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A device and standard variables to describe microhabitat structure of small mammals based on plant cover

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Author(s): FREITAS S. R. | CERQUEIRA R. | VIEIRA M. V.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Biology
ISSN 1519-6984

Volume: 62;
Issue: 4b;
Start page: 795;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: habitat | methods | neotropics | small mammals | techniques

ABSTRACT
Studies quantifying habitat structure generally use several instruments. This paper aims to propose a new and efficient device to characterize microhabitat structure of small mammals. Seven measurements were taken: plant cover, litter cover, rock cover, canopy cover, and vegetative obstruction at three heights. The device is a 0.25 m² square wooden frame (0.50 m x 0.50 m) divided in to 100 open squares by wire mesh. Average time spent to measure each trapping station was six minutes. This new device is efficient, i.e., quick, practical, simple, and reliable. It can be used in any kind of forest. We propose this method as a standard method to describe habitat structure.
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