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A starting point: an ecosystem of reference for habitat restoration of the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel, Urocitellus brunneus brunneus.

ABSTRACT--The Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (NIDGS, Urocitellus brunneus brunneus) is threatened by habitat loss due to fire exclusion in west-central Idaho. Increases in Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) density and extent have closed historically open meadows. Management practices for NIDGS recovery include thinning and burning to reduce tree encroachment. Baseline habitat data help create restoration goals and refine present management plans, but no pristine reference sites exist for the NIDGS, due to 100 y of land use and a lack of historical records. Therefore, we provided the first quantitative habitat descriptions of NIDGS habitat at 7 currently occupied sites that may be useful as an ecosystem of reference. We chose habitat attributes that are likely important to NIDGS, as well as attributes that are potentially altered by restoration treatments, which included overstory canopy cover, tree density, ground cover, litter depth, and soft texture. Habitat attributes were described with Bayesian 95% credibility intervals. Sites occupied by NIDGS had tree canopy cover of 10 to 15%, tree densities of 64 to 118 trees/ha, and understory height was 20 to 25 cm. Understory vegetation of occupied habitat consisted of 20 to 30 species, while across-site richness was 153 species. We also identified 15 understory species with the highest constancy and cover across the 7 sites. Litter depth was 0.7 to 0.9 cm, and the soil texture was clay loam. Our study provides valuable baseline information about NIDGS habitat. Managers may use our results to develop appropriate restoration targets when implementing habitat restoration. Information on occupied habitat may increase the efficacy of currently implemented restoration techniques and provide knowledge to be used in an adaptive management framework.

Key words: adaptive management, ecosystem of reference, fire, forest management, habitat attributes, habitat characterization, Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel, Ponderosa Pine, prescribed burning, restoration ecology

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Anthropogenic activities contribute to habitat loss and fragmentation, which are the leading causes of species decline and extinction (Fischer and Lindenmayer 2007). Human land use is rapidly changing ecosystems (Foley and others 2005); therefore, ecological restoration strives to reestablish the structure and function of damaged ecosystems in order to restore habitat and aid species recovery (SER 2004). Reference site conditions are often used to justify restoration goals, guide restoration efforts, and evaluate restoration progress (White and Walker 1997). Reference sites can reflect pristine conditions that incorporate the historical range of natural variability, or a rehabilitated state where ecosystem function is restored although structure may be different (Higgs 1997; Whisenant 1999).

Despite the utility in using reference sites for habitat management, it is difficult to choose an appropriate reference because ecosystems are naturally variable, historical records are often not available, and climate change is continually shifting abiotic conditions (White and Walker 1997; Harris and others 2006). Reference site selection is also difficult when conserving a rare or threatened species since existing populations could be occupying sink habitat and there are typically too few individuals to occupy all available patches (Hall and others 1997). Furthermore, assessing habitat quality is time-consuming and expensive, as it involves studying population dynamics and fecundity (Van Home 1983; Johnson 2007). Nevertheless, "some standard of comparison and evaluation" is essential to improving and increasing the success of restoration practices, so when reference sites are non-existent an "ecosystem of reference" should be defined (Aronson and others 1993, 1995).

In the case of the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (NIDGS, Urocitellus brunneus brunneus; Yensen 1991; however, see Hoisington-Lopez and others 2012), reference habitat no longer persists on the landscape, but information on key habitat features is essential to creating management goals. In 2000, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the NIDGS as 'threatened' under the Endangered Species Act (Clarke 2000). Endemic to west-central Idaho (Yensen 1991), the NIDGS is threatened by habitat loss, which has been attributed to both Interactions with humans and altered environmental conditions (Clarke 2000). There is strong circumstantial evidence that the abundance of quality habitat for the NIDGS has decreased due to an increase in tree density and extent (Gavin and others 1999). Changes In forest structure are in part due to >100 y of human activities altering the historical fire regime of central Idaho; low-severity fire occurred every 5 to 20 y until about 1900, when fires became much less frequent (Crane and Fischer 1986; Heyerdahl and others 2008). In order to mimic natural fire regimes, managers now use thinning and prescribed burning to restore NIDGS habitat. However, little quantitative information exists on the currently occupied NIDGS habitat to adequately define habitat management objectives.

The relationship between habitat attributes and animals can be inferred by habitat use (Gaillard and others 2010). Quantifying habitat and microhabitat features at currently occupied NIDGS sites is needed to provide preliminary data for habitat restoration goals, particularly habitat features that may be affected by thinning and burning treatments. Therefore, we described habitat and microhabitat attributes to provide an ecosystem of reference for managers, since no published study reports specific details on NIDGS habitat. The chosen attributes included overstory canopy cover, tree density, ground cover, understory height, litter depth, and soil texture. Although trees indirectly affect ground squirrels, tree density and canopy cover directly influence understory plant species (Sabo and others 2009), which can influence rodent density (Converse and others 2006). We also measured understory plant cover because NIDGS have a diverse diet composed mainly of herbaceous understory plant species (Yensen and others 2010). Additionally, foraging behavior and thus ground squirrel fitness is largely affected by understory vegetation structure (understory height) (Ritchie 1990; Sharpe and Van Home 1998; Hannon and others 2006). The depth of accumulated Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) litter in the absence of fire can affect understory community and reproduction (Pase 1958; Hart and others 1992). Soil texture directly impacts ground-burrowing animals (Laundre and Reynolds 1993).

METHODS

Species and Site Descriptions

NIDGS are small-bodied rodents with an average body length of 200 to 260 mm and a hind-foot length of 32 to 39 mm (Yensen and Sherman 1997). NIDGS hibernate for 8 mo from late summer to spring. During the 4-too active period in spring and summer, NIDGS adults mate and give birth, and then adults and newborn pups must eat enough to acquire the necessary reserves for subsequent hibernation (Yensen and Sherman 1997).

Study sites were located between the Cuddy and Seven Devils Mountains in Idaho. NIDGS typically inhabit meadows and open, park-like, Ponderosa Pine stands with <30% canopy cover, aspects from 90 to 290[degrees], slopes <12[degrees], and elevations of 1050 to 2300 m (Yensen 1991; Nutt 2008). The area receives approximately 600 mm of precipitation annually, with average high and low temperatures of 13.7 and -3.7[degrees]C, respectively (WRCC 2010).

We selected 7 areas occupied by NIDGS out of 49 possible sites (Evans Mack and Bond 2010) to characterize habitat features, and chose 2 of the 7 sites to describe microhabitat (Fig. 1). The 7 occupied sites included: Cap Gun (UTM: Zone 11T, 523220E, 4984658N, NAD83); Lost Valley (11T, 543254E, 4979430N, NAD83); Mud Creek (11T, 551748E, 4983304N, NAD83); OX Ranch (11T, 527506E, 4984775N, NAD83); Price Valley (11T, 544977E, 4986841N, NAD83); Slaughter Gulch (11T, 541951E, 4980977N, NAD83); and Summit Gulch (11T, 52229E, 4982111N, NAD83). Elevation of study sites ranged from 1200 to 1500 m. Sites were selected based on evidence supporting a steady population of squirrels, representation of NIDGS habitat variability, and historical importance from a management perspective. Idaho Fish and Game has monitored NIDGS populations with annual visual surveys since 2004 (Evans Mack 2010; Evans Mack and Bond 2010), which helped us determine whether the populations were persisting over time. Site population sizes varied from approximately 10 to 200 individuals. Sampling limitations reduced the number of sites measured. Based on access, we selected Cap Gun and Summit Gulch for the microhabitat attribute measurements, which were restricted to 2 sites due to time constraints.

All 7 sites were grazed; 4 sites were US Forest Service grazing allotments (Cap Gun, Lost Valley, Price Valley, and Summit Gulch) and 3 were privately owned and grazed (Mud Creek, OX Ranch, and Slaughter Gulch). In the past 30 y, prescribed fires occurred 3 times at Cap Gun and Price Valley, 5 times at Lost Valley, and 2 times at Summit Gulch, but no wildfires have occurred. The fire history for the private land (Mud Creek and OX Ranch) was unknown.

Habitat Attributes

To quantify habitat attributes, we randomly distributed six 50-m transects within each occupied site. NIDGS forage up to 100 m away from burrows (Dyni and Yensen 1996); hence, transects were located within 100 m of NIDGS sightings from annual Idaho Fish and Game monitoring surveys. We collected habitat attribute data during the peak of the 2010 and 2011 growing seasons. Due to abnormally wet springs and late snowmelt, the height of the growing season was delayed until mid-July during both years.

Habitat attributes included tree canopy cover and density. We recorded tree characteristics in two 200-[m.sup.2] circular plots with an 8-m radius centered at the 0- and 50-m transect marks (12 plots/site). Within each circular plot we measured: (1) the percentage of closed canopy cover using a concave spherical crown densiometer 1 m above ground in the 4 cardinal directions (Lemmon 1956); (2) tree density by counting the number of trees within the circular plot; and (3) tree size using 4 size classes of diameter at breast height (dbh) (<8 cm, 8-12 cm, 13-20 cm, >20 cm). Diameters of all trees within the dbh size class of >20 cm were recorded to the nearest 0.1 cm.

