Small Mammal Abundance and Diversity in Forests With and Without Canada Yew, Taxus canadensis


  • Jerrold L. Belant National Park Service, Pictured Rocks Science Center, Box 40, Munising, Michigan 49862
  • Steve K. Windels Michigan Technological University, School of Forestry and Wood Products, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49849



Canada Yew, Taxus canadensis, diversity, Michigan, relative abundance, small mammals


Canada Yew (Taxus canadensis) has been extirpated from much of its former range in northeastern North America possibly due to logging, fire, agriculture, and browsing by White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We compared the relative abundance and species diversity of small mammals in five northern hardwood stands containing Canada Yew to five adjacent stands without Canada Yew in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, during October-November 2000. Overall, 72 individuals were captured (53 in yew, 19 in non-yew); dominant species were Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda), Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), and Red-backed Vole (Clethrionomys gapperi). Overall mean (+ sd) capture rate (individuals/100 adjusted trap nights) in sites with yew (5.5 + 2.2) was greater (P = 0.04) than mean capture rate in sites without yew (1.9 + 1.0). Three indices of species diversity suggested greater small mammal diversity in stands with Canada Yew understories in northern hardwood forests.