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Use of Downed Wood by Townsend's Chipmunks (Tamias townsendii) in Western Oregon
David L. Waldien, John P. Hayes and Manuela M. P. Huso
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 87, No. 3 (Jun., 2006), pp. 454-460
Published by: American Society of Mammalogists
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4094501
Page Count: 7
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Dead wood is important to small mammals and is hypothesized to be used as travel paths. We evaluated the likelihood of different a priori models regarding sex- and season-specific differences and if quantity of wood in the environment influenced path selection of 41 Townsend's chipmunks (Tamias townsendii) in coniferous forests of western Oregon with the spool-and-line method using an information-theoretic approach. On average, 50% (SD = 4%) of the surficial portion of a chipmunk's path was associated with downed wood and 79% (SD = 10%) was on top of logs. Chipmunks disproportionately selected paths with downed wood relative to its availability and the model indicating that quantity of wood in the environment influenced path selection was 22.6 times more likely than the null model. At average wood densities (paths with 26% wood), a chipmunk was 3.0 times more likely to select locations with downed wood than locations without downed wood (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 2.5-3.5). Furthermore, chipmunks selected wood that averaged 1.2 times larger in diameter than randomly available wood (95% CI = 1.1-1.3). Our findings document that Townsend's chipmunks preferentially use downed wood and we hypothesize that downed wood may influence fitness or survival of individual chipmunks.
Journal of Mammalogy © 2006 American Society of Mammalogists