Understory vegetation was characterized by measuring visual obstruction understory structure (height) and percent ground cover. Along each transect, we determined understory height with a modified Robel pole (Robel and others 1970). We took measurements in the 4 cardinal directions at 3 points (0-, 25-, and 50-m marks) along each transect. Standing 5 m away from the modified Robel pole, we peered through a 1-m-tall sighting pole to determine understory height. The modified Robel pole had 2-cm intervals from 0 to 40 cm; measurements above 40 cm were recorded as >40, >50 or >100 cm. We recorded ground cover with ocular readings of percent cover. Ground-cover categories included plant species, soil (bare ground and rocks < baseball sized), litter, woody debris (branches and pieces of wood), rocks (> baseball sized), and moss or lichen. We assigned a Daubenmire (1959) cover class (0 to 5%, 6 to 25%, 26 to 50%, 51 to 75%, 76 to 95%, and 96 to 100%) to each species and ground cover category within 10 quadrats (0.5 x 0.5 m) along each transect (60 quadrats/site). We categorized each understory species into a plant functional group: annual forb; perennial forb; annual/perennial forb (species that can take either growth form); annual grass; perennial grass; sedge; rush; and shrub. We documented understory species found at the sites in a reference collection. Taxonomy follows the PLANTS Database (USDA, NRCS 2012).

Litter and soil texture were also measured at each occupied site. We recorded 3 depths of litter (top of litter debris to soil surface) every 5 m along each transect (30 depths/transect). We extracted three 10- to 15-cm-deep soil cores every 5 m along each transect (30 cores/ transect). The 30 cores were homogenized into 1 composite soil sample/transect (6 total composites/occupied site). Soil cores from 2010 were analyzed for soil texture at the Soil Testing Lab of North Dakota State University.

Microhabitat Attributes

Microhabitat attributes were measured at 2 sites; we documented the locations of NIDGS in 20 observation plots at Cap Gun and Summit Gulch (10 plots/site). Because understory vegetation obstructed observer visibility, we restricted the plots to 20 x 20 m and only documented the locations of sessile NIDGS behavior, including lookout and food consumption spots. Areas of sessile NIDGS behavior were recorded and visited after the observation period to make habitat measurements. Individual squirrels were not recorded because differentiating between individuals was difficult due to visibility, and we were unable to mark the squirrels. Observation periods lasted for 90-min in the morning, afternoon, and evening within a 1-wk period in June, July, and August. NIDGS were not active during late-summer afternoons; thus, we did not conduct afternoon observations in August.

Understory height and canopy cover were measured at each activity location. We used a modified Robel pole to quantify microhabitat visual obstruction (see above) and a concave spherical crown densiometer positioned 10 cm above the ground to measure canopy cover. Densiometer readings included mostly understory cover but occasionally incorporated the canopy of a tree. After the observation periods concluded, we randomly selected 5 microhabitat points within each plot to measure available microhabitat attributes (50 random points/site/ season). Understory height and canopy cover were measured at each available microhabitat.

Statistical Analyses

To describe habitat attributes, we used Bayesian means and 95% credible intervals based on the highest posterior density (95% HPDI). The HPDI is the smallest interval that includes 95% of the data (Carlin and Louis 2000). Statistics were based on a uniform prior in SAS/STAT[R] version 9.2 software (PROC GENMOD, BAYES COEFFPRIOR=UNIFORM; SAS Institute, Inc 2008). SAS/STAT[R] version 9.2 software was also used to run t-tests to compare microhabitat attributes between used and available locations.

We created a group of common plant species by selecting species with the highest average canopy cover and constancy values across occupied sites. Understory plant species with the highest percent cover had >1% cover. We defined highest constancy as species that occurred in at least 10 out of 60 quadrats at each site in 2010 and 2011, and this had to be true for all or at least the majority of the sites. Before finalizing the common species group, we compared species with the highest cover and constancy to species found in the NIDGS diet. The diet is comprises 40 to 50 different plant species, few of which comprise more than 1% of the diet (Dyni and Yensen 1996; Yensen and others 2010).

We used PC-ORD version 6 software (McCune and Mefford 2011) to calculate under-story species richness, Shannon's Evenness Index (Pielou 1969), and Simpson's Diversity Index (Simpson 1949). The calculations included all recorded species for each site and across all occupied sites. The Simpson's Diversity Index equation was: 1 - sum ([P.sub.i.sup.*] [P.sub.i]), where "[P.sub.i]" equals the importance probability in element "i", a plant species, which is relativized by total species cover within each transect (Simpson 1949).

RESULTS

Habitat Attributes

Occupied sites had low tree canopy cover and low tree densities, particularly compared to surrounding forested areas. Ponderosa Pine was the dominant tree species; 155 of the 162 mature trees (dbh > 20 cm) were Ponderosa Pine (96%). Other tree species included Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta). Tree canopy cover was [less than or equal to]20% for each site (Table 1). OX Ranch and Summit Gulch were open meadows with low tree canopy cover; Cap Gun and Lost Valley were open forest stands with the highest tree canopy cover. Trees within NIDGS habitat had an uneven distribution of size classes: smaller trees (<8 cm dbh) were most common, followed by large trees with a dbh>20 cm (Fig. 2). Few trees were in the 8 to 12 and 13 to 20 cm dbh classes. OX Ranch and Summit Gulch had the lowest forest densities of the occupied sites; tree size varied where the majority of trees at the OX Ranch had a dbh<8 cm, while Summit Gulch had no trees with a dbh<8 cm. Cap Gun and Lost Valley had the densest forests and the highest number of trees with a dbh>20 cm. The largest tree dbh recorded was 68.9 cm at Lost Valley, and the second largest was 66.0 cm at Mud Creek; the largest dbh recordings for the rest of the sites were 40.6 to 58.4 cm.

Understory vegetation structure had low visual obstruction and was a patchy mosaic of plants intermixed with bare ground. Understory height was 20 to 25 cm tall 95% of the time (Table 1). Mud Creek and Slaughter Gulch had the shortest understory height, while the rest of the sites had taller understory heights, especially Cap Gun and OX Ranch, with understory height [greater than or equal to]30 cm. Ground cover within NIDGS habitat was largely bare soil or litter; combined, bare soil and litter made up 34% of the ground cover on average (Table 2). Other surface elements, such as rocks and woody materials, made up approximately 8% of the ground cover. Moss and lichen cover was minimal. Overall, vegetation cover was patchy in occupied habitats. Perennial forbs and grasses dominated understory species cover, while shrub cover was slightly lower. Sedge cover was comparable to annual forb and annual grass cover. Rushes and some annual-perennial forbs had minimal cover of <1%.

Plant species diversity and evenness were close to I across all occupied sites (Table 3). We identified 153 total species from the 7 sites across 2 y; and understory plant species richness on individual sites varied from 21 to 34 species (Appendix). OX Ranch, Summit Gulch, Cap Gun, and Lost Valley had the highest species richness ([greater than or equal to]30 species). Mud Creek and Price Valley had the lowest richness, evenness, and diversity. Although the sites were highly diverse between and within sites, 15 out of 153 species had the highest understory cover and constancy across the 7 sites (Table 4).

Several non-native plants were found at the occupied sites. Three noxious species listed by the Idaho Department of Agriculture included Bromus tectorum (Cheatgrass), Lepidium latifolium, and Linaria vulgaris (USDA, NRCS 2012). Other invasive or weedy plants included Bromus arvensis, Bromus inermis, Cynoglossum officinale, Dianthus armeria, Leucanthemum vulgare, Poa bulbosa, Potentilla recta, Rumex acetosella, Tragopogon dubius, and Ventenata dubia. Overall, NIDGS habitat was not heavily invaded by one particular species; average cover of nonnative species was [bar.x] = 1.4% (s = 0.2%), and 8 out of 13 non-natives appeared only at I or 2 sites.

Occupied sites had minimal litter buildup on top of clay loam soils. Litter depths within NIDGS habitat ranged from 0.7 to 0.9 cm (Table 1). The greatest average litter depths were at Cap Gun and OX Ranch, while Mud Creek, Price Valley, and Slaughter Gulch had the smallest average litter depth. Soil texture at 5 out of 7 sites was a clay loam, while OX Ranch had a silty clay loam and Slaughter Gulch had loamy soil (Table 5).

Microhabitat Attributes

We recorded 56 microhabitat locations used by NIDGS and 135 random available microhabitat locations. Because we did not differentiate between individuals, it is likely that several microhabitat sites were used by the same squirrel. Understory height of available microhabitat was taller than used microhabitat ([bar.x] = 13.2 cm, s = 0.9; [bar.x] = 8.9 cm, s = 0.7, respectively) ([t.sub.189] = 2.86, P < 0.005). Microhabitat canopy cover was not significantly different between available and used sites ([bar.x] = 29%, s = 2%; [bar.x] = 28%, s = 3%, respectively) ([t.sub.189] = 0.4, P = 0.60). Canopy cover measurements largely represented canopy from understory species, but sometimes the canopy of a Ponderosa Pine tree was recorded if it shaded the densiometer.

