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Effect of fire on small mammals: a systematic review

Griffiths, Anthony D. and Brook, Barry W. (2014). Effect of fire on small mammals: a systematic review. International Journal of Wildland Fire,23(7):1034-1043.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84376995xPUB62
Title Effect of fire on small mammals: a systematic review
Author Griffiths, Anthony D.
Brook, Barry W.
Journal Name International Journal of Wildland Fire
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 23
Issue Number 7
ISSN 1049-8001   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84908239016
Start Page 1034
End Page 1043
Total Pages 10
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Fire is a natural disturbance that exerts an important influence on global ecosystems, affecting vegetation distribution and structure, the carbon cycle and climate. However, human-induced changes to fire regimes may affect at-risk species groups such as small mammals. We examine the effect of fire on small mammals and evaluate the relative sensitivity to fire among different groups using a systematic review methodology that included critiquing the literature with respect to survey design and statistical analysis. Overall, small mammal abundance is slightly higher, and demographic parameters more favourable, in unburnt sites compared to burnt sites. This was more pronounced in species with body size range of 101–1000 g and with habitat requirements that are sensitive to fire (e.g. dense ground cover): in 66.6 and 69.7% of pairwise comparisons, abundance or a demographic parameter were higher in unburnt than burnt sites. This systematic review demonstrates that there remains a continued focus on simple shifts in abundance with regards to effect of fire and small mammals, which limits understanding of mechanisms responsible for change. Body size and habitat preference were most important in explaining variation in small mammal species’ responses to fire.
Keywords disturbance
effect size
model selection
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Created: Wed, 19 Aug 2015, 12:28:09 CST