Effects of grazing and shrub removal on small mammal populations in southern New Mexico, USA

TitleEffects of grazing and shrub removal on small mammal populations in southern New Mexico, USA
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMathis V.L, Whitford WG, Kay F.R, Alkon P.U.
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Date Published2006
Accession NumberJRN00443
Call Number00916
KeywordsAmerican Southwest, Chihuahuan desert; Grazing, prosopis glandulosa, shrub removal, small mammals

Between 1995 and 1997, grazing regimes and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) shrub removal were combined in a factorial arrangement to assess changes in small mammal communities on the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico. Small mammals were live-trapped biannually in winter and at the end of the growing season (fall). We examined changes in abundances, species richness, species and biomass diversity, and mean captures and biomass. Species richness did not change significantly with treatments but was seasonally higher in spring 1996 compared to the fall 1996. A decrease in species and biomass diversities were seen in fall 1996 and an increase in both diversities in fall 1997. No plots reached the same species richness, abundance, or diversity encountered during a pre-treatment study in 1993. Spring 1995 and fall 1996 revealed significant reactions to the combination of the applied treatments, yet no overall pattern can be elucidated. Environmental fluctuations such as variable rainfall and inherent stochasticity of the ecosystem may explain the lack of pattern, and only emphasizes the need for more long-term studies assessing the effects of vegetation alteration on dependent communities. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Reprint EditionIn File (02/29/2008)