The relationship of non-recovered rodent caches to the natural regeneration of ponderosa pine Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/n009w4715

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  • Studies were conducted within a 12-mile radius of Camp Sherman, Oregon, in the Deschutes National Forest during the spring and summer of 1965 and the spring of 1966, with one follow-up visit in the summer of 1967. The feeding and foraging activities of Eutamias amoenus and Citellus lateralis were observed, especially in relation to the seeds and germinants of Pinus ponderosa. Such observations were conducted to relate the rodent activities to the overall picture of natural regeneration of P. ponderosa in this area. About 75 pine seed caches which germinated in 1965 and 1966 were observed and their survival followed. Squirrel and chipmunk cheek pouch and cache contents were analyzed to relate this information to the size and source of germinating clumps. Such observations, plus observations and sampling of stands containing older pines growing in clumps demonstrated several things: 1) Where clumping occurs in this area, rodents are responsible for at least half the pine regeneration; 2) Germinating pine clumps appear to be an important part of the early spring diet of various animals; 3) The advantages imparted to pine seeds germinating as members of rodent caches seem to outweigh the disadvantages; 4) Rodent activities--especially those of C. lateralis --are an important contribution to the natural regeneration of ponderosa pine in this area, especially following a major disturbance to the understory and/or overstory, such as by logging, road-clearing, and, in the past, fire.
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