Clearcuts Drive Dissimilar Small Mammal Assemblages in Northern Hardwood Forests

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Composition and diversity of small mammal communities are sensitive to bottom-up effects where variation in vegetative structure, climate, and microclimates affect the food resources upon which small mammals depend (Pinotti et al. 2011). Sensitivity to changes in forest structure reflect the close trophic linkages between herbivorous, granivorous, and insectivorous small mammals and the surrounding vegetation they use as food resources and cover (Niedziałkowska et al. 2010). Subsequent variation in small mammal community structure and abundance can result in cascading effects on carnivores, such as fisher (Pekania pennanti) and American marten (Martes americana), two forest dwelling carnivores valued by trappers throughout the Midwest (Buskirk and McDonald 1989). Given the role of small mammals in supporting a functional forest ecosystem, understanding how different silviculture prescriptions and subsequent changes in vegetative structure affect small mammal community assemblage is an important step toward sustainable forest management.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the First Biennial Northern Hardwood Conference 2021: Bridging Science and Management for the Future