dimanche 23 janvier 2011

Importance of downed wood as a habitat resource for small mammal populations

Dead wood, including downed wood and standing dead trees (snags), is recognized as a key resource for forest biodiversity. Unfortunately, it is a resource that is threatened by forest management activities, which often result in a reduction in dead wood supplies over time. Recent developments highlight the possibility of an intensification of this threat due to increased interest in wood as a renewable biofuel. In order to guide the development of sustainable practices, information is required on thresholds of dead wood supply (i.e., how much is enough?) and on the identification of indicator species. This research project will focus on responses of boreal small mammal populations to variation in downed wood supplies, with a focus on a key indicator species, the red-backed vole. Research will involve several activities: 1) live-trapping of small mammals in a series of plots in which downed wood supplies vary, including a series of plots that were the focus of experimental manipulation of downed wood supplies and 2) behavioural ecology of small mammal species through the use of radio telemetry and feeding stations to investigate the costs and benefits of downed wood in the context of competitive interactions.

Prof. Jay R. Malcolm’s Lab, University of Toronto

Contact: Prof. Jay R. Malcolm, jay.malcolm@utoronto.ca, 416-978-0142

Website: http://www.forestry.utoronto.ca/people/malcolm/malcolm.html