The importance of riparian habitat in small-mammal sampling and conservation is unknown in the central Appalachian region, and the little research available has produced mixed results. In addition, studies have produced varied results when comparing small-mammal communities in edge and interior locations. We compared relative abundance and diversity of small mammals from pitfall trap arrays (per 100 trap-nights) between riparian (<100 m from water source) and upland (≥100 m from water source) habitats and between edge (<100 m from habitat edge) and interior (≥100 m from habitat edge) locations in northern West Virginia. Shannon diversity (P=0.010) and Pielou evenness (P=0.012) were higher in edge than interior trapping locations but similar between riparian and upland habitats. Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus; P=0.012) and southern bog lemmings (synaptomys cooperi; P=0.001) were more abundant in edge than interior sites. We found no difference in abundance or diversity of small mammals between riparian and upland habitats. We suggest that sampling for inventory and monitoring purposes should be stratified by edge and interior locations to provide an accurate representation of diversity and abundance of small-mammal populations.
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