Committee Chair

Gaudin, Timothy J.

Committee Member

Litchford, Gary; Schorr, Mark S.; Keller, Robert


Dept. of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Field research was conducted to test for effects of urbanization on small mammal abundance and diversity. Preliminary studies were preformed to test sampling techniques and acquire a sample size estimate for the primary study. Sampling sites were chosen in old growth and mixed hardwood forest areas. Six day sampling periods consisted of differing densities and setups of Sherman and pitfall traps within 0.16-ha plots. Data was not statistically analyzed due to minimal sample sizes. Comparable 1.28-ha mixed hardwood forest study sites were chosen in the Big Ridge area of Chattanooga, Tennessee for the primary study. One site had protected status, whereas the other was characterized by urbanized development. At each site, five randomly selected 0.16-ha plots containing 20 small mammal traps were sampled daily for 14 days. Small mammal relative abundance and habitat data were analyzed using a paired t-test and two-sample t-test, respectively. Pearson's correlation analysis was performed to identify any relationships between small mammal abundance and habitat characters. Mean relative abundance was found to be significantly higher (P=0.0005) in the unprotected site. There was significantly greater (P=0.03) vegetative coverage in the unprotected site, but the correlation analyses yielded no significant relationships (P>0. l 0) between abundance and vegetative coverage. In conclusion, the significantly higher small mammal abundance found at the unprotected site is most likely a result of increased coverage in the unprotected area. There a significantly higher percent of vegetation in the unprotected site and the mean percentages of coarse woody debris and artificial debris were higher as well, although these latter differences were not statistically significant.


I would like to thank Dr. Tim Gaudin for his continued support and understanding even when I failed to live up to my fullest potential during rough times of this project. There were times during the study I could have easily quit all that I had accomplished; fortunately Dr. Gaudin was not only a professor, but also a friend. He helped me to keep a positive attitude while I strived to see the "Big Picture." Finally, I see that picture. I would also like to thank my committee members Dr. Robert Keller, Dr.Gary Litchford, and Dr. Mark Schorr for their encouragement and assistance during those long months of uncertainty. I would like to recognize Judith Bartlow and Lee Carter at the Tennessee Valley Authority for providing equipment and the use of TVA property. I give a special thanks to Jack McDonald for the use of his property and Town & Country restaurant for providing tin can pitfall traps. Those who helped me in the field deserve much more than a simple thanks. My friends John Beck, Jeremy Bramblett, Amy Buttram, Rob Dodson, Tonya Jenkins, and Angela Sisk slaved in the field hour after hour for no other reason than because they cared. I am so glad to have them in my life. Kelly O'Donnel Smith helped me dig pitfall traps and didn't even know me. What a woman! My Mom and Dad hiked, shoveled, dug, hammered and did anything else I needed despite their lack in physical condition. My undergraduate research assistant Andrew Kee, wished he would die before having to go into the field again, but he always arrived with a smile. Lastly, a million and one hugs to Ben Taylor, my best friend and companion for his willingness to work day after day to help me complete this thesis.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Mammals--Tennessee--Chattanooga; Forest ecology


Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment

Document Type

Masters theses




xi, 56 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.2 .D524 2000