Reddin, CJ and Krementz DG. 2016. Small Mammal Communities in Eastern Redcedar Forest. American Midland Naturalist 175:113-119.
Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a fire-intolerant tree species that has been invading and altering grassland ecosystems throughout the American Great Plains and Midwest. Many land managers are interested in removing eastern red cedar to restore native grasslands. As a metric of habitat health, we surveyed small mammals using mark-recapture methods in eastern red cedar forest and 5 other habitats common to the Ozark region. We conducted over 7,000 trap-nights and captured 271 individuals belonging to 9 species, primarily Peromyscus spp., 475 times. The small mammal species composition in eastern red cedar forest was comparable to local mixed oak forests but lower than warm-season grasslands and oldfields. We encountered no small mammal species endemic to eastern red cedar forest. We found that eastern red cedar forest had no unique species and a less diverse small mammal community than the grasslands it replaced. Restoring former grasslands invaded by eastern red cedar should increase small mammal species diversity at the stand scale.