Maine Edge publishes UMaine release on small mammal personality, forest structure

The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release on a recent study led by UMaine researchers Allison Brehm, a Ph.D. student in wildlife ecology, and Alessio Mortelliti, an assistant professor of wildlife habitat ecology. The study’s focus was understanding how variation among individual seed-dispersing animals affects the seed dispersal process, and whether land-use change interferes with this process. The researchers found that preserving a range of different personality types within small mammal populations is critical for maintaining the key ecosystem function of seed dispersal, the release states. “Essentially our study demonstrates that the mind of a mouse could potentially affect the whole structure of a forest,” said Mortelliti.