In Minnesota, small mammal diversity differs by habitat. The goal of the study was to examine small mammal diversity in forested and prairie habitats near Itasca State Park. We conducted a live trap study to determine animal diversity at each site. Between the sites, 11 different species were captured. The maximum number of different species on any one grid was four. We concluded that small mammal diversity differs by site and grid factors such as succession following a disturbance (e.g. fire) or moisture.
Small mammals of Minnesota inhabit a wide variety of habitats throughout the state (Hazard, 1982). Because habitats differ, small mammal diversity will differ from one location to another. Often times, mammal diversity and populations will differ even within similar habitats due to disturbances and successional patterns following a disturbance (Huntly and Inouye, 1987). To study the diversity of small mammals within a community, trapping is the most practical way of establishing the presence and abundance of most small mammals (Williams and Braun, 1983).
In this study, we examine the diversity of small mammals within different forest and prairie communities in and near Itasca State Park by live capture method. We expect to find some similar species in each of the different habitats (forest and prairie) because of the wide variety of niches that many small mammals occupy. We also expect to find that many of the species captured will be unique to one type of habitat or the other.
Small Mammal Diversity in Prairie and Forested Habitats In and Near Itasca State Park.
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