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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. American Marten (Martes Americana) Microhabitat Characteristics in Mixed Deciduous/coniferous Laurentian Forests

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AUTHORS: Heather Stricker, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point; Lisa Zoromski, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point; Jason Wogsland, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, Deahn Donner, US Forest Service - Northern Research Station; Jonathon Gilbert, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

ABSTRACT: American martens (Martes americana) are reported to use a wide variety of forest types throughout their North American range. Yet, consistently marten habitat has been described as comprised of structurally complex forests, regardless of tree species composition. In the Laurentian forests of the upper Great Lakes, martens preferentially seek out and use small (= 1 ha) stands of hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)/cedar (Thuja occidentalis) trees over the deciduous matrix in which these coniferous stands occur. We hypothesized that martens seek out these small stands of hemlock/cedar because they provide increased structural diversity over the hardwood matrix. To test this hypothesis we compared forest structural differences of 100 randomly selected plots within small (= 1 ha) hemlock/cedar stands to 100 randomly located plots within the surrounding hardwood matrix within an occupied American marten region of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, WI. We found increased total tree density, increased dbh, higher log density and a higher stump density in the hemlock/cedar stands compared to plots in the hardwood matrix. These are all elements of structural diversity. As expected, we found more hemlock and cedar trees in conifer stands than the matrix, but hemlocks were significantly larger (dbh) in the small stands than hemlocks found in the matrix. These results are consistent with previous research that shows the importance of forest structural elements and the presence of conifer pockets in forest habitat selection patterns by American martens.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer