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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Reestablishment of a rodent community in restored desert scrub

Published source details

Patten M.A. (1997) Reestablishment of a rodent community in restored desert scrub. Restoration Ecology, 5, 156-161


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

Restore or create shrubland Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A site comparison study in 1995 in a desert site in California, USA (Patten 1997) found that restored desert scrub hosted similar small mammal species richness and abundance compared to undisturbed desert scrub. Five small mammal species were recorded in restored desert scrub, similar to the seven recorded in undisturbed desert scrub. Additionally, the average number of individuals caught of each species did not differ significantly between restored and undisturbed desert scrub (San Diego pocket mouse Chaetodipus fallax: 2.9 vs 3.5 individuals/night; spiny pocket mouse Chaetodipus spinatus: 2.9 vs 1.4; Merriam’s kangaroo rat Dipodomys merriami: 0.0 vs 0.1; desert woodrat Neotoma lepida: 7.4 vs 8.0; cactus mouse Peromyscus eremicus: 5.8 vs 3.4; deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus: 4.5 vs 2.8; California ground squirrel Spermophilus beecheyi: 0.0 vs 0.1). Small mammals were caught in a 20-acre desert scrub site restored after construction of a dam, and in surrounding undisturbed desert scrub. During eight nights in March–May 1995, small mammals were captured with 180 Sherman live traps, divided equally between restored and undisturbed desert scrub. Traps were set in different locations each trap-night. Desert scrub was restored by topsoil replacement, direct seeding of shrubs and planting of shrub seedlings.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)