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Mammal communities; Nature--Effect of human beings on; Itasca State Park (Minn.)


We determined effects of different levels of human disturbance on small mammal richness and relative abundance from live-trapping data obtained in Itasca State Park in northwestern Minnesota. We developed a quantitative measure of human disturbance based on disturbance units and trapped small mammals on three study sites, each reflecting a different level of disturbance. Our data revealed that small mammal diversity decreased with increasing human disturbance. Amount of ground cover and litter depth also appeared to be important in explaining differences in the demographic patterns of small mammals among sites.

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