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Habitat Requirements for the Conservation of Arboreal Marsupials in Dry Sclerophyll Forests of Southeast Queensland, Australia

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The habitat requirements of arboreal marsupials were investigated in the dry sclerophyll forests of southeast Queensland, Australia. Species richness and abundance of arboreal marsupials was correlated to the proportion of total stand basal area occupied by lemon-scented gum (Corymbia citriodora), the height of the tallest trees, and density of hollow-bearing trees. The first two factors suggested that the most productive forests were also the most suitable habitats for arboreal marsupials. Importantly, the number of hollow-bearing trees was a significant factor in determining species richness and abundance of arboreal marsupials in this study, with the maximum number of species reached at sites containing≥4 hollow-bearing trees/ha, and maximum abundance occurring at sites with≥6 hollow-bearing trees/ha. The proportion of C. citriodora was significant for the presence of the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), greater glider (Petauroides volans), and the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis), while understory Acacia sp. density was important for the presence of the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps). The yellow-bellied glider was also affected by two other variables: the density of hollow-bearing trees >50 cm diameter at breast height (dbh), and the time since the last logging. Current “Codes of Practice” regulating the density of hollow-bearing trees and silvicultural practices in state-owned timber production forests appear to provide adequate protection for arboreal marsupials, but the recently introduced increase in timber extraction rates within state forests may be detrimental to the animals. Also, protective prescriptions do not apply to the privately owned and leasehold estates, which contain the majority of the dry sclerophyll forests in southeast Queensland. FOR. SCI. 48(2):217–227.

Keywords: Arboreal marsupials; environmental management; eucalyptus forest; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; habitat; habitat trees; hollow-bearing trees; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, The University of Queensland, Australia, 4072, Phone: 61-7-33461450; Fax: 61-7-33651699 2: Department of Botany, The University of Queensland, Australia, 4072, Phone: 61-7-33652045 3: Department of Zoology and Entomology, The University of Queensland, Australia, 4072, Phone: 61-7-33652450 4: Environmental Management and Conservation Branch, Maroochy Shire Council, Queensland, Australia, 4560, Phone: 61-7-54418206

Publication date: May 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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