To minimize impact on small mammals while preventing invasion of woody vegetation, we mowed alternating 15-m strips on our area. We then compared numbers and movements of 5 species of rodents on mowed and unmowed strips. Numbers of hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) and prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) were reduced temporarily in the mowed strips, whereas numbers of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), deer mice (P. maniculatus), and western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys megalotis) did not change significantly. Movements of cotton rats, prairie voles, and harvest mice across mowed strips were reduced, whereas movements within unmowed strips were relatively unaffected, decreasing only for white-footed and harvest mice in 1 of 2 temporal replicates. Changes in numbers and movements were of short duration, and hence mowing narrow strips when vegetation could recover rapidly had little sustained impact on this rodent community.
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