Long term thinning and logging in Australian cypress pine forest: Changes in habitat attributes and response of fauna

Eyre, Teresa J., Ferguson, Daniel J., Kennedy, Michael, Rowland, Jesse and Maron, Martine (2015) Long term thinning and logging in Australian cypress pine forest: Changes in habitat attributes and response of fauna. Biological Conservation, 186 83-96. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2015.03.009


Author Eyre, Teresa J.
Ferguson, Daniel J.
Kennedy, Michael
Rowland, Jesse
Maron, Martine
Title Long term thinning and logging in Australian cypress pine forest: Changes in habitat attributes and response of fauna
Journal name Biological Conservation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
1873-2917
Publication date 2015-06-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.03.009
Open Access Status
Volume 186
Start page 83
End page 96
Total pages 14
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The manipulation of habitat through thinning and logging activities may have cascading effects on fauna because of direct and indirect changes to key habitat features. However, the combined effect of thinning and logging on fauna has not been investigated for Australian forests, despite the widespread use of thinning as a silvicultural management tool in selectively logged forests, and the emerging interest in thinning for biofuels. We therefore surveyed reptiles, birds and key habitat variables at sites selected to sample four management classes reflecting categories of thinning and/or logging activity in cypress pine Callitris glaucophylla forests of the Brigalow Belt bioregion of Australia. Habitat structure and assemblages of reptile and bird species were distinct across the four management classes, reflecting long-term cumulative impacts of small- and/or large-diameter tree removal in a dynamic system, but the response of various functional groups of species was mixed. Recovery of some habitat elements (e.g. small trees) to a state that maintains densities of most fauna species appears to be relatively rapid, but depends on the combined effect of thinning and logging. Other habitat elements, such as large cypress trees which were reduced by logging and unaffected by thinning, require longer time frames to mature and therefore will be critical resources to maintain during future management activities in cypress forests. Overall, it appears that thinning activities affect fauna and therefore must be considered when making decisions about forest management. We suggest management of production forests aims for a mosaic of thinning and/or logging combinations across the landscape, but emphasise the importance of retaining or restoring unthinned and unlogged areas.
Keyword Birds
Large trees
Reptiles
Selective logging
Silviculture
Thinning
Vegetation structure
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 2016 Collection
 
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