Action: Control rodents
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- One controlled study in New Zealand1 found that rodent control decreased native plant species richness and did not affect total plant species richness.
Many rodents feed on seeds. Others that feed on tree bark may cause tree death by girdling (damaging round tree trunks). Controlling rodent populations can minimize seed predation or girdling and thus increase the abundance or reduce death of some plant species.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A controlled study in temperate mixed forest in New Zealand (Burns et al. 2011) found that rodent control decreased native plant species richness, but did not affect total plant species richness. The number of native plant species/plot was lower in rodent control plots (33) than untreated plots (38). The numbers of non-native plant species/plot (untreated: 4; rodent control: 3) and total vascular plant species/plot (untreated: 40; rodent control: 37) were similar between treatments. Plants were monitored in 400 m2 plots in each of 14 untreated and 27 rodent control forest fragments. Control was carried out using trap stations, largely for ship rats Rattus rattus and house mice Mus musculus.