Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fewer Marten Detections in California Forest Linked to Decline in Habitat

25.10.2011
Pacific Southwest Research Station/USDA Forest Service
Science that makes a difference. . .

The reclusive American marten is getting even harder to find in the Sierra Nevada, according to a study by a team of researchers from the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State University. A new study at the Sagehen Experimental Forest found that marten detections have dropped 60 percent since the 1980s—a decrease that may be caused by a degradation of the wooded areas in which they live, researchers say. Their findings appeared in the current issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management.

“Previous work had revealed that marten populations in the northern Sierra and southern Cascades in California have become more fragmented since the early 1900s, but the current work at Sagehen may help explain the mechanism for this pattern,” says co-author Bill Zielinski, research ecologist for the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station in Arcata, Calif.

In the early 1900s, American marten could be found in many continuous areas in the higher elevations of the northern Sierra Nevada. Today, populations of the small mammal, which is related to the weasel family and looks like a cross between a mink and a fox, are isolated and discontinuous. Causes for this phenomenon are unclear, but researchers believe that timber harvesting and thinning—the removal of downed woody material on the forest floor—may play a part in the population decline.

The Sagehen Experimental Forest is located in the Tahoe National Forest about 30 miles north of Lake Tahoe and is managed by the Pacific Southwest Research Station and the University of California, Berkeley. Researchers recorded marten detections using track plates—long, baited rectangular boxes which martens enter and leave their tracks on contact paper. The data, which was collected in 2007 and 2008, was then compared to survey results from 1980 to 1993.

“We’ve estimated that there has been about a 25 percent loss in suitable habitat for martens since the 1980s,” says lead author and Oregon State University researcher Katie Moriarty. In their journal article, the authors cite the loss of prime marten habitat in the Sagehen Experimental Forest of more than 270 hectares, or nearly 700 acres.

Based on the results of their findings, the research team suggests the following land management strategies for preserving marten habitat:

Retain the remaining patches of old-growth forest habitat, especially near streams and retain patches of fir in the upper elevations.
Retain corridors of dense, old forest between areas where fire considerations make it is necessary to reduce the forest density (i.e., "thin" the forest).

Strive for an approach to forest management that retains old, dead and malformed trees and logs because of their important value as refuges for martens and as habitat for their prey.

Read the full article.
http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/zielinski/psw_2011_zielinski002(moriarty).pdf

Headquartered in Albany, Calif., the Pacific Southwest Research develops and communicates science needed to sustain forest ecosystems and other benefits to society. It has laboratories and research centers in California, Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us/psw/.

Sherri Eng | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us

Further reports about: Forest Service Nevada Pacific coral Sierra Southwest forest ecosystem habitat

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
20.06.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>