Living with linear features: impact of roads, recreational trails and transmission line rights-of-way on small mammals in Newfoundland

Letto, Karla Rae (2013) Living with linear features: impact of roads, recreational trails and transmission line rights-of-way on small mammals in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Linear features have the capacity to degrade landscapes and impact wildlife. I used mark-recapture methods to examine the relationship between small mamma ls and linear features (roads, trails and transmission lines) in boreal forest and barren ecosystems on the island of Newfoundland, Canada. I live-trapped 25 Microtus pennsylvanicus and 314 Sorex cinereus at increasing distances from linear features over a total of 3600 trap nights. Relative abundance of these species did not differ between trapping distances. However, the relationship between linear features and abundance differed between species, favouring the introduced habitat generalist S. cinereus and disturbing the native habitat specialist M. pennsylvanicus. PCA suggests that microhabitat and food availability are important determinants of population density of these species. This study is the first to examine the relationship between Newfoundland’s small mammals and anthropogenic linear features on the landscape, making the findings an important contribution to the management planning for the environmental impacts of linear features.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10876
Item ID: 10876
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 57-70).
Keywords: linear feature; Microtus pennsylvanicus; Newfoundland; recreational ecology; road ecology; sma ll mammal; Sorex cinereus
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Microtus pennsylvanicus--Effect of roads on--Newfoundland and Labrador; Sorex cinereus--Effect of roads on--Newfoundland and Labrador; Roadside ecology; Trails--Environmental aspects; Electric lines--Environmental aspects.

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