Habitat characteristics at marten subnivean access sites

Journal of Wildlife Management
By:  and 

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Abstract

The occurrence of coarse woody debris (CWD) at sites of subnivean (under snow) access by martens (Martes americana) has not been quantified adequately, and must be better understood to provide suitable winter habitat management for the species. Consequently, we studied subnivean activity of martens in a subalpine forest in southern Wyoming to determine how subnivean space was accessed, and to examine microhabitat characteristics around entry sites. Martens used existing openings in snow, created primarily by logs at low snow depths and by small live spruce and fir trees at greater snow depths. Sites of marten subnivean entry had greater percent cover (P ≤ 0.01) and total volume of CWD (P ≤ 0.01), greater numbers of log layers (all P ≤ 0.02), greater volume of undecayed (P ≤ 0.05) and moderately decayed logs (P ≤ 0.02), less volume of very decayed logs (P ≤ 0.001), and fewer small root masses (P ≤ 0.001) than surrounding forest stands. Provision of sufficient CWD in winter habitat of martens may require specific effort, particularly in managed forests of the central Rocky Mountains.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Habitat characteristics at marten subnivean access sites
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.2307/3808856
Volume 56
Issue 3
Year Published 1992
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Society
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Description 7 p.
First page 442
Last page 448