DISCUSSION

Our findings are consistent with anecdotal descriptions that NIDGS prefer areas with minimal tree density and canopy cover. An open forest structure may increase understory biomass production due to higher solar infiltration, lower levels of litter deposition, and decreased soil nutrient competition between herbaceous species and trees (Moir 1996; Sabo and others 2009). Therefore, NIDGS might favor open areas due to increased foraging opportunities. Food consumption is particularly important because small-bodied mammals have high nutritional demands (Demment and Van Soest 1985), including eating enough to accumulate the necessary fat reserves to survive 8 mo of hibernation. Since tree clusters also provide perching and nesting habitat for birds of prey, open areas are also likely to be favored by NIDGS because they can more easily detect predators. The potential combination of increased foraging and decreased mortality reasonably explains NIDGS use of areas with low canopy cover and tree density.

While little information exists on NIDGS habitat before human settlement, current tree density in NIDGS habitat is likely higher than historical conditions (Gavin and others 1999), which may be due to high tree recruitment or a lack of disturbance or both. Historically, wild-fires were frequent in Ponderosa Pine forests (Heyerdahl and others 2008). Frequent fires resulted in relatively open stands with large trees and low densities of small trees, but with fewer fires on these sites in the 20th century, stands are likely denser than they were before 1900 (Gavin and others 1999; Heyerdahl and others 2008). Mechanical thinning and prescribed fire have been commonly used since the 1960s and 1970s to reduce tree density and accumulated fuels and to restore fire regimes in Ponderosa Pine forests (Full and others 2012).

Understory characteristics of occupied habitat included understory height of 20 to 25 cm and a diverse understory dominated by forbs and grasses. NIDGS might select for this level of visual obstruction because they can see over the vegetation when standing on their hind legs because their eye level is about 15 to 22 cm off the ground (E Yensen, College of Idaho, Caldwell, ID, and D Evans Mack, Idaho Fish and Game, McCall, ID, pers. comm.). Alternatively, this height of vegetation could also help conceal them if they stand on all 4 legs, as eye level is then approximately 4.5 cm off the ground.

Occupied sites were 35 to 55% bare ground, litter, moss, lichen, or rocks. The low vegetation height and relatively sparse cover is characteristic of south-facing slopes in low-elevation mountains of the northern Rockies (Crist and others 2009). Understory vegetation was highly diverse within and across sites, and many species had low proportional abundance. Thirteen native plant species were identified as having the highest constancy and cover: Achillea millefolium; Allium spp.; Anaphalis margaritacea; Epilobium brachycarpum; Eriogonum spp.; Fragaria virginiana; Lupinus spp.; Poa pratensis; Poa secunda; Polygonum douglassi; Potentilla gracilis; Pseudoroegneria spicata; and Sedum stenopetalum. This group of species may help managers determine NIDGS habitat visually by searching for sites with these species. Bromus tectorum and Poa bulbosa were also in this group of species with the highest constancy and cover, but they are non-native, invasive species.

Across occupied sites, litter was <1 cm deep and covered 12 to 17% of the ground. Litter can reduce the growth and recruitment of understory flora (Hart and others 1992). Seeds and developing seedlings are affected by the presence and depth of litter because litter influences abiotic soil conditions, including moisture, temperature, water infiltration, pH, and chemical inputs (Neary and others 2005). The quantity, quality, and recruitment of plants are of concern because, although omnivorous, NIDGS are primarily herbivores that need to acquire enough body fat to survive 8 mo of hibernation.

Generally, soils at occupied sites were clay loam in texture. Soil texture and depth of the parent material influence burrow construction (Yensen and others 1991). Because soil texture was similar across sites, the depth of the parent material and rockiness of soil probably play a larger role in burrow location and type. In addition to soil texture, NIDGS pelage is reddish-brown, camouflaging them against the reddish soil (Yensen 1991). This pelage and soil association is one of several characteristics that distinguish NIDGS from the Southern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus endemicus; Yensen 1991).

NIDGS used microhabitats with understory vegetation heights of 8.9 cm, while available microhabitat had higher levels of visual obstruction. Considering the height of NIDGS standing on their hind legs, low understory height suggests they select areas that allow them to facilitate this anti-predator behavior. Values for microhabitat canopy cover were not significantly different between available and used sites. Canopy cover levels for both groups of sites were below 30% closed canopy, which further supports the hypothesis that NIDGS use open rather than closed areas. Low levels of canopy cover may increase aerial predator detection.

This study provides data to create an ecosystem of reference, and we refrain from classifying these sites as quality habitat. While density of a species can be a misleading measure of habitat quality, density can be a reasonable indicator of quality habitat for rare species (Van Home 1983). Nevertheless, rare species can leave quality habitat unoccupied due to limited numbers. It is also possible that individuals have selected poor-quality habitat due to habitat fragmentation and loss; occupied sites could simply represent sink populations (Pulliam 1988). In addition to population dispersal limitations, fragmentation, and loss of quality habitat, NIDGS directly compete with and are excluded by Columbian Ground Squirrels (Urocitellus columbianus) (E Yensen, College of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho, pers. comm.). Competition likely reduces potential habitat to a lower realized habitat quality (Johnson 2007). While our results signify areas that the NIDGS is able to currently occupy, these sites might not represent the ideal reference for NIDGS habitat restoration. Additionally, occupancy only allows us to infer that these attributes are important to NIDGS survival and reproduction (Lindell 2008). To define habitat quality for the NIDGS, future studies could compare used and available habitat characteristics, devise preference experiments, and perform recapture studies to determine NIDGS survival and fitness at various occupied sites. In the meantime, this study provides an ecosystem of reference to design and evaluate restoration practices (Aronson and others 1995).

The sites we measured shared several characteristics, which can serve as preliminary targets for habitat restoration if encorporated into an adaptive management framework. Adaptive management is a cyclic process intended to improve projects by reassessing management practices with new information (Holling 1978). In our example, managers can use our baseline habitat data to select sites that have the potential to be altered toward our described habitat attributes, allowing managers to set habitat restoration goals for those sites. After applying restoration treaments and monitoring site characteristics, managers can determine whether restoration treatments have changed the site toward these characteristics, and alter management objectives and treatments as appropriate.

Conclusion

Habitat is essential for the maintenance of wildlife populations; hence, describing habitat is fundamental for conservation of threatened and endangered species and their habitat (Young 2000). While habitat degradation or loss is proposed as the primary threat to NIDGS, and managers implement habitat restoration based on this assumption, to date no study has quantified habitat characteristics for the species. Restoration ecology emphasizes that ecosystem structure, species diversity, and ecosystem processes are essential to attain restoration goals, but these habitat attributes are often not measured (Ruiz-Jaen and Aide 2005). By measuring these attributes, our study provides managers with baseline data to assess their management practices. Restoration progress can be tracked by comparing restoration site attributes with attributes associated with NIDGS presence. Investing in descriptive studies helps steer restoration goals, improve restoration efforts, and make management actions more efficient. Improving our understanding of wildlife habitat will increase our ability to maintain threatened and endangered species.

APPENDIX: Understory species found within Northern Idaho
Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus brunneus) habitat.
For each species, site cover averages and standard errors
(SE) plus across site averages and SE are provided.

