Regrowth woodlands are valuable habitat for reptile communities

Bruton, Melissa J., McAlpine, Clive A. and Maron, Martine (2013) Regrowth woodlands are valuable habitat for reptile communities. Biological Conservation, 165 95-103. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2013.05.018

Author Bruton, Melissa J.
McAlpine, Clive A.
Maron, Martine
Title Regrowth woodlands are valuable habitat for reptile communities
Journal name Biological Conservation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
Publication date 2013-09
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.05.018
Volume 165
Start page 95
End page 103
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Protection of passive regrowth, or secondary vegetation, offers the potential to cost-effectively alleviate biodiversity declines caused by deforestation. This potential often goes unrealised because the habitat value of regrowth is generally considered marginal. However, the habitat value of regrowth varies among taxa. Disturbed subtropical woodland landscapes provide large-scale passive restoration opportunities. Subtropical woodlands are also rich in reptile diversity. We addressed the question: 'What is the habitat value of subtropical regrowth woodlands for reptile communities?' We identified five commonly-observed models of regrowth habitat value and then surveyed reptile communities in 43 cleared, regrowth and remnant Acacia- and Eucalyptus-dominated woodland sites in subtropical Queensland, Australia. Reptile species richness, diversity, dominance and community composition followed the "regrowth. = remnant" model of high regrowth value, where the habitat values of regrowth and remnant woodlands were similar, and higher than that of cleared land. Unexpectedly, the proportion of juveniles was highest in cleared sites and lower in both regrowth and remnant sites. Our findings challenge the view that the habitat value of regrowth is limited. Consistency in findings between contrasting woodland types suggest that our results may apply in other similarly disturbed woodlands. We conclude that although remnant woodlands are irreplaceable, regrowth woodlands provide valuable habitat for reptile communities and the protection of such regrowth should be a high priority in disturbed subtropical woodland systems.
Keyword Reptile
Eucalyptus woodland
Acacia woodland
Passive restoration
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2014 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 29 Sep 2013, 00:20:08 EST by System User on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management