iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Use of fallen dead trees by Japanese squirrels within cedar plantations in northeastern Japan

Suzuka Honda (1), Masayuki U Saito (2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 16, Issue 5, Pages 262-267 (2023)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor4338-016
Published: Oct 19, 2023 - Copyright © 2023 SISEF

Research Articles

Deadwood in forests plays a critical role in maintaining the ecological functions. Small mammals use deadwood, and thus deadwood can mitigate the negative impacts of plantation on small mammals. This study focused on fallen dead trees in planted forests, and aimed to verify whether fallen dead trees affect behavioral patterns of Japanese squirrels. To clarify the use of fallen dead trees by Japanese squirrels in a Japanese cedar plantation, we observed squirrel behavior by camera trap surveys at 61 survey sites. Our findings showed that fallen dead trees play a crucial role in the behavior of Japanese squirrels, serving as landmarks for movement, vigilance, resting, and hoarding sites. These functions are critical for the survival of Japanese squirrels, suggesting that fallen dead trees in planted forests have positive impacts on their microenvironment use. The increase of deadwood due to disturbances such as heavy rainfall and snowfall resulting from climate change may provide benefits to arboreal small mammals in poorly managed planted forests. Additionally, leaving some of the deadwood generated during the harvesting process in properly managed forests can improve the quality of habitat for arboreal small mammals.


Arboreal Small Mammal, Behavioral Ecology, Coarse Woody Debris, Forestry, Deadwood, Sciurus lis

Authors’ address

Suzuka Honda
Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Yamagata University, Tsuruoka 9978555 (Japan)
Masayuki U Saito 0000-0003-0535-6711
Faculty of Agriculture, Yamagata University, Tsuruoka 9978555 (Japan)

Corresponding author

Masayuki U Saito


Honda S, Saito MU (2023). Use of fallen dead trees by Japanese squirrels within cedar plantations in northeastern Japan. iForest 16: 262-267. - doi: 10.3832/ifor4338-016

Academic Editor

Mirko Di Febbraro

Paper history

Received: Mar 01, 2023
Accepted: Jul 23, 2023

First online: Oct 19, 2023
Publication Date: Oct 31, 2023
Publication Time: 2.93 months

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