Study

Small mammal response to pine-grassland restoration for red-cockaded woodpeckers

  • Published source details Masters R.E., Lochmiller R.L., McMurry S.T. & Bukenhofer G.A. (1998) Small mammal response to pine-grassland restoration for red-cockaded woodpeckers. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 26, 148-158.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove mid-storey vegetation in forest

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Use prescribed burning

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Remove mid-storey vegetation in forest

    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.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Use prescribed burning

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1992–1994 of pine forest in a mountainous area of Arkansas, USA (Masters et al. 1998) found similar small mammal numbers and species richness after prescribed burning compared to in unburned forest. Small mammal capture rates in burned stands (animals caught on 2.3–7.1% of trap nights) did not significantly differ to those in unburned stands (3.9–7.4%). Average species richness did not differ between burned (2.7–4.3 species/plot) and unburned plots (1.7–4.7/plot). In nine plots (14–45 ha), mid-storey trees were removed and, the following spring, plots were burnt. In three plots, mid-storey trees were not removed and plots were not burned. Management was carried out to benefit red-cockaded woodpeckers Picoides borealis. Small mammals were surveyed using 80 live-trap stations/plot from 27 December to 4 January in 1992–1993 and 1993–1994.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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