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Habitat preferences of Peromyscus leucopus, Blarina brevicauda and Glaucomys volans in Northern Lower Michigan
Abstract/OtherAbstract :
ABSTRACT I assessed the influence of microhabitat variables on the abundance and spatial structure of small mammals across three types of forest, deciduous (Colonial Point), hardwood-pine (the Burn Plots) and cedar swamp (Reese’s Swamp), at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS), in Cheboygan County, northern lower Michigan. Traps have been placed in these forests twice a year for 18 years since 1989 by Professor Philip Myers, and I based my study on his trapping records. I created a four by four meter square plot centered on each trap station and measured habitat variables on each plot in late September and early October 2006. Over 2,000 captures of sixteen small mammal species were recorded in 6,480 trapnights over eighteen years. Four species were commonly captured: eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus), white footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus); short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda); and southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans). I eliminated Tamias because its trapping records were clearly strongly influenced by daily weather, and I focused on the remaining three. For P. leucopus and B. brevicauda, I included trapping records for only the most recent four years, as those species are short-lived, and ecological variables such as woody debris and ground cover change from year after year. For G. volans, which is longer-lived, I used all 18 years of trapping records. Also, G. volans is much less common than P. leucopus or B. brevicauda, and sample sizes were too small to analyze unless all years were included. The preferences of each species across three transects located in the different forests were evaluated by statistical methods including Poisson regression models, principal component analysis, analysis of variance and analysis of covariance. The spatial structures of the populations of each species were examined by spatial autocorrelation analysis using Moran’s I. ii i In deciduous and pine-hardwood forests, white footed mice were found to be habitat generalists. In the cedar swamp, on the other hand, they were likely to be habitat specialists limited by food availability and predation risks. A relatively high spatial autocorrelation of the number of captures/station was found only for P. leucopus in the hardwood forest in the fall. Spatial distribution of food in patches over the series of adjacent trap stations may explain for this pattern, but none of my measurements test this hypothesis. Short-tailed shrews preferred deciduous forest that is characterized by many trees, much leaf litter and large variety of ground cover species. In the cedar swamp, they preferred sites with large trees, moss/lichen cover on the ground, much woody debris and many snags. Limiting factors for them were likely to be soil moisture and food availability. Most southern flying squirrels were found in the deciduous forest, where they were not habitat selective. In the pine-hardwood forest, G. volans preferred sites with greater diversity of trees and larger trees. No preference for snags was found. In the cedar swamp, no G. volans was found over the eighteen year study., Master of Science, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Sato_Thesis final draft 07232007.pdf
Authors :
Sato, Takeaki
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Contributors :
Nassauer, Joan, Myers, Philip
Publication Detail :
Publisher :  -     Type :  Thesis     Format :  642982 bytes, application/pdf    
Date Detail :
2007-07-26, NO_RESTRICTION, 2007-07-26, 2007-08-30, 2007-07-24
Subject :
Peromyscus leucopus, Blarina brevicauda, microhabitat variables, Glaucomys volans, microhabitat variables on the abundance and spatial structure
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Languages :  en_US    
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