CSM06 Seasonal summary of numbers of small mammals on miscellaneous traplines in prairie habitats that were trapped from 1 to 11 years at Konza Prairie


Data set contains seasonal summaries (spring, summer and autumn) of the number of individuals of each species of small mammal captured (relative abundance) on each prairie trapline. Each record contains year, season, trapline and number of individuals captured of each species. These live trap records are based on daily captures during 4-day trapping periods in spring (early March to early April), summer (late June to late July) and autumn (early October to mid-November) for each permanent trapline (two traplines per treatment). These treatments include annual burns, 2-year burns, 4-year burns and 10-year burns; none were grazed by bison. This data set includes 14 traplines sampled in autumn and spring and 30 traplines in summer.

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Determine temporal and spatial patterns of relative abundance of rodent and shrew populations and composition of assemblages of small mammals in tallgrass prairie in various burn regimes to compare to the fourteen core traplines (CSM01).


Location of Sampling Stations: Ungrazed, unburned: 020B (summer only); Grazed, unburned: N20B (summer only); Ungrazed, annual burn: 001D (summer only); Grazed, annual burn: N01B (summer only); Ungrazed, 4 yr. burn: 004B, 004F (summer only); Grazed, 4 yr. burn: N04D (summer only); Ungrazed, annual burn: 001A; Ungrazed, 2 yr. burn: 002C, 002D; Ungrazed, 4 yr. burn: 004D, 004G; Ungrazed, 10 yr. burn: 010A, 010D; Ungrazed, unburned: N00D.

Frequency of Sampling: All sites were sampled in autumn (early October to mid-November), in spring (early March to early April) and summer (late June to late July). Summer samples also include data from 020B, N20B, 001D, N01B, 004B, 004F and N04D (the seven core LTER treatment units for small mammal).

Variable Measured: Numbers of individuals for each species of small mammal captured were recorded on each trapline. Sex, reproductive condition and capture location of each individual were recorded at each capture. Age, based on pelage characteristics, was recorded for the two species of Peromyscus at each capture. Body mass of an individual was recorded only at the first capture in each trapping period.

Methods: Traplines: Small mammals were trapped on two permanent traplines in each treatment unit. Each trapline consisted of 20 stations with an inter-station distance of 15 m and terminal stations (1 and 20) at least 50 m from the boundary of the treatment unit. When possible, each trapline was placed so that station 1 was in upland (shallow soil) and station 20 in lowland prairie (deeper soil). For the non-core LTER traplines, the two traplines within a treatment unit included a mix of stations in upland, slope (limestone outcrops or breaks) and lowland prairie. Because of topographic limitations, the two traplines within a treatment unit were not replicates of each other. Stations 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 on each trapline were marked with stakes of galvanized conduit. All stations were marked with fluorescent orange plastic surveyor flags at least once per year.

Trapping Procedures: Small mammals were trapped for 4 consecutive nights per trapline during each trapping period. Two large Sherman live traps (7.6 by 8.9 by 22.9 cm) were placed within 1 m of the surveyor flag or conduit at each station. Traps were baited with a mixture of high-quality creamy peanut butter (e.g., Jif) and oatmeal (Quaker old-fashioned oatmeal). The mixture was rolled into a small ball (1.5-2.0 cm in diameter) and wrapped in a 10-cm square of weighing paper. The bait was suspended in the trap by closing the back door of the trap on the twisted end of the weighing paper. In the summer trapping period, peanut butter was placed on the inside of the back door of the trap. Polyester fiberfill (5 g) was compressed by a #8 rubber band and used as nesting material in each trap in spring and autumn sampling periods. This nesting material reduced trap mortality in inclement weather. With the nest material and a large amount of bait in each trap, mammals typically were in good condition at the time that trap were checked in all types of weather. In the event that greater than 50% of the traps were closed overnight without an individual captured (e.g., due to strong winds or other weather events such as heavy rain, deer licking traps or raccoons or crows setting off traps), traps were set for additional nights until less than 50% of traps per night were closed without captures on that trapline.

All traps were checked early each morning, but after the end of the nocturnal activity period. One trapline in each treatment was set, followed by the second in the next week. The first trapline to be trapped in each treatment unit was selected at random by using a random number generator.

Species, sex and reproductive condition of individual small mammals, trap station and any unusual features (e.g., the presence of ticks, fleas or bot fly larvae, variation in color pattern such as stars or blazes) were recorded at each capture of an individual in each trapping period. Body mass was recorded during the first capture of an individual on a trapline. Reproductive information recorded for males was the presence or absence of scrotal testes. Pregnancy was determined by palpation of the abdomen of females; no effort was made to assess the number of embryos. Presence or absence of conspicuous mammae also was recorded. Conspicuous mammae indicated that the female had been reproductively active and had nursed offspring. Individuals were weighed to nearest 0.5 g for those weighing less than or equal to 50 g and nearest 1 g for those weighing greater than 50 g by using Pesola balances of an appropriate size.

Form of Data Output: The total number of mammals captured by species by trapline forms the database CSM06.

Summary of All Changes up to 2010: Because these miscellaneous traplines were part of CSM01 in early years of LTER, see CSM01 'Summary of Changes' for changes made from autumn 1981 through autumn 1988.

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