Matrix is important for mammals in landscapes with small amounts of native forest habitat

Brady, Megan J., McAlpine, Clive A., Possingham, Hugh P., Miller, Craig J. and Baxter, Greg S. (2011) Matrix is important for mammals in landscapes with small amounts of native forest habitat. Landscape Ecology, 26 5: 617-628. doi:10.1007/s10980-011-9602-6

Author Brady, Megan J.
McAlpine, Clive A.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Miller, Craig J.
Baxter, Greg S.
Title Matrix is important for mammals in landscapes with small amounts of native forest habitat
Journal name Landscape Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0921-2973
Publication date 2011-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10980-011-9602-6
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 26
Issue 5
Start page 617
End page 628
Total pages 12
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Acknowledgment that the matrix matters in conserving wildlife in human-modified landscapes is increasing. However, the complex interactions of habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, habitat condition and land use have confounded attempts to disentangle the relative importance of properties of the landscape mosaic, including the matrix. To this end, we controlled for the amount of remnant forest habitat and the level of fragmentation to examine mammal species richness in human-modified landscapes of varying levels of matrix development intensity and patch attributes. We postulated seven alternative models of various patch habitat, landscape and matrix influences on mammal species richness and then tested these models using generalized linear mixed-effects models within an information theoretic framework. Matrix attributes were the most important determinants of terrestrial mammal species richness; matrix development intensity had a strong negative effect and vegetation structural complexity of the matrix had a strong positive effect. Distance to the nearest remnant forest habitat was relatively unimportant. Matrix habitat attributes are potentially a more important indicator of isolation of remnant forest patches than measures of distance to the nearest patch. We conclude that a structurally complex matrix within a human-modified landscape can provide supplementary habitat resources and increase the probability of movement across the landscape, thereby increasing mammal species richness in modified landscapes.
Keyword Terrestrial mammals
Mixed effects models
Landscape mosaic
South-eastern Australia
Agricultural environments
Fragmented landscapes
Interpatch movement
Patch width
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Sat, 03 Sep 2011, 02:41:21 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management