Species diversity, selectivity, and habitat associations of small mammals from coastal California

Southwestern Naturalist



Species diversity and habitat associations were documented for small mammals along 16 transects in a semiarid part of coastal California. Peromyscus were the most abundant, comprising 45.3% of all captures, followed by Dipodomys (21.2%), Neotoma (15.1%), and Perognathus (15.0%). Five additional genera made up the remaining captures (3.4%). Peromyscus truei and Perognathus californicus were both common and widespread, accounting for 42.1% of all captures. Both species were found on all but one transect. Neotoma lepida, the third most common species, was captured on rock transects 96% of the time. Dipodomys elephantinus was the fifth most common species, and was found exclusively in chamise chaparral. Species diversity (H') averaged 1.22 and ranged from 0.33 on a chamise chaparral transect to 1.74 on another chamise chaparral transect which crossed the edge of a burn. Nearly all transects demonstrated this same trend for diversity to vary widely both within and between habitats, indicating that local conditions were more of an influence on diversity than broad habitat types.

Selectivity, averaged across the ten most common species, was only 0.06, indicating that habitat selectivity was quite low. The most geographically widespread species, Peromyscus maniculatus, was the least selective (0.03), whereas the two species with the smallest geographic ranges, D. venustus and D. elephantinus, showed the greatest habitat selectivity (0.11 and 0.20, respectively). These values are much lower than those reported from short-term studies and suggest that, like species diversity, brief studies may not accurately reflect community-level interactions.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Species diversity, selectivity, and habitat associations of small mammals from coastal California
Series title Southwestern Naturalist
DOI 10.2307/3672236
Volume 39
Issue 2
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 9 p.
First page 128
Last page 136
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page