Habitat associations of small mammals and amphibians in the central Oregon Coast Range Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/rn301566p

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  • One of the goals of ecosystem management is to integrate management of many species and processes across a range of temporal and spatial scales. I investigated the relationship between small mammals and amphibians at 3 spatial scales. My objective was to identify, habitat associations of forest floor vertebrates at the microhabitat, patch, and landscape scales. I located trap stations (n = 1032) in 30 250- to 300-ha landscapes containing 27 patch types. I assessed habitat associations between 14 species of small mammals and 9 species of amphibians in the central Oregon Coast Range. I evaluated associations between patch types and vertebrate distribution by comparing capture rates to trapping effort. In > 1 of the 3 mature forest patch types, I captured 8 of 9 amphibians and 10 of 14 small mammals more than expected. Because my research was designed to evaluate mature forest composition and pattern at the landscape scale, I used the 5 amphibian species positively associated with mature forest patches for my landscape analyses. Capture rates of all 5 species were positively associated with % mature forest on the landscape. Two of the amphibian species were also positively associated with total core area of all patch types. At the microhabitat scale, I investigated the relationship between 6 habitat variables (conifer basal area, hardwood basal area, distance to water, volumes of coarse woody debris, litter depth, and distance to edge) and capture rates of small mammals and amphibians. Captures rates for 4 of 9 amphibian species and 5 of 14 small mammal species were positively associated with increasing levels of conifer or hardwood basal area or both. I found species specific responses to habitat features at multiple scales. Interestingly, I found a relationship between the presence of large diameter trees and capture rates at the microhabitat, patch, and landscape scales. Additionally, total core area was an important landscape feature for 2 amphibian species. Maintaining mature forest patch types and large patches of all patch types may be important for small mammals and amphibians in western Oregon. Ecosystem managers should be cognizant of the relationships I found across spatial scales when evaluating land management alternatives.
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