Study

The influence of clear-cut logging and residual leave material on small mammal populations in aspen-dominated boreal mixedwoods

  • Published source details Moses R.A. & Boutin S. (2001) The influence of clear-cut logging and residual leave material on small mammal populations in aspen-dominated boreal mixedwoods. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 31, 483-495.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave coarse woody debris in forests

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Use patch retention harvesting instead of clearcutting

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Leave coarse woody debris in forests

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1993–1996 of a boreal forest area in Alberta, Canada (Moses & Boutin 2001) found that retaining woody debris following harvesting did not enhance numbers of three small mammal species, relative to those in cleared areas. This was the case for estimated annual peak populations of red-backed vole Clethrionomys gapperi (debris: 53–91 voles/plot; no debris: 91–99 voles/plot), deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus (debris: 71–115 mice/plot; no debris: 79–151 mice/plot) and meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus (debris: 36–118 voles/plot; no debris: 7–146 voles/plot). In a 6 × 6-km study area, trees across four plots were clearfelled during winter 1993–1994. In two plots, woody brash was spread by bulldozer to form a strip, approximately 50 m wide and 0.5 m deep, generally along block centres. Woody debris was removed entirely from the other two plots. Small mammals were surveyed using 60 or 120 Longworth live traps/6 ha block. Traps were operated for three nights and two days, at fortnightly or longer intervals, from May or June to August or September in 1993–1996.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Use patch retention harvesting instead of clearcutting

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1993–1996 of a boreal forest area in Alberta, Canada (Moses & Boutin 2001) found that retaining patches of unharvested trees enhanced numbers of red-backed voles Clethrionomys gapperi, but not of deer mice Peromyscus maniculatus or meadow voles Microtus pennsylvanicus, relative to those in fully harvested areas. Following harvesting, yearly peak red-backed vole population estimates were higher with retained tree patches (101–172 voles/plot) than without (53–91 voles/plot). Deer mice had similar abundance between treatments (patches: 107–148 mice/plot; no patches: 71–115 mice/plot). Meadow vole numbers were higher in fully harvested plots (patches: 0–24 voles/grid; no patches: 36–118). In a 6 × 6-km study area, four plots were managed during winter 1993–1994. In two plots, trees were felled, but leaving undisturbed 40-m diameter patches, comprising 10% of total tree basal area. In two other plots, trees were felled entirely. Small mammals were surveyed using 60 or 120 Longworth live traps/6 ha block. Traps were set for three nights and two days, at fortnightly or longer intervals, from May or June to August or September, in 1993–1996.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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