Ecological Implications of Loblolly Pine Regeneration for Small Mammal Communities

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Loblolly stands regenerated by the seed tree method (natural regeneration) and loblolly plantations were compared for differences in habitat and small mammal populations. Measurements were taken on 20 habitat variables that characterized the understory vegetation and gross habitat structure of each stand. Small mammals were collected by removal trapping during 1984 and 1985. Capture rates, expressed as the number of animals caught per 100 trap nights (TN), were higher in natural stands than in plantations overall and in 4 of 5 trap sessions. However, differences were not significant. The logarithm of capture rate was linearly related to age with a negative slope for each regeneration method, but was not statistically different between methods. Animal capture rates were correlated with habitat variables that declined with age. Changes in the trophic structure of the small mammal community are discussed. When sites are prepared by chopping and burning, small mammal populations respond similarly for both natural and artificial regeneration methods. For. Sci. 35(2):503-514.

Keywords: Natural regeneration; forest management; low intensity site preparation; trophic structure

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professors of Forestry, Department of Forestry, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29631

Publication date: June 1, 1989

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