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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of mechanical strip thinning of aspen on small mammals and breeding birds in northern Minnesota, U.S.A

Published source details

Christian D.P., Hanowski J.M., Reuvers-House M., Niemi G.J., Blake J.G. & Berguson W.E. (1996) Effects of mechanical strip thinning of aspen on small mammals and breeding birds in northern Minnesota, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 26, 1284-1294


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Thin trees within forest Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 1990–1991 of aspen Populus tremuloides forest at four sites in Minnesota, USA (Christian et al. 1996) found that in thinned tree stands, there was a greater abundance of small mammals, but a similar species richness compared to in unthinned stands. The average yearly site abundance of small mammals was greater in thinned stands (12–29 individuals/grid) than in unthinned stands (9–19 individuals/grid). Species richness did not differ between stand treatments (thinned: 2.8–5.3 species/grid; unthinned: 3.0–5.7 species/grid). Aspen stands at four sites had been growing for 9–11 years at time of thinning. Two had been thinned one year prior to sampling, one seven years previously and one 11 years previously. Unthinned stands were also surveyed at each site. Stands were 6–74 ha in extent. Small mammals were surveyed using snap traps, over two nights and one day, in July–September 1990 and 1991. Stands had 2–7 grids, of 64 traps each.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)