Spatial Use, Territoriality, and Summer-Autumn Selection of Habitat in an Intensively Harvested Population of Martens on Commercial Forestland in Maine
- Katnik, Donald D.
The Graduate School University of Maine
Despite the economic and ecological importance of martens (Martes americana), social organization of marten populations has not been well documented. I examined age-specific, seasonal, and sex-specific differences in size and location of martens home-ranges, and spatial and temporal overlap of ranges within and between sexes.
Previous researchers concluded that martens select for mature conifer-dominated forest, but did not consider the effect of instrasexual territoriality on habitat availability, or the variation in selection among martens. I compared habitat selection between sexes, and assessed habitat use in home ranges and in cores areas relative to availability within the study area (i.e., landscape-level selection), and at relocations relative to availability within home ranges (stand-level selection). I also examined the influence of road density, and of the proximity to roads and forest edges on spatial use of habitat.
Region-wide management of forested lands, through a long-term plan for the size, shape,distribution, and frequency of clearcutting, in needed to ensure both visible populations of martens and the economic viability of the wood-products industry. The potential effects of the Maine Forest Practices Act on marten habitat may be considerable, and warrants further study.
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