Our study focuses on the demography of small mammals. We are evaluating changes in species’ spatial distributions and population dynamics (age structure, sex ratios, etc.) through time before and after fire. We are also examining whether demographic patterns are related to the abundance of exotic plants before or after the fire.
Our surveys on Rancho Jamul began in 2002, one year before the Otay Fire. Since then, we have been sampling rodents four times per year (in winter, spring, summer, and fall) at each of the 11 plots (9 of which burned in 2003). We added the two additional unburned plots in 2005. During each survey, at each plot, we set out 49 baited Sherman live traps, arranged 1 m apart in a grid of 7 m × 7 m, set for three consecutive nights.
We are analyzing the data. Results will follow.