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Small mammals and retention islands: An experimental study of animal response to alternative logging practices

Knight, Emma; McBurney, Lachlan; Michael, Damian; Banks, Samuel; Lindenmayer, David B

Description

The integration of forest biodiversity conservation with wood production is a key part of ecologically sustainable forest management. This can be a particular challenge at the stand-level when high-intensity silvicultural systems like clearfelling are employed. Alternative logging practices to clearfelling that result in partial stand retention are being widely promoted in many parts of the world. We present new findings from a replicated block experiment designed to examine the responses of...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorKnight, Emma
dc.contributor.authorMcBurney, Lachlan
dc.contributor.authorMichael, Damian
dc.contributor.authorBanks, Samuel
dc.contributor.authorLindenmayer, David B
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:55:20Z
dc.identifier.issn0378-1127
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/60063
dc.description.abstractThe integration of forest biodiversity conservation with wood production is a key part of ecologically sustainable forest management. This can be a particular challenge at the stand-level when high-intensity silvicultural systems like clearfelling are employed. Alternative logging practices to clearfelling that result in partial stand retention are being widely promoted in many parts of the world. We present new findings from a replicated block experiment designed to examine the responses of small terrestrial mammals to the retention of islands of forest within otherwise clearfelled harvest units. Our experiment was conducted in the Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell) forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. We quantified the effects of four treatments on small terrestrial mammal abundance: (1) an uncut ('control') area of forest; (2) a 1.5ha retained island within an otherwise clearfelled area; (3) three 0.5ha retained 'islands' within an otherwise clearfelled area; and (4) a traditionally clearfelled area of forest, over the different stages of harvesting operations from pre-cut to post-cut to post-burn.We expected to find a gradient in animal abundance from controls to large islands to small islands to clearfelled areas. Our data revealed no difference in the small animal abundance in the controls and in the islands, but significantly lower numbers of animals in clearfelled areas, particularly after regeneration burning. We believe the reason for the strong negative effect of logging is associated with the near complete removal of vegetation cover immediately following traditional clearfelling operations. We expected that large islands (1.5ha) would support more animals than small islands (0.5ha), but we found no significant difference in animal abundance between large and small islands.Our results demonstrate that retained islands support populations of small mammals despite their abundance being very low in surrounding clearfelled areas. They also suggest that residual populations in islands may promote the process of post-disturbance ecological recovery in logged landscapes.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.sourceForest Ecology and Management
dc.subjectKeywords: Active adaptive management experiment; Eastern Australia; Forest biodiversity; Logging experiment; Mountain Ash forest; Small terrestrial mammals; Variable retentions; Biodiversity; Conservation; Ecology; Harvesting; Landforms; Mammals; Reforestation; Exp Active adaptive management experiment; Forest biodiversity; Logging experiment; Mountain Ash forest; Small terrestrial mammals; South-eastern Australia; Variable retention harvesting
dc.titleSmall mammals and retention islands: An experimental study of animal response to alternative logging practices
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume260
dc.date.issued2010
local.identifier.absfor050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity
local.identifier.absfor070503 - Forestry Fire Management
local.identifier.ariespublicationU4279067xPUB520
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationLindenmayer, David, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationKnight, Emma, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMcBurney, Lachlan, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationMichael, Damian, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationBanks, Samuel, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage2070
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage2078
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.foreco.2010.08.047
local.identifier.absseo960806 - Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T10:51:37Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-78049258220
local.identifier.thomsonID000284734300002
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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