Response to commentary by Woinarski (Critical-weight-range marsupials in northern Australia are declining: a commentary on Fisher et al. (2014) 'The current decline of tropical marsupials in Australia: is history repeating?')

Diana Fisher, Christopher Johnson, Michael Lawes, Susanne Fritz, Hamish McCallum, Simon Blomberg, Jeremy VanDerWal, Brett Abbott, Anke Frank, Sarah Legge, Mike Letnic, Colette Thomas, Alaric Fisher, Iain Gordon, Alex Kutt

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    Abstract

    The recent commentary by Woinarski (2014, Global Ecology and Biogeography, doi: 10.1111/geb.12165) disagreed with our conclusions on the correlates of decline in the marsupials of tropical Australia (Fisher etal., 2014, Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23, 181-190). We compared traits of species that were associated with range decline in southern and northern Australia. We found that habitat structure, climate and body size were correlated with range decline. In the north, declines of marsupials were most severe in savanna with moderate rainfall. In the south, the ranges of species in open habitat with very low rainfall have declined most. Also, the association between range decline and body mass differed between north and south: this is the main concern of Woinarski, who further disagreed with our choice of the Tropic of Capricorn as a boundary between north and south, our omission of rodents, how to treat timing of extinctions, and our inference that cats are major drivers of decline. We address these concerns in this response. 
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)123-125
    Number of pages3
    JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
    Volume24
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

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    Fisher, D., Johnson, C., Lawes, M., Fritz, S., McCallum, H., Blomberg, S., VanDerWal, J., Abbott, B., Frank, A., Legge, S., Letnic, M., Thomas, C., Fisher, A., Gordon, I., & Kutt, A. (2015). Response to commentary by Woinarski (Critical-weight-range marsupials in northern Australia are declining: a commentary on Fisher et al. (2014) 'The current decline of tropical marsupials in Australia: is history repeating?'). Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24(1), 123-125. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12252