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1 October 2005 Densities of Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus) in Farmland Woodlots Decline with Increasing Area and Isolation
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Habitat loss and subsequent subdivision of remaining habitat patches are considered major threats to terrestrial animal populations in natural environments. Habitat loss normally results in reduced population numbers in remaining habitat patches, whereas isolation of habitat patches affects population dynamics among them. In this study, we examined the distribution of the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) in farmland woodlots. We used the Random Sample Hypothesis as a theoretical starting point in the study. By using a standard protocol to trap chipmunks in woodlots, we expected to capture approximately the same number of individuals per woodlot independent of the size of the woodlot. We found that the probability of capturing chipmunks declined with increasing size and distance to the nearest woodlots. Such a decline in densities seemed to happen even in woodlots of less than 10 ha. Large and remote woodlots tended to be surrounded by corn fields. Measured habitat and landscape variables gave no indication as to which ecological processes might have accounted for the observed pattern. Ecological factors, such as species interactions within a woodlot and movement of individuals among woodlots, should be addressed more closely experimentally.

PASI REUNANEN and THOMAS C. GRUBB "Densities of Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus) in Farmland Woodlots Decline with Increasing Area and Isolation," The American Midland Naturalist 154(2), 433-441, (1 October 2005).[0433:DOECTS]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 February 2005; Published: 1 October 2005
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