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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Jenna Hutchen; Logan A. Volkmann; Karen E. Hodges
Publication Date: 2017

Climate change is altering fire regimes. As fire regimes change, it is important to understand how mammals respond to these altered post-fire landscapes. Because fires vary in size, severity and landscape context, it is important to know the experimental designs and response variables used to address post-fire responses of mammals. We analysed 48 papers published from 1988 to 2015 that examined responses of small mammals to natural or prescribed fire in North American conifer forests. These papers used different experimental contrasts (e.g. burned vs unburned sites, time series, within-fire heterogeneity). Most studies (89.6%) presented species richness or index-derived abundances of common species as their response variable(s). Many studies did not fully describe the fires being examined; these omissions make it more difficult to interpret and compare results among studies. The limited scope of inference presented by the papers in this review leads us to recommend a minimal set of information that should be presented about each fire studied. We conclude by outlining how different experimental designs and response variables can be used for effective inference. We highlight major pathways forward for examining responses of small forest mammals to the important changes in fire regime that are occurring.

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Citation: Hutchen, Jenna; Volkmann, Logan A.; Hodges, Karen E. 2017. Experimental designs for studying small-mammal responses to fire in North American conifer forests. International Journal of Wildland Fire 26(6):523-531.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    National
  • boreal forest
  • deer mice
  • fire regimes
  • inference
  • literature review
  • mammals
  • montane forest
  • species richness
  • wildfires
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Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 24008