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Effects of wildfire severity on small mammals in northern Arizona ponderosa pine forestsAuthor(s): Sean C. Kyle; William M. Block
Source: In: Moser, W. Keith; Moser, Cynthia E., eds. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture and vegetation management. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 21. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 163-168
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionWe examined effects of a varied-severity wildfire on the community structure of small mammals and populations of the 2 most abundant species, the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) and the gray-collared chipmunk (Tamias cinereicollis), in northern Arizona ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests. We examined 2 fire severities and compared them to unburned controls. The average number of species captured was similar among the 3 plot types: 2.0 on high-severity plots, 3.0 on moderate-severity plots, and 3.5 on control plots. However, the species composition differed among these types. Specifically, gray-collared chipmunks were not captured on high- severity plots in the first year following the fire. We found no statistically significant difference among treatments for gray-collared chipmunk densities even though they were not captured on high-severity plots (P = 0.074). Deer mouse densities on high-severity fire plots were greater than on control plots (P = 0.028) and were marginally greater than on moderate-severity plots (P = 0.051). We did not find a significant difference between moderate and control plots (P = 0.25). Deer mouse densities were strongly correlated with forb (P = 0.002) and shrub ( P = 0.038) cover in a stepwise linear regression (adjusted R2 = 0.67). Based on these results, we suggest that a consideration of fire severity in a structural sense does not provide a clear picture of the impacts of wildfires or prescribed fires on the small mammal community. We propose that the composition of the postfire understory plant community must also be considered.
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CitationKyle, Sean C.; Block, William M. 2000. Effects of wildfire severity on small mammals in northern Arizona ponderosa pine forests. In: Moser, W. Keith; Moser, Cynthia E., eds. Fire and forest ecology: innovative silviculture and vegetation management. Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference Proceedings, No. 21. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 163-168
KeywordsArizona, deer mouse, fire severity, golden-mantled ground squirrel, gray-collared chipmunk, habitat, Peromyscus maniculatus, Pinus ponderosa, ponderosa pine, Spermophilus lateralis, Tamias cinereicollis, wildfire effects
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