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Succession of Small Mammals on Pine Plantations in the Georgia Piedmont

Thomas D. Atkeson and A. Sydney Johnson
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 101, No. 2 (Apr., 1979), pp. 385-392
Published by: University of Notre Dame
DOI: 10.2307/2424604
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2424604
Page Count: 8
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Succession of Small Mammals on Pine Plantations in the Georgia Piedmont
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Abstract

Populations of small mammals were sampled by removal trapping on 32 pine plantations, 1-15 years old. Twelve species were captured. One-year-old plantations supported dense stands of annual plants and primarily seed-eating forms of small mammals (Peromyscus leucopus and Mus musculus). By the 3rd year lesser vegetation consisted mostly of perennial grasses, and an herbivore (Sigmodon hispidus) predominated. Herbivores continued to be most abundant in 5-year-old plantations, but total catch of all forms declined sharply. The pine canopy closed at age 7 and total catch declined further, despite increased capture of woodland species. Fifteen-year-old stands supported very few animals. Comparison of trapping records with estimates of cover density at each trap site showed that P. leucopus and S. hispidus were associated with different densities of cover. Ground cover increased with plantation age, and this may have caused the succession of small mammals observed.

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