Species                        Cap Gun             Lost Valley

FORB--ANNUAL
  Agoseris heterophylla var.
    heterophylla
  Amsinckia lycopsoides
  Castilleja spp.              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Castilleja tenuis            0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Cirsium spp.                                     0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Clarkia pulchella                                0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Clarkia rhomboidea           5.3 [+ or -] 1.5
  Collinsia parviflora         1.3 [+ or -] 0.3    2.5 [+ or -] 0.8
  Collomia grandiflora
  Collomia linearis            0.8 [+ or -] 0.2    0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Cryptantha affinis                               0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Dianthus armeria
  Epilobium brachycarpum       2.0 [+ or -] 0.3    2.4 [+ or -] 0.7
  Galium aparine               2.0 [+ or -] 0.6    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Gayophytum diffusum          0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.7 [+ or -] 0.2
  Lepidium campestre
  Lepidium graminifolium
  Leptosiphon harknessii       0.5 [+ or -] 0.2    1.1 [+ or -] 0.2
  Lotus unifoliolatus var.     2.0 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    unifoliolatus
  Madia glomerata              1.3 [+ or -] 0.4    0.5 [+ or -] 0.1
  Madia gracilis               1.8 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Madia spp.                   1.4 [+ or -] 0.7    0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Microsteris gracilis         0.7 [+ or -] 0.1    0.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Mimulus brezveri                                 0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Myosotis stricta
  Navarretia spp.              0.7 [+ or -] 0.2    1.1 [+ or -] 0.4
  Phacelia franklinii                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Plagiobothrys leptocladus                        1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Polygonum douglasii          1.4 [+ or -] 0.4    0.5 [+ or -] 0.1
  Polygonum polygaloides                           1.6 [+ or -] 0.4
  Tragopogon dubius            0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
FORB-PERENNIAL
  Achillea millefolium         8.7 [+ or -] 1.2    3.5 [+ or -] 0.6
  Agoseris glauca              0.4 [+ or -] 0.1    0.5 [+ or -] 0.1
  Allium spp.                  0.9 [+ or -] 0.2    1.8 [+ or -] 0.4
  Anaphalis margaritacea       5.1 [+ or -] 1.2    3.6 [+ or -] 0.7
  Antennaria rosea             7.6 [+ or -] 1.6    1.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Arenaria congesta                                1.0 [+ or -] 0.2
  Arnica cordifolia            0.7 [+ or -] 0.2    1.2 [+ or -] 0.5
  Arnica sororia               2.7 [+ or -] 0.5    6.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Balsamorhiza sagittata       3.8 [+ or -] 0.6
  Barbarea orthoceras
  Besseya rubra                0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Calochortus elegans                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Calochortus eurycarpus       0.5 [+ or -] 0.1    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Camassia quamash ssp.                            i.5 [+ or -] 0.0
    breviflora
  Camissonia subacaulis                            0.7 [+ or -] 0.2
  Castilleja cusickii
  Chamerion
    angustifolium ssp.
  circumvagum                                      5.1 [+ or -] 1.1
  Chrysothamnus                                    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
    viscidiflorus
  Clematis hirsutissima var.   0.9 [+ or -] 0.2    1.3 [+ or -] 0.4
    hirsutissima
  Crepis acuminata ssp.        0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    acuminata
  Cynoglossum officinale
  Delphinium spp.
  Dichelostemma congestum      0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Equisetum spp.
  Erigeron pumilus ssp.
    intermedius var.
  intermedius                  0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Erigeron speciosus
  Eriogonum spp.               14.4 [+ or -] 1.0   9.8 [+ or -] 2.8
  Eriogonum douglasii                              10.6 [+ or -] 1.6
  Eriogonum heracleoides       7.9 [+ or -] 0.8
  Eriophyllum lanatum                              0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
  Fragaria vesca ssp.
    bracteata
  Fragaria virginiana          3.3 [+ or -] 1.1    6.0 [+ or -] 1.3
  Frasera albicaulis           6.3 [+ or -] 1.8    3.0 [+ or -] 0.5
  Geum triflorum var.          1.1 [+ or -] 0.2
    ciliatum
  Hieracium scouleri                               6.0 [+ or -] 1.9
  Hydrophyllum
    capitatum var.
  capitatum                    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Ipomopsis aggregata ssp.     0.8 [+ or -] 0.3    0.9 [+ or -] 0.2
    aggregata
  Lathyrus latifolius
  Lathyrus spp.
  Lepidium latifolium
  Leucanthemum vulgare
  Linaria vulgaris
  Lithophragma glabrum         0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lithospermum ruderale
  Lomatium nudicaule           1.4 [+ or -] 0.3
  Lomatium spp.                                    6.4 [+ or -] 1.3
  Lupinus spp.                 3.5 [+ or -] 0.6    5.8 [+ or -] 1.7
  Mertensia longiflora
  Otsynium douglasii           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.5 [+ or -] 0.1
  Oreostemma alpigenum         1.3 [+ or -] 0.3    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Paeonia brownii              3.4 [+ or -] 0.9    4.0 [+ or -] 0.5
  Penstemon gairdneri var.     1.9 [+ or -] 0.5    3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
    oreganus
  Penstemon globosus
  Penstemon spp.               0.8 [+ or -] 0.3    1.0 [+ or -] 0.2
  Perideridia gairdneri ssp.   0.1 [+ or -] 0.1    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    borealis
  Phacelia spp.                                    0.8 [+ or -] 0.3
  Potentilla glandulosa        4.2 [+ or -] 1.2    3.4 [+ or -] 0.7
  Potentilla gracilis          5.8 [+ or -] 1.5    9.1 [+ or -] 2.2
  Potentilla recta             0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Pyrrocoma carthamoides       1.8 [+ or -] 0.0    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Rumex acetosella             0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    1.1 [+ or -] 0.2
  Saxifraga integrifolia                           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Scutellaria angustifolia     0.6 [+ or -] 0.2    1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  Sedum stenopetalum           6.2 [+ or -] 1.5    3.1 [+ or -] 0.7
  Senecio spp.                 1.3 [+ or -] 0.4    1.8 [+ or -] 0.3
  Sidalcea oregana ssp.        0.9 [+ or -] 0.3    2.3 [+ or -] 0.4
    oregana
  Solidago missouriensis       5.3 [+ or -] 1.0
  Trifolium pratense           0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Triteleia grandiflora var.
    grandiflora
  Verbascum thapsus                                1.0 [+ or -] 0.0
  Viola nuttallii                                  0.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Viola spp.                   0.6 [+ or -] 0.1    1.1 [+ or -] 0.2
  Wyethia helianthoides        3.3 [+ or -] 0.6
  Zigadenus venenosus          0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
FORB--ANNUAL/PERENNIAL
  Claytonia perfoliata ssp.
    perfoliata
  Geranium
    viscosissimum var.
  viscosissimum                2.7 [+ or -] 0.9    3.5 [+ or -] 0.5
  Ranunculus uncinatus                             0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Sanguisorba annua
  Taraxacum spp.               1.3 [+ or -] 0.5    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Trifolium spp.
GRASS--ANNUAL
  Bromus arvensis              2.1 [+ or -] 0.8
  Bromus briziformis           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Bromus tectorum              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Ventenata dubia                                  0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
GRASS--PERENNIAL
  Achnatherum spp.             2.4 [+ or -] 0.4    1.6 [+ or -] 0.2
  Bromus inermis
  Bromus marginatus            2.2 [+ or -] 0.4    2.0 [+ or -] 0.7
  Calamagrostis rubescens      3.5 [+ or -] 0.8    12.5 [+ or -] 1.7
  Danthonia unispicata         2.8 [+ or -] 0.4
  Elymus elymoides             0.9 [+ or -] 0.2
  Festuca idahoensis           3.8 [+ or -] 0.8    6.0 [+ or -] 1.1
  Festuca spp.                 2.6 [+ or -] 0.5    5.2 [+ or -] 1.3
  Koeleria macrantha           2.1 [+ or -] 0.2    2.0 [+ or -] 0.4
  Melica bulbosa
  Melica bulbosa var.                              0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
    intonsa
  Pascopyrum smithii           1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  Poa bulbosa                  1.9 [+ or -] 0.6    0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Poa pratensis                15.5 [+ or -] 3.6   0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Poa secunda                  3.5 [+ or -] 0.6    2.1 [+ or -] 0.4
  Pseudoroegneria spicata      1.4 [+ or -] 0.5    11.0 [+ or -] 1.7
GRASS--ANNUAL/PERENNIAL
  Bromus spp.                  0.9 [+ or -] 0.2    1.0 [+ or -] 0.2
  Poa spp.                                         1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
RUSH--PERENNIAL
  Juncus parryi
  Juncus spp.                  4.3 [+ or -] 0.2
SEDGE--PERENNIAL
  Carex geyeri                 9.3 [+ or -] 1.5    6.8 [+ or -] 1.7
  Carex hoodii                 2.6 [+ or -] 0.5    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Carex pachystachya
  Carex petasata               1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
SHRUB--PERENNIAL
  Amelanchier alnifolia        5.0 [+ or -] 2.5    4.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Artemisia spp.                                   5.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Artemisia tridentata ssp.
    tridentata
  Ceanothus velutinus          9.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Purshia tridentata           5.5 [+ or -] 1.1    3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Ribes cereum                                     6.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Symphoricarpos albus         4.6 [+ or -] 0.9    4.4 [+ or -] 0.7

