Small Mammal Abundance in Mediterranean Post-Fire Habitats: A Role for Predators?. Torre, I. and D́ıaz, M. 25(3):137–142.
Small Mammal Abundance in Mediterranean Post-Fire Habitats: A Role for Predators? [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
We studied patterns of small mammal abundance and species richness in post-fire habitats by sampling 33~plots (225~m2 each) representing different stages of vegetation recovery after fire. Small mammal abundance was estimated by live trapping during early spring 1999 and vegetation structure was sampled by visual estimation at the same plots. Recently-burnt areas were characterised by shrubby and herbaceous vegetation with low structural variability, and unburnt areas were characterised by well developed forest cover with high structural complexity. Small mammal abundance and species richness decreased with time elapsed since the last fire (from 5~to at least 50~years), and these differences were associated to the decreasing cover of short shrubs as the post-fire succession of plant communities advanced. However, relationships between vegetation structure and small mammals differed among areas burned in different times, with weak or negative relationship in recently burnt areas and positive and stronger relationship in unburnt areas. Furthermore, the abundance of small mammals was larger than expected from vegetation structure in plots burned recently whereas the contrary pattern was found in unburned areas. We hypothesised that the pattern observed could be related to the responses of small mammal predators to changes in vegetation and landscape structure promoted by fire. Fire-related fragmentation could have promoted the isolation of forest predators (owls and carnivores) in unburned forest patches, a fact that could have produced a higher predation pressure for small mammals. Conversely, small mammal populations would have been enhanced in early post-fire stages by lower predator numbers combined with better predator protection in areas covered by resprouting woody vegetation.
@article{torreSmallMammalAbundance2004,
  title = {Small Mammal Abundance in {{Mediterranean}} Post-Fire Habitats: A Role for Predators?},
  author = {Torre, I. and D́ıaz, M.},
  date = {2004-05},
  journaltitle = {Acta Oecologica},
  volume = {25},
  pages = {137--142},
  issn = {1146-609X},
  doi = {10.1016/j.actao.2003.10.007},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2003.10.007},
  abstract = {We studied patterns of small mammal abundance and species richness in post-fire habitats by sampling 33~plots (225~m2 each) representing different stages of vegetation recovery after fire. Small mammal abundance was estimated by live trapping during early spring 1999 and vegetation structure was sampled by visual estimation at the same plots. Recently-burnt areas were characterised by shrubby and herbaceous vegetation with low structural variability, and unburnt areas were characterised by well developed forest cover with high structural complexity. Small mammal abundance and species richness decreased with time elapsed since the last fire (from 5~to at least 50~years), and these differences were associated to the decreasing cover of short shrubs as the post-fire succession of plant communities advanced. However, relationships between vegetation structure and small mammals differed among areas burned in different times, with weak or negative relationship in recently burnt areas and positive and stronger relationship in unburnt areas. Furthermore, the abundance of small mammals was larger than expected from vegetation structure in plots burned recently whereas the contrary pattern was found in unburned areas. We hypothesised that the pattern observed could be related to the responses of small mammal predators to changes in vegetation and landscape structure promoted by fire. Fire-related fragmentation could have promoted the isolation of forest predators (owls and carnivores) in unburned forest patches, a fact that could have produced a higher predation pressure for small mammals. Conversely, small mammal populations would have been enhanced in early post-fire stages by lower predator numbers combined with better predator protection in areas covered by resprouting woody vegetation.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-12117596,ecology,forest-fires,forest-resources,fragmentation,grasslands,mammals,prey-predator,shrubs,wildfires},
  number = {3}
}
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