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Effect of Rock Cover on Small Mammal Abundance in a Montana Grassland

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 14:55 authored by Richardson, K, Scott CarverScott Carver, Douglass, R, Kuenzi, A
We examined the influence of rock cover, as an indicator of presumable retreat site availability on the abundance of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and prevalence of Sin Nombre virus (SNV) using long-term live trapping and habitat data from three live trapping grids and a shortterm (three month), spatially replicated study across three slopes in Cascade County, Montana. In our long-term study, we found that deer mice were more abundant at a live-trapping grid with greater rock cover, than two grids with less rock cover. There was a non-significant trend (P = 0.053) for deer mice to be more abundant in rocky sites in the short term study. In the long-term study, average SNV antibody prevalence among deer mice was slightly greater (5.0 vs. 3.5 % on average) at the live trapping grid with more rock cover, than the grid with less rock cover. We were unable to demonstrate differences in SNV antibody prevalence among treatments in the short-term study. Further studies are needed to elucidate the multiple determinants of deer mouse abundance and SNV prevalence in grassland ecosystem and other habitat types.


Publication title

Intermountain Journal of Sciences










School of Natural Sciences


Intermountain Journal of Sciences

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Copyright 2011 Intermountain Journal of Sciences,

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems

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