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Efficient mammal biodiversity surveys for ecological restoration monitoring

January 1, 2023

Efficient biodiversity surveys are critical for successful restoration monitoring and management. We studied the effect of varying sampling effort on the observed species richness of surveys of small mammals (trapping transects), bats (passive acoustic detection), and medium to large mammals (trail cameras). Field studies provided mammalian biodiversity data for 4 bottomland hardwood restoration sites in northeastern Indiana. Subsampled data were used to simulate monitoring surveys with a range of levels of effort. We then used hierarchical Bayesian nonlinear mixed models to analyze how different components of sampling effort affected observed species richness, a key monitoring outcome. We found that observed small mammal richness increased with the increased number of transects in a survey, while observed bat and medium to large mammal richness increased with the increased duration of sampling. Variation between sites was important for the observed richness of small mammals and bats but not for medium to large mammals. The key driver of richness observed in simulated surveys was related to the spatial scale at which target fauna interact with the habitat, with decreasing richness accompanied by a greater spatial scale of animal–habitat interactions. Our findings suggest taxon-specific recommendations for efficiently quantifying the mammalian diversity of managed sites.

Publication Year 2023
Title Efficient mammal biodiversity surveys for ecological restoration monitoring
DOI 10.1002/ieam.4324
Authors Nicholas S. Green, Mark L. Wildhaber, Janice L. Albers, Thomas W. Pettit, Michael J. Hooper
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Index ID 70240757
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center