Smammals: Measuring the Effects of Forest Management on Resident Small Mammals

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Humans have been managing forests for thousands of years.  Pre-settlement, Native Americans performed regular prescribed burns, when the Europeans showed up fire suppression was favored to benefit the timber industry.

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However, fire suppression has altered the natural fire regime, vegetation and the wildlife habitat so recent efforts have been made  to reintroduce the natural fire regime as evident through the burn piles seen here at Sedgwick Reserve. This led us to ask how these management techniques may be affecting the animals residing here.  

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Kellie

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Sean

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Meghan

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Ashlyn

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Daniel

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Julie

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Julie

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Ashlyn Area Type x Owl Abundance and Species Richness All analyses will be completed with ANOVA tests

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Daniel

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Sandra We did not find a significant relationship in chipmunk location preference, however we did see a trend in preference for the control sites.  We were limited by replicates so if a similar experiment is repeated in the future this would be something to consider.

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Sandra One thing we did to try and account for this is analyze our data by dividing the sites into binary categories - managed (low and high density) and unmanaged (controls) and still did not see any significant relationship in chipmunk visits.

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Kellie Limited by replication Appear to have opposite trend of chipmunks and burn piles

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Julie

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Meghan

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Sean

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Fucking clap

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Smammals Directed by: Sandra, Meghan, Daniel, Ashlyn, Kellie, Julie, and Sean : Measuring the Effects of Forest Management on Resident Small Mammals

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Introduction Humans have been managing forest ecosystems for thousands of years Native Americans performed prescribed burns pre-settlement Post settlement fire suppression techniques were favored for the timber industry

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Introduction Fire suppression has altered natural fire regimes, vegetation, and wildlife habitat Recently, efforts have been made to reintroduce the natural fire regime How do these management techniques affect the animals residing in these areas?

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Hypothesis Increased amounts of artificial microhabitats will increase amounts of small mammals An increase in artificial microhabitats will increase the number of owls - possibly due to an increase in prey availability

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50 x 50m plots at each site Experimental Design 12 sites: 4 controls (forest, no burn piles) 4 low density (<15 burn piles) 4 high density (≥25 burn piles)

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Control

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Low Density

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High Density

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Mammal Methods 5 minute acclimation period with count Each person observes small mammals by walking into the plot from different directions, recording genus and count Camera trapping for continuous observation

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2 teams - 4 people and 3 people Alternate teams for morning and evening surveys Alternate directions from middle or ends Mammal Methods 50m 50m 50m 50m Communicating with team members while counting

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Owl Methods Same plots as small mammal surveys 5 minute acclimation period Play call from six owl species Northern Saw-whet, Northern Pygmy, California Spotted, Western Screech, Long-eared, Great Horned Play calls in order from lowest to highest aggression Wait 30 seconds for response, play once more, wait one minute between species

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Starring Chipmunks Squirrels

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Northern Pygmy Northern Saw-whet Great Horned Starring

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Analysis ANOVA Area Type x Chipmunk Visits Area Type x Squirrel Visits Area Type x Small Mammal Visits Management x Chipmunk Visits Area Type x Owl Abundance *Visits per species were averaged over the length of the study to get visits per walk through

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Let’s Talk Owls Low sample size Observed 3 of the 8 species present Not enough data to draw conclusions Likely other confounding factors

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P > 0.1 Chipmunks

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Chipmunks P > 0.1

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P > 0.1 Squirrels

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P>.1 Small Mammals P > 0.1

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Big Picture Chipmunks may be avoiding managed sites while squirrels seem to prefer them Does not appear that management is having negative effects on the overall community richness There could be a shift in species dominance with continued management May be consequences to management that were not considered

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More replicates across the reserve for each Small mammal trapping permit Measure canopy cover Change order of owl calls or eliminate unlikely species early on Ideas to explore: What could have been different? Open up the wood piles to see if there are caches Are squirrels adapting to the burn piles Do night rodents like mice and rats occupy burn piles Altruistic behavior of mammals in presence of predator (observer)

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(hold for applause)

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Questions?

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Average Usage by Site Chipmunks Squirrels

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Camera Traps

Summary: Spring, 2018

Tags: student project

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