Change in habitat resources and structure near urban edges and its influence on the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) in southeast Queensland, Australia

Brearley, G, Bradley, A, Bell, S and McAlpine, C (2011) Change in habitat resources and structure near urban edges and its influence on the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) in southeast Queensland, Australia. Austral Ecology, 36 4: 425-432. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2010.02156.x

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Author Brearley, G
Bradley, A
Bell, S
McAlpine, C
Title Change in habitat resources and structure near urban edges and its influence on the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) in southeast Queensland, Australia
Formatted title
Change in habitat resources and structure near urban edges and its influence on the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) in southeast Queensland, Australia
Journal name Austral Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-9985
1442-9993
0307-692X
Publication date 2011-06
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2010.02156.x
Volume 36
Issue 4
Start page 425
End page 432
Total pages 8
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Urban landscapes often expose wildlife populations to enhanced edge effects where the biotic and abiotic attributes of native ecosystems have been significantly altered. While some species may respond favourably to edges, there are likely to be varying negative consequences for many forest-dependent species. In particular, marsupial gliders are influenced by changes in forest composition and structure near edges due to highly specific feeding and nesting requirements, and a high reliance on tree cover to traverse a landscape. We addressed this problem using the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) in the fragmented urban landscape of southeast Queensland, Australia. Analysis of variance was applied to determine differences in habitat resources and structure in relation to glider presence and trap success rates in forest fragment interiors compared with road (minor & major) and residential edge habitats. We postulate that an increased presence of squirrel gliders in sites adjacent to minor road and residential edges may be due to the availability of additional resources and/or varying dispersal opportunities. Conversely, forest fragment interiors contain a higher abundance of nest hollows and large trees, together with a greater floristic species richness providing more reliable seasonal foraging sources, which may explain the greater trap success rates of squirrel gliders in these sites. We conclude that while forest fragment interiors provide habitat suitable for year-round use by greater numbers of squirrel gliders, the conservation value of some edge habitats that provide additional resources and dispersal opportunities should not be underestimated for forest-dependent mammals; however, each edge type must be assessed individually.
© 2010 The Authors
Journal compilation © 2010 Ecological Society of Australia
Keyword Edge
Forest fragmentation
Forest-dependent mammal
Resource availability
Squirrel glider
Urbanization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 1 SEP 2010.

 
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