Small-mammal herpetofauna abundance in riparian and upslope areas of five forest conditions Public Deposited

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  • I compared species composition and relative abundance of'small mammals and herpetofauna between riparian and upslope habitats among 5 forest types. Riparian- and upslope- associated species were identified based on capture frequency. Small mammal species richness was similar between stream and upslope habitats and among the 5 forest types. There were differences (P<0.05) in the abundances of 9 small mammal species among forest types. The total captures of small mammals was highest in deciduous stands and progressively lower from shrub to old-growth coniferous forests. Neurotrichus gibbsii, Sorex bendirii, Sorex pacificus, Microtus longicaudus, Microtus townsendii, Phenacomys albioes, and Zapus trinotatus were captured in higher numbers in riparian than in upslope habitats; Sorex pacificus, Microtus longicaudus, and Phenacomys albioes may be considered riparian associated species; and S. bendirii may an obligate of riparian habitat. In contrast, Clethrionomys californicus showed a strong association with upslope habitats. Herpetofauna species richness was similar among forest types but slightly greater in the shrub stands. The abundances of 3 of herpetofauna species differed among forest types. Total captures of herpetofauna was highest in deciduous forests, intermediate in the mature conifer forests, and lowest in the 2 younger forest types. Herpetofauna species richness was similar between stream and upslope habitats, however captures of this group were higher in riparian than upslope habitat. Ascaphus truei, Plethodon dunni, Taricha qranulosa, Dicamptodon tenebrosus and Rana aurora had higher captures in riparian than upslope habitats; Taricha qranulosa and Dicamptodon tenebrosus may be considered riparian associated species; and Ascaphus truei and Plethodon dunni may be obligates of riparian habitat. E. eschscholtzi was associated with upslope habitats. I described riparian microhabitat components important to capture of small mammals and herpetofauna. S. bendirii was found only associated with intermittent streams in upslope habitats, and A. truei was positively correlated with stream depth, additional evidence that these 2 species were associated with riparian habitat. S. pacificus, N. gibbsii, P. albipes, M. longicaudus, and Z. trinotatus were associated with deciduous vegetation. In addition, M. longicaudus was positively correlated with the number of logs. The high abundance of Z. trinotatus along streams was associated with herbaceous vegetation. This is supported by it's high abundance in shrub stands where herbaceous cover is high. C. californicus was captured most frequently in mature and old-growth forests, it was associated with deep litter and abundant snags. The results suggested that small (second- third- and fourth- order) riparian systems and adjacent upslope areas may provide important habitat to some small mammals and herpetofauna on the Oregon Coast Ranges. It is vital that these systems be considered in management plans which include the protection of at least some of these areas from timber harvest.
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