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Threat and response: A decade of decline in a regionally endangered rainforest palm affected by fire and introduced animals

Liddle, David T., Brook, Barry W., Matthews, Janet Mary, Taylor, S. M. and Caley, P. (2006). Threat and response: A decade of decline in a regionally endangered rainforest palm affected by fire and introduced animals. Biological Conservation,132(3):362-375.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Threat and response: A decade of decline in a regionally endangered rainforest palm affected by fire and introduced animals
Author Liddle, David T.
Brook, Barry W.
Matthews, Janet Mary
Taylor, S. M.
Caley, P.
Journal Name Biological Conservation
Publication Date 2006
Volume Number 132
Issue Number 3
ISSN 0006-3207   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-33745757465
Start Page 362
End Page 375
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract The wild population of the palm Ptychosperma macarthurii near Darwin, in monsoonal northern Australia, is regionally endangered and provides a focus to illustrate a range of issues pertinent to conservation of rainforest habitat. Surveys in 1990 found that several populations exhibited a polarised size class structure typified by large adults and small juvenile plants. over the following decade, in the absence of wildfire and in a period of reduced disturbance from introduced buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), cattle (Bos indicus) and pig (Sus scrofa), sufficient small juvenile plants survived and grew so as to infill the intermediate size classes. Three stage (bifid, juvenile and adult) transition matrix models characterised the population as declining under all observed conditions (intrinsic rate of increase: unburnt + few animals 0.9850; unbumt + many animals 0.9584; burnt < 1 year 0.8737; burnt 1-2 years 0.9146; burnt > 2 years 0.9937). In the absence of fire, simulations conducted to explore management options revealed a positive rate of increase with exclusion of introduced animals. With only partial introduced animal control or supplementation with juvenile plants, the median rate of increase remained negative. The regional population is at risk by more frequent and more intense fire due to the invasion of exotic grass species and land use changes in the catchment which result in an increased drying of the rainforest habitat. Ongoing decline is the most likely outcome in the absence of effective management intervention. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords arecaceae ptychosperma
exotic animal impact
fire impact
monsoon rainforest
groundwater
kakadu-national-park
northern australia
ptychosperma-bleeseri
arnhem-land
territory
management
conservation
ecosystem
genetics
buffalo
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2006.04.028   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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