Species                        Mud Creek           OX Ranch

FORB--ANNUAL
  Agoseris heterophylla var.                       0.8 [+ or -] 0.1
    heterophylla
  Amsinckia lycopsoides        1.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Castilleja spp.
  Castilleja tenuis                                0.8 [+ or -] 0.1
  Cirsium spp.                 1.3 [+ or -] 0.2
  Clarkia pulchella            5.2 [+ or -] 1.0
  Clarkia rhomboidea
  Collinsia parviflora         1.3 [+ or -] 0.2    1.5 [+ or -] 0.5
  Collomia grandiflora
  Collomia linearis            0.4 [+ or -] 0.0    1.2 [+ or -] 0.3
  Cryptantha affinis           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Dianthus armeria             0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    1.9 [+ or -] 0.1
  Epilobium brachycarpum       4.5 [+ or -] 0.9    1.1 [+ or -] 0.5
  Galium aparine                                   2.0 [+ or -] 0.5
  Gayophytum diffusum          4.0 [+ or -] 0.9    0.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lepidium campestre           0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lepidium graminifolium       0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Leptosiphon harknessii       5.2 [+ or -] 1.3    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lotus unifoliolatus var.     6.2 [+ or -] 1.2    0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
    unifoliolatus
  Madia glomerata              1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  Madia gracilis               1.5 [+ or -] 0.3    1.3 [+ or -] 0.4
  Madia spp.                   1.0 [+ or -] 0.3    1.0 [+ or -] 0.2
  Microsteris gracilis         0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    2.0 [+ or -] 0.5
  Mimulus brezveri
  Myosotis stricta                                 0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Navarretia spp.              0.7 [+ or -] 0.2    1.1 [+ or -] 0.3
  Phacelia franklinii
  Plagiobothrys leptocladus                        0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Polygonum douglasii          2.2 [+ or -] 0.4    0.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  Polygonum polygaloides       2.9 [+ or -] 1.3    1.5 [+ or -] 0.3
  Tragopogon dubius                                0.7 [+ or -] 0.2
FORB-PERENNIAL
  Achillea millefolium         7.4 [+ or -] 1.5    6.1 [+ or -] 1.3
  Agoseris glauca                                  0.5 [+ or -] 0.1
  Allium spp.                  0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    3.8 [+ or -] 0.9
  Anaphalis margaritacea       4.5 [+ or -] 1.4    1.6 [+ or -] 0.4
  Antennaria rosea
  Arenaria congesta
  Arnica cordifolia            2.0 [+ or -] 0.0
  Arnica sororia               0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Balsamorhiza sagittata                           10.7 [+ or -] 2.3
  Barbarea orthoceras          1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Besseya rubra                                    0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Calochortus elegans
  Calochortus eurycarpus                           1.4 [+ or -] 0.5
  Camassia quamash ssp.                            1.8 [+ or -] 0.8
    breviflora
  Camissonia subacaulis
  Castilleja cusickii                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Chamerion
    angustifolium ssp.
  circumvagum
  Chrysothamnus                                    3.0 [+ or -] 0.0
    viscidiflorus
  Clematis hirsutissima var.   0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    hirsutissima
  Crepis acuminata ssp.                            1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
    acuminata
  Cynoglossum officinale       0.8 [+ or -] 0.2
  Delphinium spp.                                  0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Dichelostemma congestum
  Equisetum spp.               0.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Erigeron pumilus ssp.
    intermedius var.
  intermedius                                      2.4 [+ or -] 0.6
  Erigeron speciosus           1.0 [+ or -] 0.2
  Eriogonum spp.
  Eriogonum douglasii
  Eriogonum heracleoides       3.9 [+ or -] 0.7    7.4 [+ or -] 1.4
  Eriophyllum lanatum
  Fragaria vesca ssp.
    bracteata
  Fragaria virginiana          2.1 [+ or -] 0.5    1.1 [+ or -] 0.2
  Frasera albicaulis                               2.4 [+ or -] 0.6
  Geum triflorum var.
    ciliatum
  Hieracium scouleri
  Hydrophyllum
    capitatum var.
  capitatum
  Ipomopsis aggregata ssp.     1.9 [+ or -] 0.4    2.1 [+ or -] 0.3
    aggregata
  Lathyrus latifolius
  Lathyrus spp.                                    0.9 [+ or -] 0.2
  Lepidium latifolium                              0.7 [+ or -] 0.2
  Leucanthemum vulgare         0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Linaria vulgaris             1.6 [+ or -] 0.6
  Lithophragma glabrum
  Lithospermum ruderale                            1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lomatium nudicaule                               2.2 [+ or -] 0.7
  Lomatium spp.                1.5 [+ or -] 0.0    1.5 [+ or -] 0.6
  Lupinus spp.                 1.3 [+ or -] 0.2    8.4 [+ or -] 1.8
  Mertensia longiflora
  Otsynium douglasii                               1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Oreostemma alpigenum         2.0 [+ or -] 0.7    1.3 [+ or -] 0.5
  Paeonia brownii              3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Penstemon gairdneri var.
    oreganus
  Penstemon globosus           8.0 [+ or -] 0.1
  Penstemon spp.                                   0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Perideridia gairdneri ssp.                       2.0 [+ or -] 0.3
    borealis
  Phacelia spp.
  Potentilla glandulosa
  Potentilla gracilis          7.1 [+ or -] 1.4    2.5 [+ or -] 0.4
  Potentilla recta
  Pyrrocoma carthamoides
  Rumex acetosella             5.0 [+ or -] 1.5
  Saxifraga integrifolia                           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Scutellaria angustifolia
  Sedum stenopetalum                               1.3 [+ or -] 0.2
  Senecio spp.                                     7.1 [+ or -] 1.5
  Sidalcea oregana ssp.        0.4 [+ or -] 0.1    3.3 [+ or -] 1.2
    oregana
  Solidago missouriensis                           3.0 [+ or -] 1.0
  Trifolium pratense
  Triteleia grandiflora var.
    grandiflora
  Verbascum thapsus            0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
  Viola nuttallii              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Viola spp.                   0.7 [+ or -] 0.2    1.8 [+ or -] 0.5
  Wyethia helianthoides                            8.4 [+ or -] 3.1
  Zigadenus venenosus
FORB--ANNUAL/PERENNIAL
  Claytonia perfoliata ssp.    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    perfoliata
  Geranium
    viscosissimum var.
  viscosissimum                2.3 [+ or -] 0.8
  Ranunculus uncinatus                             1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Sanguisorba annua            0.9 [+ or -] 0.3    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Taraxacum spp.               1.8 [+ or -] 0.6    2.1 [+ or -] 0.2
  Trifolium spp.               12.4 [+ or -] 2.5   0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
GRASS--ANNUAL
  Bromus arvensis              2.4 [+ or -] 0.6    0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Bromus briziformis                               3.0 [+ or -] 0.0
  Bromus tectorum              3.9 [+ or -] 1.2    4.5 [+ or -] 1.0
  Ventenata dubia                                  1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
GRASS--PERENNIAL
  Achnatherum spp.             6.3 [+ or -] 1.3
  Bromus inermis               1.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  Bromus marginatus            0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.9 [+ or -] 0.2
  Calamagrostis rubescens
  Danthonia unispicata         0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    5.6 [+ or -] 1.1
  Elymus elymoides                                 i.2 [+ or -] 0.3
  Festuca idahoensis           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    2.1 [+ or -] 0.2
  Festuca spp.                                     2.0 [+ or -] 0.6
  Koeleria macrantha           1.5 [+ or -] 0.0    2.1 [+ or -] 0.6
  Melica bulbosa                                   1.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  Melica bulbosa var.
    intonsa
  Pascopyrum smithii
  Poa bulbosa                  2.0 [+ or -] 0.5    10.2 [+ or -] 2.7
  Poa pratensis                5.2 [+ or -] 0.8    3.5 [+ or -] 1.1
  Poa secunda                                      4.8 [+ or -] 0.9
  Pseudoroegneria spicata
GRASS--ANNUAL/PERENNIAL
  Bromus spp.                  8.5 [+ or -] 0.0    0.2 [+ or -] 0.0
  Poa spp.                     [+ or -]  0.0       4.1 [+ or -] 0.8
RUSH--PERENNIAL
  Juncus parryi                                    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Juncus spp.                                      5.3 [+ or -] 0.8
SEDGE--PERENNIAL
  Carex geyeri                 1.5 [+ or -] 0.0    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Carex hoodii
  Carex pachystachya
  Carex petasata                                   1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
SHRUB--PERENNIAL
  Amelanchier alnifolia
  Artemisia spp.               3.7 [+ or -] 1.0    7.1 [+ or -] 2.1
  Artemisia tridentata ssp.
    tridentata
  Ceanothus velutinus
  Purshia tridentata                               5.5 [+ or -] 1.4
  Ribes cereum
  Symphoricarpos albus         1.3 [+ or -] 0.2    3.3 [+ or -] 1.1

