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1 June 2010 Fine-Scale Habitat Selection of American Marten at the Southern Fringe of the Boreal Forest
Guillaume Godbout, Jean-Pierre Ouellet
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American marten (Martes americana) are typically associated with mature coniferous forests. Some recent results, however, suggest that marten habitat selection may also operate at a finer scale. We therefore described site characteristics of 24 martens that were radio-tracked and snow-tracked between August 2002 and March 2004. From these data we developed 2 resource selection functions, one for summer and the other for winter, using logistic regressions. In summer, selected sites were mainly characterized by abundant biomass of spruces and short (≤ 30 cm) herbaceous plants and low biomass of tall (> 30 cm) herbaceous plants. Other factors, such as increased coniferous canopy closure and amount of coarse woody debris (CWD) and reduced lateral cover (LC5) were included in the composite model. In winter, sites with closed coniferous canopy and LC5, high snow sinking depth, greater amounts of CWD, greater basal area, and greater tree density were more likely to be visited by marten. These variables may be related to 3 factors that play roles in marten ecology: prey abundance, protective cover, and thermoregulation. Our results also show that, unlike clear-cutting with protection of regeneration and soils (CPRS) and pre-commercial thinning (PCT), partial logging techniques (PL) could maintain, under certain conditions, the structural elements required by pine marten in a managed forest. These elements would favour prey abundance and detection, protective cover, and rest and thermoregulation sites.

Guillaume Godbout and Jean-Pierre Ouellet "Fine-Scale Habitat Selection of American Marten at the Southern Fringe of the Boreal Forest," Ecoscience 17(2), 175-185, (1 June 2010).
Received: 30 April 2009; Accepted: 10 March 2010; Published: 1 June 2010

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