Institute of Water Security and Science
Wetlands provide many ecosystem services and play an important ecological role in wildlife communities. Although wetland mitigation is a standard tool to combat losses to natural wetlands, it is essential to understand if mitigated wetlands are truly replacing natural wetlands in their full capacity. Because one important role of wetlands is to provide habitat for wildlife communities, it is important to determine if these created or restored wetlands can foster a wildlife community that is similar to natural wetlands. One understudied taxa in the realm of wetland mitigation research is small mammals. Our objectives are to examine community composition, occupancy, abundance, species diversity, species richness, and species evenness of small mammals at mitigated and natural wetlands to determine if there exists a difference between the two types of wetlands. To conduct this research, we are using Sherman traps for a capture-mark-recapture study on small mammals at mitigated and natural wetlands that are paired by similarities in ecoregion, elevation, geology, and wetland classification. In 2020, ten wetland sites were sampled with a total of 3,875 trap nights and 249 captures. Preliminary data analyses show Peromyscus spp. to be more abundant in natural wetlands than mitigated wetlands, and species richness between the two wetland types not to be statistically different. Results will determine if mitigated wetlands are successful in terms of providing habitat for small mammal communities, and in turn will contribute to whether current wetland mitigation is truly fulfilling its intended purpose. These findings could inform future management decisions.
Noe, K, M Frantz, CT Rota, and JT Anderson. 2021. Do Mitigated Wetlands Support Similar Small Mammal Communities as Natural Wetlands? IWSS Spring Workshop Series (Virtual).