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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Mammalian Species Composition, Diversity, and Succession in Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands
Year: 1994
Author(s): Hall, D. L., Willig, M. R.
Source Title: Southwestern Naturalist
Source Type: Journal
pages: 1-10
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Species diversity and composition of small mammals were each compared between Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands and native shortgrass prairie on the Southern High Plains of Texas. Small mammals were livetrapped in all four seasons during a one-year interval at six CRP sites (1, 2, and 3 years of age) and two control sites. Two factors (vegetational heterogeneity and age of habitat) known to affect species diversity were analyzed by a variety of quantitative methods. No significant differences in mammalian diversity (Fisher’s log series a) were found among sites, and diversity was not significantly correlated with vegetational heterogeneity or site age. Species composition (proportional density of species) was significantly different among all sites in each season. Regardless of season, a priori hierarchical comparisons revealed significant differences in the proportional abundances of species between all CRP sites as a group and in the control sites. The CRP grasslands simulate shortgrass prairies in species diversity, but not in species composition. Differences in species composition between CRP grasslands and shortgrass prairie may be a result of the lack of natural disturbances (i.e., grazing, fire) on the CRP grasslands.