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Patterns of Initial Small Mammal Community Change after Clearcutting of Temperate North American Forests

Gordon L. Kirkland, Jr.
Oikos
Vol. 59, No. 3 (Dec., 1990), pp. 313-320
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3545141
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3545141
Page Count: 8
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Patterns of Initial Small Mammal Community Change after Clearcutting of Temperate North American Forests
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Abstract

A review of 21 published studies revealed a general pattern of positive initial responses of small mammals to conventional clearcutting of temperate North American forests. Four measures of small mammal abundance and diversity exhibited significant patterns of increase: overall relative abundance of small mammals, and abundances of microtine rodents, Clethrionomys gapperi, and Peromyscus spp. in coniferous forests. There were non-significant patterns of increase in seven other measures: species richness, diversity (Shannon index), population density, and abundances of soricids, sciurids, zapodids, and Peromyscus. Community evenness, and abundances of Tamias (Eutamias) and Peromyscus in deciduous forests decreased in a majority of studies. In general, responses of small mammals to clearcutting were similar in deciduous and coniferous forests. The principal exception involved the abundance of Peromyscus, which evinced a significant pattern of increase in coniferous forests but tended to decline in abundance following clearcutting of deciduous forests. The potential influences of forest type, population levels of small mammals, single-sample surveys, and site characteristics to variation in patterns of community response are examined, along with the potential impact of whole-tree harvesting on the responses of small mammals to clearcutting.

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