Limited information exists on small mammal communities in industrial forests of northern California. Small mammal communities are important components of forest ecosystems and a better understanding of small mammal relationships to fine-scale habitat features in industrial forests can aid management. We developed overall and species-specific models to assess the relationships between small mammals and fine-scale (64 m2) habitat features (i.e., cover of shrub, forb, grass, rock, mineral soil, forest litter, downed wood, and trees). We also assessed fine-scale land cover category. We trapped small mammals from May to August of 2011–2013 in 65 stands using a web based trapping design that consisted of Sherman and Tomahawk live-traps. We captured 11 small mammal species with the most frequently captured species being Peromyscus spp. and California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) in Sherman and Tomahawk traps, respectively. Pooled small mammal captures in Sherman traps were positively influenced by shrub cover at trapping locations. This relationship was also observed in Peromyscus spp. and Allen's chipmunk (Tamias senex). We captured more Peromyscus spp. and pooled small mammals when a trap was placed in retention rather than clearcuts. In Tomahawk traps, pooled small mammal captures were positively influenced by shrub cover and downed wood. We captured more California ground squirrels in clearcuts opposed to controls and found forest litter to negatively influence ground squirrel captures. Our findings emphasize the importance of fine-scale habitat elements, primarily downed wood, shrub cover, and retention patches on small mammal habitat use in industrial forests of northern California.
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Vol. 90 • No. 3