Association between coarse woody debris and small mammals and insectivores in managed forests

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Coarse woody debris (CWD) is generally considered dead woody material in various stages of forest decomposition and has been hypothesized to be an important habitat feature for mammals in forests of the Pacific Northwest, USA. Sherman and pitfall trapping were conducted for 2 years on three paired sites with low and high amounts of CWD. Deer mice was the dominant species with a total capture of 605 (45.6%). Four species of insectivores were captured, including Sorex moncicolus, S. trowbridgii, S. vagrans, and Neurotrichus gibbsii. A Poisson regression model was used to test whether 11 CWD variables could predict insectivore captures. The volume of logs and mean decay were important variables for deer mice use of CWD. Mean distance from pieces of CWD to the capture point was significantly related to the total number of captures of trowbridge shrew (Sorex trowbridgii) and all insectivore species. Vagrant shrews (Sorex vagrans) were significantly associated with log volume. Retaining large size CWD should be part of a management plan for ground-dwelling insectivores in forests to secure their biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ecology and Field Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


  • Community ecology
  • Deer mice
  • Insectivores
  • Microhabitat
  • Poisson model


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