Habitat fragmentation, landscape context, and mammalian assemblages in southeastern Australia




Pope, M
Parris, K
McCarthy, Michael
Lindenmayer, David B

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American Society of Mammalogists


We examined relationships between mammalian assemblages and landscape context and habitat fragmentation in southeastern Australia. Data were gathered from spotlighting and hair sample surveys at 166 sites in 3 different spatial (landscape) contexts: remnant patches of native eucalypt forest surrounded by an extensive plantation of exotic radiata pine (Pinus radiata - 86 sites), the radiata pine plantation (40 sites), and large areas of continuous native eucalypt forest that occurred at the margins of the plantation (40 sites). Continuous eucalypt forest supported more species than eucalypt patches, although some species were more common in the patch areas. All assemblages in the radiata pine sites were substantially impoverished. There was a significant patch size effect for the total mammalian assemblage and for terrestrial native mammals but not for arboreal marsupials. Bigger remnants supported an assemblage different from (and more species rich) that found in smaller remnants, particularly those <3 ha where many mammal species occurred less frequently. The landscape context and patch area effects recorded in this study have important implications for plantation design in southern Australia. Eucalypt remnants should be exempt from clearing during plantation development; larger remnants are the most important areas.



Keywords: habitat fragmentation; landscape ecology; mammal; patch size; plantation forestry; species-area relationship; Australia; Eucalyptus; Pinus radiata Arboreal marsupials; Australia; Habitat fragmentation; Landscape context; Remnant vegetation conservation; Terrestrial native mammals



Journal of Mammalogy


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