Small mammals in New England primarily consume seeds and nuts in the summer. Their selection process while foraging is influenced by many factors, such as seed availability, the density of nearby shrubs, and moon luminescence. This process can, in turn, affect the composition of plant establishment in forests. To examine the primary factors behind small mammal feeding behavior, I recorded the activities of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), white‐footed mice (Peromyscus lecopus), and southern red‐backed voles (Myodes gapperi) while they were foraging at experimental seed trays containing seeds from American beech, eastern hemlock, and red maple trees that were native to the study site. This study was conducted at the Bartlett Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, allowing me to capture data from small mammals living in softwood and mixed forest types. The data I’ve collected has given insight into the variables driving foraging behavior in these rodent species and could have important implications for the relationship between small mammals and forest communities in New England.
UNH Undergraduate Research Journal
Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire
Danielson, Corina, "What Influences Seed Selection by Small Mammals?" (2019). Inquiry Journal. 12.