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Short-term effects of fire and forest thinning on truffle abundance and consumption by Neotamias speciosus in the Sierra Nevada of California Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/fn1070312

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  • In many western North American forests, prescribed burning and mechanical thinning are widely used to reduce fuels and restore stand conditions after a century of fire suppression. Few studies have followed the relative impacts of these treatments on the production and consumption of truffles in forest ecosystems, particularly in the Sierra Nevada of California. Using a full-factorial completely randomized design, we examined the short-term impacts of prescribed burning (no burn and burn), mechanical thinning (no thin, light thin, and heavy thin), and combinations of these treatments on the production of truffles and their consumption by lodgepole chipmunks (Neotamias speciosus Merriam) in a mixed-conifer forest of the southern Sierra Nevada of California. Truffle frequency, biomass, and species richness were lower in thinned or burned plots than controls, as was the frequency and generic richness of truffles in the diet of N. speciosus. Truffle frequency, biomass, and species richness, and truffle consumption by N. speciosus were lower in heavily thinned and thinned and burned plots than in those exclusively burned. These results suggest that either thinning or burning can reduce short-term truffle production and consumption, and potentially the dispersal of ectomycorrhizal spores by small mammals. Moreover, truffles decreased with treatment intensity, suggesting heavy thinning and higher burn intensity, particularly when applied together, can significantly affect short-term truffle abundance and small mammal consumption.
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  • Meyer, M. D., North, M. P., & Kelt, D. A. (2005). Short-term effects of fire and forest thinning on truffle abundance and consumption by Neotamias speciosus in the Sierra Nevada of California [Electronic version]. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 35, 1061-1070.
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