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Title: Use of Woody Debris by Cotton Mice (Peromyscus Gossypinus) in a Southeastern Pine Forest

Author: McCay, Timothy S.;

Date: 2000

Source: Journal of Mammalogy, 81(2): 527-535, 2000

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Coarse woody debris, which includes fallen logs, snags, and stumps, may be an important habitat component for many mammals. I examined use of woody debris by the cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus) with radiotelemetry and fluorescent-powder tracking in a managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest. Most day refuges of cotton mice were associated with woody debris, including refuges in rotting stumps (69%), under upturned root boles (14%), and under fallen logs and brush (9%). Stumps used by cotton mice were larger in diameter (P < 0.05) and more highly decomposed (P < 0.001) than stumps randomly selected at the study area. Nighttime telemetry locations of 4 of 8 cotton mice were closer to large (10 cm diameter) fallen logs than expected by chance (P < 0.05), whereas locations of no mice were farther from logs than expected. Pathways of cotton mice crossed woody debris (including logs of all sizes) for a greater distance than random transects at the study area (P < 0.05). Logs used by powder-tracked mice were longer than randomly selected logs (P < 0.01). Extensive and selective use suggests that woody debris, particularly in the form of large logs and stumps, is an important habitat component for the cotton mouse in southeastern pine forests.

Keywords: coarse woody debris, cotton mouse, habitat use, loblolly pine forest, Peromyscus gossypinus

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McCay, Timothy S. 2000. Use of Woody Debris by Cotton Mice (Peromyscus Gossypinus) in a Southeastern Pine Forest. Journal of Mammalogy, 81(2): 527-535, 2000


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