October 2017

Top Image

 

Bartlett Experimental Forest in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), New Hampshire, USA. The WMNF region is mountainous ranging from 114 m in the valley bottoms to 1917 m at the top of Mount Washington (top left), the highest peak in the Northeastern USA. Temperate forests of the WMNF vary from stands dominated by coniferous tree species (center) including hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), spruce (Picea spp.), and pine (Pinus strobus) to stands dominated by deciduous tree species (surrounding forest) including beech (Fagus grandifolia), maple (Acer spp.), and birch (Betula spp.). Although most forest stands are between 90 and 130 years, local disturbances do generate small patches of early successional forest (foreground and center left) throughout the WMNF.

 

 

Bottom pictures

 

The WMNF region is home to a diverse and species rich small mammal assemblage with dominant species including the southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi - left), woodland jumping mouse (Napaeozapus insignis - center left), northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda - center right), and masked shrew (Sorex cinereus - right). We modeled abundance for the 15 most common small mammal species from 1995 through 1997 across 108 sites distributed throughout the WMNF. We found marked synchrony in population fluctuations among species, regardless of association with landscape features or trophic level. This population synchrony led to largely concordant regional community dynamics within a year, independent of forest type, and low among-year similarity in communities, even for those within the same forest type and for years with similar species richness.

 

Cover design by Karrah Kwasnik and pictures by Ryan Stephens.

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