Habitat plays a large part in small mammal diversity in any given area. Each species may
be habitat selective for many different reasons, some of which are food type or supply, water
levels or availability, temperature, and shelter. Each species varies in selectivity which leads to
widely varying species diversity in different habitat types. In particular we wanted to look at the
variation between the species found in a forested habitat versus a prairie habitat. Previous
research would indicate larger species diversity to be found in the forested habitats (Dueser and
Shugart 1978). In addition we are also interested in the difference in species diversity between
burned and unburned sites of otherwise similar habitat. It has been shown that burned sites will
typically yield larger species diversity (Krefting and Ahlgren 1974).
Over the course of two weeks we collected specimen data through live-trapping at six
forest sites and six prairie sites. The forest sites consisted of varying forest type throughout Itasca
State Park in Park Rapids, MN; burned deciduous, unburned deciduous, burned red pine,
unburned red pine, aspen, and bog. Two prairie sites were in the Coburn state wildlife
management area, two were burned sites in the Rush Lake state wildlife management area, and
two sites were on private property in Waubun, MN. One Waubun site was of dry soil type and
the other Waubun site was of a wet habitat type.
Sigler, Holly; Grunzke, Danielle; Rehmann, Andrew.
Comparison of Small Mammal Communities within Forested and Prairie Habitats.
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