For three consecutive days, twelve Sherman trap grids (864 trap nights) were used to
assess species richness in small mammals in forest and prairie habitats in and around Itasca State
Park in northern Minnesota. I hypothesized that the increased woody biomass in the forest
habitats would correlate to higher species richness. Results, however, indicated that the opposite
was true – the prairie habitats had greater small mammal species richness than the forest habitats.
These results suggest that something other than total plant biomass dictates the number of
species that can coexist in an area. This study serves a first step in investigating the species
community makeup of varying habitats over a broad area in northern Minnesota.
Species Richness within Small Mammal Communities of Forested Sites around Itasca State Park and Nearby Prairie Sites.
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