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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Remove mid-storey vegetation in forest Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Key messages

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  • One study evaluated the effects on mammals of removing mid-storey vegetation in forest. This study was in the USA.




Supporting evidence from individual studies


A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 1992–1994 of pine-grassland in a mountainous area of Arkansas, USA (Masters et al. 1998) found that after removing mid-storey vegetation, mammal abundance and species richness increased. Small mammal trapping success was higher in mid-storey-removal plots (caught in 3.8–7.4% of traps) than in unmanaged plots (0.9–2.2% of traps). Average species richness was higher in mid-storey removal plots (1.7–4.7 species) than in unmanaged plots (1.3–2.7 species). Forest mid-storey was mechanically removed in 14–45-ha plots. Management timing is unclear, but the practice was initiated in the study area in 1990, primarily to benefit red-cockaded woodpeckers Picoides borealis. Small mammals were live-trapped at 80 stations/plot from 27 December to 4 January. Surveys were conducted in three plots in 1992–1993 and three different plots in 1993–1994. At the same time, sampling was conducted in three plots with retained mid-storey vegetation.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.