Species                        Price Valley        Slaughter Gulch

FORB--ANNUAL
  Agoseris heterophylla var.   0.4 [+ or -] 0.1    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    heterophylla
  Amsinckia lycopsoides
  Castilleja spp.
  Castilleja tenuis
  Cirsium spp.
  Clarkia pulchella                                2.1 [+ or -] 0.4
  Clarkia rhomboidea           0.7 [+ or -] 0.1
  Collinsia parviflora         4.3 [+ or -] 0.7    0.8 [+ or -] 0.2
  Collomia grandiflora         0.4 [+ or -] 0.2
  Collomia linearis            0.7 [+ or -] 0.1    0.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  Cryptantha affinis           0.9 [+ or -] 0.2    0.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  Dianthus armeria
  Epilobium brachycarpum       2.1 [+ or -] 0.4    2.7 [+ or -] 0.6
  Galium aparine               4.6 [+ or -] 1.7    1.9 [+ or -] 0.4
  Gayophytum diffusum          2.7 [+ or -] 1.1    0.7 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lepidium campestre
  Lepidium graminifolium
  Leptosiphon harknessii       3.5 [+ or -] 1.5    2.7 [+ or -] 0.6
  Lotus unifoliolatus var.                         0.6 [+ or -] 0.1
    unifoliolatus
  Madia glomerata              0.9 [+ or -] 0.3    0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Madia gracilis                                   1.0 [+ or -] 0.5
  Madia spp.                   0.9 [+ or -] 0.3    1.5 [+ or -] 0.5
  Microsteris gracilis         0.5 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Mimulus brezveri                                 0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Myosotis stricta
  Navarretia spp.              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Phacelia franklinii
  Plagiobothrys leptocladus
  Polygonum douglasii          3.1 [+ or -] 0.7    1.9 [+ or -] 0.4
  Polygonum polygaloides       0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  Tragopogon dubius
FORB-PERENNIAL
  Achillea millefolium         4.5 [+ or -] 1.3    3.5 [+ or -] 1.2
  Agoseris glauca              0.5 [+ or -] 0.1    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Allium spp.                  5.3 [+ or -] 1.2    2.3 [+ or -] 0.5
  Anaphalis margaritacea       2.6 [+ or -] 0.5    7.6 [+ or -] 1.4
  Antennaria rosea
  Arenaria congesta                                0.4 [+ or -] 0.0
  Arnica cordifolia
  Arnica sororia
  Balsamorhiza sagittata       8.1 [+ or -] 2.4
  Barbarea orthoceras
  Besseya rubra                                    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Calochortus elegans
  Calochortus eurycarpus       0.6 [+ or -] 0.1    0.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  Camassia quamash ssp.
    breviflora
  Camissonia subacaulis                            0.5 [+ or -] 0.1
  Castilleja cusickii
  Chamerion
    angustifolium ssp.
  circumvagum                                      0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Chrysothamnus
    viscidiflorus
  Clematis hirsutissima var.   0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
    hirsutissima
  Crepis acuminata ssp.        1.0 [+ or -] 0.2    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
    acuminata
  Cynoglossum officinale
  Delphinium spp.              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Dichelostemma congestum      0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Equisetum spp.
  Erigeron pumilus ssp.
    intermedius var.
  intermedius
  Erigeron speciosus           1.9 [+ or -] 0.6
  Eriogonum spp.               4.3 [+ or -] 0.4    4.6 [+ or -] 1.1
  Eriogonum douglasii          7.8 [+ or -] 1.5    16.4 [+ or -] 1.9
  Eriogonum heracleoides       2.1 [+ or -] 0.4
  Eriophyllum lanatum          0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Fragaria vesca ssp.          0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    bracteata
  Fragaria virginiana          1.5 [+ or -] 0.0    3.8 [+ or -] 1.2
  Frasera albicaulis           4.7 [+ or -] 1.1    3.9 [+ or -] 0.8
  Geum triflorum var.
    ciliatum
  Hieracium scouleri           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Hydrophyllum
    capitatum var.
  capitatum                                        0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Ipomopsis aggregata ssp.     0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
    aggregata
  Lathyrus latifolius          0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lathyrus spp.                0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Lepidium latifolium
  Leucanthemum vulgare
  Linaria vulgaris
  Lithophragma glabrum         0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lithospermum ruderale
  Lomatium nudicaule
  Lomatium spp.                25.9 [+ or -] 3.5
  Lupinus spp.                 1.1 [+ or -] 0.2    5.7 [+ or -] 1.9
  Mertensia longiflora                             3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Otsynium douglasii           0.6 [+ or -] 0.0    0.6 [+ or -] 0.2
  Oreostemma alpigenum         1.8 [+ or -] 0.3    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Paeonia brownii              0.5 [+ or -] 0.0    1.1 [+ or -] 0.2
  Penstemon gairdneri var.
    oreganus
  Penstemon globosus           3.0 [+ or -] 0.0
  Penstemon spp.               0.8 [+ or -] 0.2    1.3 [+ or -] 0.4
  Perideridia gairdneri ssp.                       1.2 [+ or -] 0.2
    borealis
  Phacelia spp.                0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.6 [+ or -] 0.2
  Potentilla glandulosa                            3.8 [+ or -] 0.8
  Potentilla gracilis                              2.6 [+ or -] 0.6
  Potentilla recta
  Pyrrocoma carthamoides       1.8 [+ or -] 0.0    1.8 [+ or -] 0.4
  Rumex acetosella             1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  Saxifraga integrifolia
  Scutellaria angustifolia     0.4 [+ or -] 0.1    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Sedum stenopetalum           7.0 [+ or -] 1.8    6.7 [+ or -] 1.0
  Senecio spp.                 1.3 [+ or -] 0.4    2.6 [+ or -] 0.5
  Sidalcea oregana ssp.        1.0 [+ or -] 0.2    3.0 [+ or -] 0.6
    oregana
  Solidago missouriensis
  Trifolium pratense
  Triteleia grandiflora var.
    grandiflora
  Verbascum thapsus
  Viola nuttallii                                  0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Viola spp.                   0.6 [+ or -] 0.2    1.1 [+ or -] 0.2
  Wyethia helianthoides
  Zigadenus venenosus                              0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
FORB--ANNUAL/PERENNIAL
  Claytonia perfoliata ssp.
    perfoliata
  Geranium
    viscosissimum var.
  viscosissimum
  Ranunculus uncinatus
  Sanguisorba annua                                0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Taraxacum spp.
  Trifolium spp.
GRASS--ANNUAL
  Bromus arvensis              2.0 [+ or -] 0.3    0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Bromus briziformis
  Bromus tectorum              1.0 [+ or -] 0.4    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Ventenata dubia
GRASS--PERENNIAL
  Achnatherum spp.             0.5 [+ or -] 0.1    9.9 [+ or -] 0.7
  Bromus inermis
  Bromus marginatus            3.2 [+ or -] 0.8    0.9 [+ or -] 0.2
  Calamagrostis rubescens                          3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Danthonia unispicata         1.9 [+ or -] 0.8    3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Elymus elymoides                                 2.6 [+ or -] 0.5
  Festuca idahoensis           3.5 [+ or -] 0.7    3.4 [+ or -] 0.2
  Festuca spp.                 3.9 [+ or -] 0.7    4.3 [+ or -] 0.8
  Koeleria macrantha           3.0 [+ or -] 0.0    3.1 [+ or -] 0.7
  Melica bulbosa               0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  Melica bulbosa var.                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    intonsa
  Pascopyrum smithii           0.8 [+ or -] 0.3
  Poa bulbosa                  4.0 [+ or -] 1.0
  Poa pratensis                1.0 [+ or -] 0.3    0.9 [+ or -] 0.2
  Poa secunda                  1.8 [+ or -] 0.4    0.9 [+ or -] 0.2
  Pseudoroegneria spicata      11.1 [+ or -] 2.7   8.3 [+ or -] 1.2
GRASS--ANNUAL/PERENNIAL
  Bromus spp.                  0.7 [+ or -] 0.1    0.8 [+ or -] 0.3
  Poa spp.                                         2.3 [+ or -] 0.3
RUSH--PERENNIAL
  Juncus parryi
  Juncus spp.                                      3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
SEDGE--PERENNIAL
  Carex geyeri                 5.5 [+ or -] 1.6    1.8 [+ or -] 0.5
  Carex hoodii                                     1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Carex pachystachya
  Carex petasata
SHRUB--PERENNIAL
  Amelanchier alnifolia
  Artemisia spp.                                   3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Artemisia tridentata ssp.
    tridentata
  Ceanothus velutinus
  Purshia tridentata           3.8 [+ or -] 0.0    2.3 [+ or -] 1.0
  Ribes cereum
  Symphoricarpos albus         12.8 [+ or -] 3.3

