AuthorPosthumus, Erin Elizabeth
AdvisorKoprowski, John L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe modifications animals make to their environments can be critical to species diversity. Red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) create large piles of conifer cone debris (middens) and are hypothesized to function as a keystone species due to positive associations between middens and other vertebrate species. We assessed vegetation and landscape structure at middens with a resident red squirrel for varying consistencies over the prior 5 years and surveyed mammals and birds at the community and population level. After accounting for vegetation and landscape characteristics, red squirrel-created resources positively influenced species richness of medium and large mammals and ground foraging birds, abundance of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and ground foraging birds, and activity of cliff chipmunks (Tamias dorsalis). Increased knowledge of the interaction strength of the red squirrel with its environment may be used to inform decisions in forest management and restoration and offer insight on the conservation value of larderhoarding mammals.
Degree ProgramGraduate College