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Fire impacts recruitment more than survival of small-mammals in a tropical savanna

Griffiths, Anthony D. and Brook, Barry W. (2015). Fire impacts recruitment more than survival of small-mammals in a tropical savanna. Ecosphere,6(6).

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Fire impacts recruitment more than survival of small-mammals in a tropical savanna
Author Griffiths, Anthony D.
Brook, Barry W.
Journal Name Ecosphere
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 6
Issue Number 6
ISSN 2150-8925   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84927947451
Total Pages 22
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher Ecological Society of America
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract The frequency and spatial patterning of fire for optimal biodiversity conservation is often poorly understood by managers, in part due to a lack of understanding of the mechanisms responsible for altering population dynamics of individual species. We investigated changes in the vital rates (survival and recruitment) of four small mammal species (three marsupials and one rodent) in a tropical savanna under four different experimental fire treatments applied at a landscape scale. Apparent survival declined in all fire treatments for only one of four small mammal species (northern brown bandicoot Isoodon macrourus). Recruitment was reduced in three of four species in multiple fire treatments. The suppression of recruitment in the northern brown bandicoot and the brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula populations was greatest immediately after the initial fire treatment was applied, compared to remaining treatment applications in successive years, possibly due to an elevated fire intensity as a result of higher initial fuel loads. The results suggest that higher intensity fire impacted recruitment more than survival for small mammals at this site. To assist fire managers to conserve small mammal populations in tropical savannas, we recommend fire regimes that optimise habitat resources for recruitment. This may be achieved by a reduction in fire frequency and managing fuel loads to prevent an increase in fire intensity.
Keywords Australia
Antechinus bellus
Apparent survival
Dasyurus hallucatus
Fire experiement
Isoodon macrourus
Melomys burtoni
Trichosurus vulpecula
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Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 3.0 License

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