The purpose of this study was to examine the diversity of small mammals found within
various forest habitats within or near Itasca State Park and to compare and contrast those communities with
prairie sites. I hypothesized that the greatest amount of species diversity would be experienced in the prairie
habitat. Data was collected through a group effort of the students of Field Studies in Mammalogy
(Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities). All captured
small mammals were identified, individually marked and released at the point of capture. The collected
data was pooled into a single data set for analysis. Peromyscus, referring to either maniculatus or leucopus,
were found at both prairie and forest sites while other species were found at one or the other (mutually
exclusive). There were a total of seven species captured between the six forest sites and a total of ten
species for the six prairie sites. Concurrent with my predictions, the prairie habitat exhibited the greatest
level of small mammal diversity.
DIVERSITY WITHIN SMALL MAMMAL COMMUNITIES OF FORESTED SITES AROUND ITASCA STATE PARK AND NEARBY PRAIRIE SITES.
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