Landscape models to predict the influence of forest structure on tassel-eared squirrel populations

John W. Prather, Norris L. Dodd, Brett G Dickson, Haydee M. Hampton, Yaguang Xu, Ethan N. Aumack, Thomas D Sisk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tassel-eared squirrel (Sciurus aberti) is often used as an indicator species In southwestern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests. Because of more than a century of fire suppression, grazing, and timber harvest, these forests have become increasingly prone to catastrophic wildfire, resulting in pressure to implement large-scale treatments to reduce fire threat and restore ecosystem function. However, such treatments could have dramatic effects on tassel-eared squirrels and other wildlife. Because of emerging plans for thinning southwestern forests to reduce fire threat, we undertook a modeling effort to produce spatial data to examine the results of proposed management actions on squirrel habitat. We used squirrel density and recruitment data from 9 study areas located in the Flagstaff region of northern Arizona, USA, linked with spatial data on forest structure developed from remote-sensing imagery. We used a multiscale approach to analyze relationships between forest structure and squirrel density and recruitment We then used an information-theoretic approach to identify the most parsimonious models for both squirrel density and recruitment. The most strongly supported models of squirrel density included local-scale basal area and >60% canopy cover at the 65-ha spatial scale. For squirrel recruitment, 4 different models that included both local-scale basal area (m2/ha) and variations of canopy cover over extents of approximately 160-305 ha were strongly supported. Using the most parsimonious models, we created spatial data layers representing both squirrel density and recruitment across an 800,000-ha landscape in northern Arizona. Our approach resulted in spatially explicit models that can be used in efforts to predict the effects of forest management on squirrel populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-731
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Fingerprint

squirrels
inflorescences
spatial data
basal area
canopy
Pinus ponderosa
ecosystem function
wildfire
forest management
thinning
timber
imagery
grazing
remote sensing
Sciurus
fire suppression
habitat
wildfires
thinning (plants)
indicator species

Keywords

  • Akaike's Information Criterion
  • Arizona
  • Density
  • Forest structure
  • Information theory
  • Recruitment
  • Sciurus aberti
  • Spatial modeling
  • Tassel-eared squirrel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology

Cite this

Landscape models to predict the influence of forest structure on tassel-eared squirrel populations. / Prather, John W.; Dodd, Norris L.; Dickson, Brett G; Hampton, Haydee M.; Xu, Yaguang; Aumack, Ethan N.; Sisk, Thomas D.

In: Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 70, No. 3, 06.2006, p. 723-731.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Prather, John W. ; Dodd, Norris L. ; Dickson, Brett G ; Hampton, Haydee M. ; Xu, Yaguang ; Aumack, Ethan N. ; Sisk, Thomas D. / Landscape models to predict the influence of forest structure on tassel-eared squirrel populations. In: Journal of Wildlife Management. 2006 ; Vol. 70, No. 3. pp. 723-731.
@article{63ae10c18d584f51883a5b846828245f,
title = "Landscape models to predict the influence of forest structure on tassel-eared squirrel populations",
abstract = "The tassel-eared squirrel (Sciurus aberti) is often used as an indicator species In southwestern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests. Because of more than a century of fire suppression, grazing, and timber harvest, these forests have become increasingly prone to catastrophic wildfire, resulting in pressure to implement large-scale treatments to reduce fire threat and restore ecosystem function. However, such treatments could have dramatic effects on tassel-eared squirrels and other wildlife. Because of emerging plans for thinning southwestern forests to reduce fire threat, we undertook a modeling effort to produce spatial data to examine the results of proposed management actions on squirrel habitat. We used squirrel density and recruitment data from 9 study areas located in the Flagstaff region of northern Arizona, USA, linked with spatial data on forest structure developed from remote-sensing imagery. We used a multiscale approach to analyze relationships between forest structure and squirrel density and recruitment We then used an information-theoretic approach to identify the most parsimonious models for both squirrel density and recruitment. The most strongly supported models of squirrel density included local-scale basal area and >60{\%} canopy cover at the 65-ha spatial scale. For squirrel recruitment, 4 different models that included both local-scale basal area (m2/ha) and variations of canopy cover over extents of approximately 160-305 ha were strongly supported. Using the most parsimonious models, we created spatial data layers representing both squirrel density and recruitment across an 800,000-ha landscape in northern Arizona. Our approach resulted in spatially explicit models that can be used in efforts to predict the effects of forest management on squirrel populations.",
keywords = "Akaike's Information Criterion, Arizona, Density, Forest structure, Information theory, Recruitment, Sciurus aberti, Spatial modeling, Tassel-eared squirrel",
author = "Prather, {John W.} and Dodd, {Norris L.} and Dickson, {Brett G} and Hampton, {Haydee M.} and Yaguang Xu and Aumack, {Ethan N.} and Sisk, {Thomas D}",
year = "2006",
month = "6",
doi = "10.2193/0022-541X(2006)70[723:LMTPTI]2.0.CO;2",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "70",
pages = "723--731",
journal = "Journal of Wildlife Management",
issn = "0022-541X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Landscape models to predict the influence of forest structure on tassel-eared squirrel populations