Species                        Summit Gulch        Across Sites

FORB--ANNUAL
  Agoseris heterophylla var.   0.5 [+ or -] 0.2    0.6 [+ or -] 0.2
    heterophylla
  Amsinckia lycopsoides                            1.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Castilleja spp.                                  0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Castilleja tenuis            0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.8 [+ or -] 0.2
  Cirsium spp.                                     1.1 [+ or -] 0.3
  Clarkia pulchella                                2.7 [+ or -] 1.0
  Clarkia rhomboidea                               1.8 [+ or -] 1.1
  Collinsia parviflora         2.1 [+ or -] 0.5    1.9 [+ or -] 0.8
  Collomia grandiflora                             0.4 [+ or -] 0.2
  Collomia linearis            2.8 [+ or -] 0.5    1.1 [+ or -] 0.5
  Cryptantha affinis           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
  Dianthus armeria                                 1.3 [+ or -] 0.4
  Epilobium brachycarpum       4.5 [+ or -] 1.0    2.5 [+ or -] 0.9
  Galium aparine               0.9 [+ or -] 0.3    1.7 [+ or -] 0.8
  Gayophytum diffusum                              2.0 [+ or -] 1.1
  Lepidium campestre                               0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lepidium graminifolium                           0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Leptosiphon harknessii       0.7 [+ or -] 0.2    2.1 [+ or -] 1.1
  Lotus unifoliolatus var.     0.8 [+ or -] 0.1    3.5 [+ or -] 1.5
    unifoliolatus
  Madia glomerata              6.7 [+ or -] 2.0    1.7 [+ or -] 1.2
  Madia gracilis               2.6 [+ or -] 1.2    1.4 [+ or -] 0.7
  Madia spp.                   6.1 [+ or -] 1.4    1.9 [+ or -] 1.1
  Microsteris gracilis         1.9 [+ or -] 0.5    1.4 [+ or -] 0.5
  Mimulus brezveri                                 0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Myosotis stricta             0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
  Navarretia spp.              1.3 [+ or -] 0.4    1.0 [+ or -] 0.4
  Phacelia franklinii                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Plagiobothrys leptocladus    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0    1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  Polygonum douglasii          2.9 [+ or -] 0.5    1.8 [+ or -] 0.6
  Polygonum polygaloides       0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    1.4 [+ or -] 0.7
  Tragopogon dubius            0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
FORB-PERENNIAL
  Achillea millefolium         3.5 [+ or -] 0.8    5.4 [+ or -] 1.6
  Agoseris glauca              0.5 [+ or -] 0.0    0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Allium spp.                  1.1 [+ or -] 0.2    2.8 [+ or -] 1.1
  Anaphalis margaritacea       6.5 [+ or -] 1.4    5.1 [+ or -] 1.6
  Antennaria rosea                                 5.7 [+ or -] 1.9
  Arenaria congesta                                0.6 [+ or -] 0.2
  Arnica cordifolia                                1.1 [+ or -] 0.4
  Arnica sororia               1.8 [+ or -] 0.6    1.9 [+ or -] 0.7
  Balsamorhiza sagittata                           7.6 [+ or -] 2.7
  Barbarea orthoceras                              1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Besseya rubra                                    0.7 [+ or -] 0.2
  Calochortus elegans                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Calochortus eurycarpus       0.4 [+ or -] 0.0    0.7 [+ or -] 0.4
  Camassia quamash ssp.                            1.7 [+ or -] 0.9
    breviflora
  Camissonia subacaulis        0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
  Castilleja cusickii                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Chamerion
    angustifolium ssp.
  circumvagum                                      4.5 [+ or -] 1.4
  Chrysothamnus                                    2.3 [+ or -] 0.4
    viscidiflorus
  Clematis hirsutissima var.   3.1 [+ or -] 0.4    1.6 [+ or -] 0.6
    hirsutissima
  Crepis acuminata ssp.        0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.8 [+ or -] 0.2
    acuminata
  Cynoglossum officinale                           0.8 [+ or -] 0.3
  Delphinium spp.              0.4 [+ or -] 0.1    0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Dichelostemma congestum                          0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Equisetum spp.                                   0.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Erigeron pumilus ssp.
    intermedius var.
  intermedius                                      2.2 [+ or -] 0.8
  Erigeron speciosus                               1.7 [+ or -] 0.7
  Eriogonum spp.               19.0 [+ or -] 2.3   14.7 [+ or -] 4.3
  Eriogonum douglasii          23.6 [+ or -] 2.7   15.8 [+ or -] 3.4
  Eriogonum heracleoides       29.0 [+ or -] 0.0   6.4 [+ or -] 2.4
  Eriophyllum lanatum                              0.4 [+ or -] 0.2
  Fragaria vesca ssp.                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    bracteata
  Fragaria virginiana          2.8 [+ or -] 0.7    3.4 [+ or -] 1.3
  Frasera albicaulis           1.5 [+ or -] 0.0    4.1 [+ or -] 1.4
  Geum triflorum var.          4.9 [+ or -] 0.9    3.0 [+ or -] 1.1
    ciliatum
  Hieracium scouleri                               4.2 [+ or -] 2.1
  Hydrophyllum
    capitatum var.
  capitatum                                        0.4 [+ or -] 0.1
  Ipomopsis aggregata ssp.     1.4 [+ or -] 0.2    1.3 [+ or -] 0.4
    aggregata
  Lathyrus latifolius                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lathyrus spp.                0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.5 [+ or -] 0.1
  Lepidium latifolium                              0.7 [+ or -] 0.2
  Leucanthemum vulgare                             0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Linaria vulgaris                                 1.6 [+ or -] 0.7
  Lithophragma glabrum         0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lithospermum ruderale                            1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Lomatium nudicaule           0.8 [+ or -] 0.3    1.7 [+ or -] 0.7
  Lomatium spp.                0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    10.8 [+ or -] 5.0
  Lupinus spp.                 4.0 [+ or -] 0.7    5.0 [+ or -] 1.8
  Mertensia longiflora                             3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Otsynium douglasii                               0.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  Oreostemma alpigenum         2.4 [+ or -] 0.5    1.7 [+ or -] 0.5
  Paeonia brownii                                  2.8 [+ or -] 0.8
  Penstemon gairdneri var.                         2.4 [+ or -] 0.6
    oreganus
  Penstemon globosus           5.3 [+ or -] 1.6    5.8 [+ or -] 1.7
  Penstemon spp.               0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.9 [+ or -] 0.4
  Perideridia gairdneri ssp.   0.6 [+ or -] 0.1    1.0 [+ or -] 0.4
    borealis
  Phacelia spp.                                    0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
  Potentilla glandulosa        1.2 [+ or -] 0.5    3.3 [+ or -] 1.1
  Potentilla gracilis          7.4 [+ or -] 0.9    5.8 [+ or -] 1.9
  Potentilla recta             2.3 [+ or -] 0.8    2.0 [+ or -] 1.0
  Pyrrocoma carthamoides                           1.7 [+ or -] 0.4
  Rumex acetosella                                 3.3 [+ or -] 1.6
  Saxifraga integrifolia                           0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Scutellaria angustifolia                         0.6 [+ or -] 0.2
  Sedum stenopetalum           1.3 [+ or -] 0.1    4.8 [+ or -] 1.7
  Senecio spp.                 0.9 [+ or -] 0.3    2.7 [+ or -] 1.2
  Sidalcea oregana ssp.        2.6 [+ or -] 0.5    2.2 [+ or -] 0.8
    oregana
  Solidago missouriensis                           4.1 [+ or -] 1.3
  Trifolium pratense                               0.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Triteleia grandiflora var.   0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
    grandiflora
  Verbascum thapsus                                0.6 [+ or -] 0.2
  Viola nuttallii              2.2 [+ or -] 0.3    0.9 [+ or -] 0.4
  Viola spp.                   1.8 [+ or -] 0.4    1.1 [+ or -] 0.4
  Wyethia helianthoides        19.3 [+ or -] 3.7   12.9 [+ or -] 4.7
  Zigadenus venenosus          0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    0.3 [+ or -] 0.0
FORB--ANNUAL/PERENNIAL
  Claytonia perfoliata ssp.    2.5 [+ or -] 0.0    0.8 [+ or -] 0.4
    perfoliata
  Geranium
    viscosissimum var.
  viscosissimum                2.2 [+ or -] 0.4    2.6 [+ or -] 0.9
  Ranunculus uncinatus                             0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Sanguisorba annua            1.8 [+ or -] 0.4    1.1 [+ or -] 0.4
  Taraxacum spp.               0.3 [+ or -] 0.0    1.4 [+ or -] 0.5
  Trifolium spp.                                   8.4 [+ or -] 3.5
GRASS--ANNUAL
  Bromus arvensis              2.5 [+ or -] 0.6    1.8 [+ or -] 0.7
  Bromus briziformis                               1.6 [+ or -] 0.7
  Bromus tectorum              2.8 [+ or -] 0.8    2.8 [+ or -] 1.2
  Ventenata dubia                                  1.1 [+ or -] 0.3
GRASS--PERENNIAL
  Achnatherum spp.             2.7 [+ or -] 0.4    3.7 [+ or -] 1.9
  Bromus inermis                                   1.6 [+ or -] 0.1
  Bromus marginatus            4.1 [+ or -] 1.0    1.8 [+ or -] 0.7
  Calamagrostis rubescens                          7.8 [+ or -] 2.7
  Danthonia unispicata                             3.9 [+ or -] 1.3
  Elymus elymoides             0.9 [+ or -] 0.2    1.1 [+ or -] 0.4
  Festuca idahoensis                               3.6 [+ or -] 1.0
  Festuca spp.                                     3.5 [+ or -] 1.2
  Koeleria macrantha           2.1 [+ or -] 0.5    2.3 [+ or -] 0.7
  Melica bulbosa                                   1.0 [+ or -] 0.3
  Melica bulbosa var.                              0.3 [+ or -] 0.1
    intonsa
  Pascopyrum smithii                               0.9 [+ or -] 0.3
  Poa bulbosa                  2.2 [+ or -] 0.5    4.5 [+ or -] 2.4
  Poa pratensis                4.5 [+ or -] 1.3    5.1 [+ or -] 2.5
  Poa secunda                  3.0 [+ or -] 0.8    2.9 [+ or -] 1.0
  Pseudoroegneria spicata                          9.3 [+ or -] 2.9
GRASS--ANNUAL/PERENNIAL
  Bromus spp.                  2.1 [+ or -] 0.8    1.2 [+ or -] 0.7
  Poa spp.                     1.3 [+ or -] 0.4    2.7 [+ or -] 0.8
RUSH--PERENNIAL
  Juncus parryi                                    1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
  Juncus spp.                  6.3 [+ or -] 0.0    5.0 [+ or -] 0.8
SEDGE--PERENNIAL
  Carex geyeri                 1.5 [+ or -] 0.0    5.8 [+ or -] 2.0
  Carex hoodii                 2.0 [+ or -] 0.7    1.8 [+ or -] 0.6
  Carex pachystachya           3.8 [+ or -] 0.0    3.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Carex petasata                                   1.5 [+ or -] 0.0
SHRUB--PERENNIAL
  Amelanchier alnifolia                            4.9 [+ or -] 2.8
  Artemisia spp.               2.6 [+ or -] 0.5    5.5 [+ or -] 2.2
  Artemisia tridentata ssp.    6.9 [+ or -] 1.6    6.9 [+ or -] 2.1
    tridentata
  Ceanothus velutinus                              9.8 [+ or -] 0.0
  Purshia tridentata                               4.7 [+ or -] 1.5
  Ribes cereum                                     6.3 [+ or -] 0.0
  Symphoricarpos albus         2.8 [+ or -] 0.7    4.3 [+ or -] 1.8

* Understory species data and reference collection are archived
at the University of Idaho.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to the NIDGS Technical Working Group for proposing and assisting in funding for this project. We thank D Evans-Mack, E Yensen, J Almack, and B Rautsaw for sharing their expertise on NIDGS. Sincere thanks also go to members of the University of Idaho Newingham Lab, as well as our invaluable summer technicians: C Them, R Johnson, AJ Limberger, and C Sullivan. We sincerely thank P Morgan, J Rachlow, and E Yensen for their advice and comments on this manuscript. Funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Fish and Game, and an Idaho State Wildlife Grant supported this research.

