Theses and Dissertations

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Defense Date

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

Department

Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

Edward O. Keith

Second Advisor

Caryn Self-Sullivan

Third Advisor

Richard E. Spieler

Fourth Advisor

Carmelo J. Duesler

Abstract

Urban development and human encroachment on the natural habitats along the coastline of Florida combined with invasive exotic pressures have resulted in the fragmentation and degradation of habitat quality within Broward County. Native habitats have been significantly altered and fragmented to a fraction their previous size. With loss of habitat area and quality, isolation of breeding populations and anthropogenic pressures, it is important to determine species composition and habitat utilization in order to conserve the remaining biological diversity. It was the intent of this study to determine the small mammal species’ population structure and habitat utilization by season in the four sampled habitats. Previously undocumented species and/or extralimital populations were predicted prior to sampling.

John U. Lloyd Beach State Park in Dania Beach, Florida is an understudied location for small mammals. This study surveyed four terrestrial habitats for small mammal species using live trapping and mark/recapture techniques. Data were collected monthly over the span of thirteen months to determine habitat use from maritime hammock, mangrove swamp, coastal dune and ruderal habitat types to determine species composition and mass of individual captures and recaptures.

Trapping (3749 trap nights) produced twenty-four captures (including recaptures) in two of the four habitat types: maritime hammock and coastal strand. No animals were captured in the mangrove swamp or ruderal habitats, both of which were dominated by invasive Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia) monocultures.

Post study, a large habitat restoration project restored the habitats impacted by invasive exotic flora. This survey serves as a baseline for small mammals in the park, documenting the pre-restoration habitat use and species composition. Future study to determine changes in species composition post-restoration is recommended.

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