AU - Prather, John W.

AU - Dodd, Norris L.

AU - Dickson, Brett G

AU - Hampton, Haydee M.

AU - Xu, Yaguang

AU - Aumack, Ethan N.

AU - Sisk, Thomas D

PY - 2006/6

Y1 - 2006/6

N2 - The tassel-eared squirrel (Sciurus aberti) is often used as an indicator species In southwestern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests. Because of more than a century of fire suppression, grazing, and timber harvest, these forests have become increasingly prone to catastrophic wildfire, resulting in pressure to implement large-scale treatments to reduce fire threat and restore ecosystem function. However, such treatments could have dramatic effects on tassel-eared squirrels and other wildlife. Because of emerging plans for thinning southwestern forests to reduce fire threat, we undertook a modeling effort to produce spatial data to examine the results of proposed management actions on squirrel habitat. We used squirrel density and recruitment data from 9 study areas located in the Flagstaff region of northern Arizona, USA, linked with spatial data on forest structure developed from remote-sensing imagery. We used a multiscale approach to analyze relationships between forest structure and squirrel density and recruitment We then used an information-theoretic approach to identify the most parsimonious models for both squirrel density and recruitment. The most strongly supported models of squirrel density included local-scale basal area and >60% canopy cover at the 65-ha spatial scale. For squirrel recruitment, 4 different models that included both local-scale basal area (m2/ha) and variations of canopy cover over extents of approximately 160-305 ha were strongly supported. Using the most parsimonious models, we created spatial data layers representing both squirrel density and recruitment across an 800,000-ha landscape in northern Arizona. Our approach resulted in spatially explicit models that can be used in efforts to predict the effects of forest management on squirrel populations.

AB - The tassel-eared squirrel (Sciurus aberti) is often used as an indicator species In southwestern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests. Because of more than a century of fire suppression, grazing, and timber harvest, these forests have become increasingly prone to catastrophic wildfire, resulting in pressure to implement large-scale treatments to reduce fire threat and restore ecosystem function. However, such treatments could have dramatic effects on tassel-eared squirrels and other wildlife. Because of emerging plans for thinning southwestern forests to reduce fire threat, we undertook a modeling effort to produce spatial data to examine the results of proposed management actions on squirrel habitat. We used squirrel density and recruitment data from 9 study areas located in the Flagstaff region of northern Arizona, USA, linked with spatial data on forest structure developed from remote-sensing imagery. We used a multiscale approach to analyze relationships between forest structure and squirrel density and recruitment We then used an information-theoretic approach to identify the most parsimonious models for both squirrel density and recruitment. The most strongly supported models of squirrel density included local-scale basal area and >60% canopy cover at the 65-ha spatial scale. For squirrel recruitment, 4 different models that included both local-scale basal area (m2/ha) and variations of canopy cover over extents of approximately 160-305 ha were strongly supported. Using the most parsimonious models, we created spatial data layers representing both squirrel density and recruitment across an 800,000-ha landscape in northern Arizona. Our approach resulted in spatially explicit models that can be used in efforts to predict the effects of forest management on squirrel populations.

KW - Akaike's Information Criterion

KW - Arizona

KW - Density

KW - Forest structure

KW - Information theory

KW - Recruitment

KW - Sciurus aberti

KW - Spatial modeling

KW - Tassel-eared squirrel

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33746354639&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33746354639&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2193/0022-541X(2006)70[723:LMTPTI]2.0.CO;2

DO - 10.2193/0022-541X(2006)70[723:LMTPTI]2.0.CO;2

M3 - Article

VL - 70

SP - 723

EP - 731

JO - Journal of Wildlife Management

JF - Journal of Wildlife Management

SN - 0022-541X

IS - 3

ER -