 17 young forest sites in the Coast Range of Oregon, United States. We compared the percentage of 100-m2 plots at sites containing nests before and after installation of nest platforms, and examined 5 a priori hypotheses of spatial patterns of use using logistic regression. One year after installation, we observed a 5.8-fold increase (95% CI = 2.4–9.2) in plots containing nests of red tree voles (Arborimus longicaudus) and a 2.9-fold increase (95% CI = 1.3–4.4) of tree squirrels (Glaucomys oregonensis, Tamiasciurius douglasii). In addition, we captured 37 adult red tree voles (30 females, 7 males). Presence of conspecific nests < 75 m away increased the odds of use by red tree voles but not by tree squirrels. Our results support the hypothesis that lack of suitable nest substrates limits occurrence of red tree voles in young forests, but results were ambiguous for tree squirrels. Increasing the availability of nest substrates via installation of nest platforms may increase abundance of red tree voles in young forests. However, we do not know if this will allow red tree voles to persist in young forests that are subjected to repeated commercial thinning and clear-cut harvesting.
- Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
- 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.
CitationLinnell, Mark A; Lesmeister, Damon B; Bailey, John D; Forsman, Eric D; Swingle, James K. 2018. Response of arboreal rodents to increased availability of nest substrates in young forests. Journal of Mammalogy. 99(5): 1174-1182. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyy111.
KeywordsArborimus longicaudus, conspecific attraction, Douglas’ squirrel, Humboldt’s flying squirrel, nest box, nest platform, red tree vole, tree structural complexity.
- Field guide to red tree vole nests
- Methods for measuring populations of arboreal rodents.
- Thinning effects on spotted owl prey and other forest-dwelling small mammals
XML: View XML