Authors: JAE-KANG LEE, HYUN-SU HWANG, TAE-KYUNG EOM, SHIN-JAE RHIM
Abstract: This study was conducted to investigate the influence of tree thinning on habitat variables and small rodents in a natural deciduous forest in South Korea. We focused on the populations of the small forest-dwelling rodents, striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius and Korean field mouse A. peninsulae. Populations were monitored for 2 years in a natural deciduous forest subject to tree thinning. The coverage of ground vegetation and number and volume of downed trees were significantly increased after thinning. However, the coverage of overstory and understory vegetation and number of standing trees were decreased in postthinning session. The abundance and survival probability of captured A. agrarius and the total small rodents were significantly influenced by tree thinning. We hypothesize that the major factors determining the greater abundance and survival of small rodents after thinning may be the increased coverage of ground vegetation and number of downed trees, and the decreased number of standing trees. This study suggests that tree thinning could be a tool to both encourage tree productivity and create suitable habitats for small rodents.
Keywords: Apodemus agrarius, Apodemus peninsulae, downed tree, ground vegetation, habitat variable
Full Text: PDF