Habitat attributes of landscape mosaics along a gradient of matrix development intensity: Matrix management matters

Brady, M. J., McAlpine, C. A., Miller, C. J., Possingham, H. P. and Baxter, G. S. (2009) Habitat attributes of landscape mosaics along a gradient of matrix development intensity: Matrix management matters. Landscape Ecology, 24 7: 879-891. doi:10.1007/s10980-009-9372-6


Author Brady, M. J.
McAlpine, C. A.
Miller, C. J.
Possingham, H. P.
Baxter, G. S.
Title Habitat attributes of landscape mosaics along a gradient of matrix development intensity: Matrix management matters
Journal name Landscape Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0921-2973
1572-9761
Publication date 2009-08
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10980-009-9372-6
Volume 24
Issue 7
Start page 879
End page 891
Total pages 13
Editor Jianguo Wu
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 050104 Landscape Ecology
960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments
Abstract The matrix is an important element of landscape mosaics that influences wildlife indirectly through its influence on habitat, and directly, if they live in ormove through it.Therefore, to quantify andmanage habitat quality for wildlife in modified landscapes, it is necessary to consider the characteristics of both patch and matrix elements of the whole landscape mosaic. To isolate matrix effects from the often simultaneous and confounding influence of patch and landscape characteristics, we identified nineteen 500 mradius landscapes in southeastQueensland, Australiawith similar remnant forest patch attributes, habitat loss, and fragmentation, but exhibiting a marked gradient from rural through high-density suburban development of the matrix, quantified by a weighted road-length metric. We measured habitat disturbance, structure, and floristics in patch core, patch edge andmatrix landscape elements to characterise how landscape habitat quality changes for small mammals. Correlation analyses identified that with increased matrix development intensity, human disturbance of core sites increased, predators and exotic plant species richness in matrix sites increased, and structural complexity (e.g. logs and stumps) in the matrix decreased. Ordination analyses showed landscape elements were most similar in habitat structure and floristics at low to moderate levels of matrix development, suggesting enhanced landscape habitat quality. Matrix development intensity was not, however, the greatest source of overall variation of habitat throughout landscapes. Many variables, such as landholder behaviour, complicate the relationship. For enhanced conservation outcomes the matrix needs to be managed to control disturbances and strategically plan for matrix habitat retention and restoration.
Keyword Landscape elements
Disturbance
Urban-rural gradient
Land use intensity
Habitat structure
Urbanisation
Roads
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Mon, 29 Mar 2010, 10:38:43 EST by Marie-Louise Moore on behalf of School of Integrative Systems