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Fungus Consumption by the Siskiyou Chipmunk within a Variously Treated Forest

McIntire, Patrick W.
Ecology 1984 v.65 no.1 pp. 137-146
Endogone, Rhizopogon, Tamias, animals, coniferous forests, feces, fruiting bodies, fungivores, logging, microhabitats, mineral soils, mycorrhizal fungi, slash, spores, summer, Oregon
Mycophagy (consumption of fungi) by the Siskiyou chipmunk (Eutamias siskiyou) was studied during the summers of 1978 and 1979. Fecal pellets were sampled from livetrapped chipmunks in two sites within a shelterwood—logged coniferous forest in Jackson County, Oregon. Slash (logging residue) was mechanically piled and then burned (treated) in one area but not in another. Habitat analyses indicated that huckleberry (Vaccinimum membranaceum) was severely reduced, and exposure of mineral soil increased in the treated study site. Sixteen genera of hypogeous, mycorrhizal fungi, representing three classes, were identified in fecal samples taken from animals in both sites. Spores of Rhizopogon spp. were most frequently encountered in both sites. The frequencies of occurrence for 11 of the 16 fungal genera were greater for samples from the untreated site, 2 significantly so. Endogone spp. occurred exclusively in fecal samples from the treated site, but no fungal type from this site exhibited a significantly greater frequency. The reduction of spores in samples from the treated site is thought to be a function of diminished sporocarp availability that resulted from slash treatment. Differential microhabitat selection by the sexes may also account for some differences in the observed spore frequencies.