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* Unpublished

Submitted 19 September 2012, accepted 13 February 2013. Corresponding Editor: Paul Cryan.

ELISE F SURONEN AND BETH A NEWINGHAM

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-1133; beth@uidaho.edu

TABLE 1. Percent closed canopy cover (%), tree size
(number of trees/ha grouped by diameter at breast height
(dbh) size categories), tree density (number of trees/ha),
visual obstruction height, and litter depth at sites occupied
by the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus
brunneus). Individual site means and standard errors for
percent canopy cover, tree size categories, and total tree
density are listed. Across-site (n = 7) Bayesian means and 95%
highest posterior density intervals (95% HPDI) are provided.

                                        Tree dbh size classes
                      Canopy
Sites                  cover            <8 cm            8-12 cm

Cap Gun            18 [+ or -] 5   133 [+ or -] 60          0
Lost Valley        20 [+ or -] 7   174 [+ or -] 104   4 [+ or -] 4
Mud Creek          13 [+ or -] 6    73 [+ or -] 44    6 [+ or -] 6
OX Ranch           6 [+ or -] 3     35 [+ or -] 20    10 [+ or -] 8
Price Valley       14 [+ or -] 4    46 [+ or -] 22          0
Slaughter Gulch    12 [+ or -] 5    41 [+ or -] 27    4 [+ or -] 4
Summit Gulch       2 [+ or -] 2           0           0 [+ or -] 2
Across site mean        12                66                5
Across site 95%
HPDI                   10-15            40-91              2-8

                      Tree dbh size classes
                                                      Total tree
Sites                13-20 cm          >20 cm           density

Cap Gun            4 [+ or -] 4    21 [+ or -] 16   187 [+ or -] 76
Lost Valley              0         21 [+ or -] 10   139 [+ or -] 76
Mud Creek                0         19 [+ or -] 9    97 [+ or -] 53
OX Ranch           8 [+ or -] 7     4 [+ or -] 4    58 [+ or -] 27
Price Valley             0         15 [+ or -] 8    60 [+ or -] 26
Slaughter Gulch    12 [+ or -] 6    4 [+ or -] 4    73 [+ or -] 37
Summit Gulch       12 [+ or -] 6    8 [+ or -] 8    23 [+ or -] 10
Across site mean         4               17               91
Across site 95%
HPDI                    2-6            11-22            64-118

                       Visual
                     obstruction       Litter depth
Sites                   (cm)               (cm)

Cap Gun             30 [+ or -] 4    1.2 [+ or -] 0.3
Lost Valley        19  [+ or -]  2   0.9 [+ or -] 0.2
Mud Creek           16 [+ or -] 4    0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
OX Ranch            31 [+ or -] 5    1.2 [+ or -] 0.3
Price Valley        21 [+ or -] 4    0.5 [+ or -] 0.2
Slaughter Gulch     16 [+ or -] 3    0.5 [+ or -] 0.1
Summit Gulch        24 [+ or -] 3    0.7 [+ or -] 0.1
Across site mean         22                0.8
Across site 95%
HPDI                    20-25            0.7-0.9

TABLE 2. Percent ground cover averaged across sites (n = 7)
occupied by the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus
brunneus brunneus). The Bayesian means and 95% highest
posterior density intervals (95% HPDI) are reported for
each parameter.

Functional                       Percent
group        Type/growth form    cover     95% HPDI

Surface      litter              14.5      11.9-17.3
             soil                19.3      16.3-22.3
             woody debris        4.2       3.0-5.4
             rock                3.9       2.8-4.9
             moss/lichen         1.5       0.8-2.2
Forb         annual              1.5       1.3-1.7
             perennial           3.7       3.4-4.1
             annual/perennial *  0.6       0.3-1.0
Grass        annual              1.4       0.9-1.8
             perennial           3.7       3.2-4.3
Rush         perennial           0.7       0.3-1.1
Sedge        perennial           1.9       1.1-2.7
Shrub        perennial           3.0       2.2-3.8

* Growth form can either be annual or perennial and
is not determined for this area.

TABLE 3. The average species richness, evenness,
and diversity of understory plant species within each
of the sites (n = 6 transects) occupied by the Northern
Idaho Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus brunneus)
and across sites (n = 7) in 2010 and 2011. Shannon's
Evenness Index values are between 0 and 1; communities
with even distributions of species have index
values near 1. As Simpson's Index of Diversity gets
closer to 1 the greater the site diversity, while
communities with low diversity have an index value
near 0.
                             Shannon's      Simpson's
Site              Richness   Evenness    Diversity Index

Cap Gun              34        0.83           0.92
Lost Valley          30        0.83           0.91
Mud Creek            21        0.76           0.83
Price Valley         26        0.74           0.85
OX Ranch             33        0.82           0.91
Slaughter Gulch      29        0.83           0.91
Summit Gulch         33        0.81           0.91
Across sites         29        0.81           0.89

TABLE 4. Understory forbs and grasses with the highest
percent canopy cover and highest constancy in sites (n = 7)
occupied by the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel and 95%
highest posterior density intervals (95% HPDI) are
reported for each species.

Type      Species                     Common name

Forb      Achillea                    Common Yarrow
          millefolium * (#)
          ([dagger])

          Allium spp. * (#)           onion

          Anaphalis                   Western Pearly Everlasting
          margaritacea (#)
          ([dagger])

          Epilobium brachycarpum (#)  Tall Annual Willowherb

          Eriogonum                   buckwheat
          spp. * ([dagger])

          Fragaria virginiana         Virginia Strawberry

          Lupinus spp. *              lupine

          Polygonum douglasii (#)     Douglas' Knotweed

          Potentilla gracilis.        Slender Cinquefoil
          * ([dagger])

Grasses   Sedum stenopetalumo         Wormleaf Stonecrop
          (#) ([dagger])

          Bromus tectorum             Cheatgrass
          * ([double dagger])

          Poa bulbosa * ([dagger])    Bulbous Bluegrass
          ([double dagger])

          Poa pratensis *             Kentucky Bluegrass

          Poa secunda ([dagger])      Sandberg Bluegrass

          Pseudoroegneria spicata *   bluebunch Wheatgrass

Type      Species                     Mean   95% HPDI

Forb      Achillea                    5.1    4.1-6.1
          millefolium * (#)
          ([dagger])

          Allium spp. * (#)           1.1    0.6-1.6

          Anaphalis                   3.4    2.6-4.4
          margaritacea (#)
          ([dagger])

          Epilobium brachycarpum (#)  1.6    1.1-2.1

          Eriogonum                   3.3    1.811.8
          spp. * ([dagger])

          Fragaria virginiana         1.5    0.9-2.1

          Lupinus spp. *              2.1    1.3-3.0

          Polygonum douglasii (#)     1.6    1.3-2.0

          Potentilla gracilis         2.8    1.9-3.8
          * ([dagger])

Grasses   Sedum stenopetalumo         2.2    1.4-3.1
          (#) ([dagger])

          Bromus tectorum             1.1    0.6-1.7
          * ([double dagger])

          Poa bulbosa * ([dagger])    2.2    1.1-3.3
          ([double dagger])

          Poa pratensis *             1.8    0.7-2.7

          Poa secunda ([dagger])      1.7    1.2-2.2

          Pseudoroegneria spicata *   2.9    1.6-4.2

* species that comprise >1% of the U. brunneus diet.

(#) >20 occurence in 84 transects (highest constancy).

([dagger]) >2% average canopy cover.

([double dagger]) non-native species.

TABLE 5. Soil physical properties for sites (n = 7) occupied
by the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel
(Urocitellus brunneus brunneus).

Sites             Sand (%)   Silt (%)   Clay (%)    Soil texture

Cap Gun             25.0       40.0       35.0        Clay loam
Lost Valley         30.0       37.5       32.5        Clay loam
Mud Creek           27.5       35.0       37.5        Clay loam
OX Ranch            17.5       45.0       37.5        Silty clay loam
Price Valley        32.5       35.0       32.5        Clay loam
Slaughter Gulch     38.8       37.5       23.5        Loam
Summit Gulch        27.5       37.5       35.0        Clay loam
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Article Details
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Author:Suronen, Elise F.; Newingham, Beth A.
Publication:Northwestern Naturalist: A Journal of Vertebrate Biology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Sep 22, 2013
Words:11825
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