The use of topographic fire refuges by the greater glider (Petauroides volans) and the mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami) following a landscape-scale fire

Laurence E. Berry, Don A. Driscoll, Samuel C. Banks, David B. Lindenmayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We examined the abundance of arboreal marsupials in topographic fire refuges after a major fire in a stand-replacing crown-fire forest ecosystem. We surveyed the abundance of arboreal marsupials across 48 sites in rainforest gullies burnt to differing extents by the 2009 fires in the mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests of the Victorian Central Highlands, Australia. The greater glider (Petauroides volans) was less abundant within the extent of the 2009 fire. The mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami) was more abundant within the extent of the 2009 fire, particularly within unburnt peninsulas protruding into burnt areas from unburnt edges. Our results indicate that fire refuges may facilitate the persistence of some species within extensively burnt landscapes. Additional work should seek to clarify this finding and identify the demographic mechanisms underlying this response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Mammalogy
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Trichosurus
refuge
mountains
mountain
marsupial
Metatheria
Eucalyptus regnans
gully
possums
rainforest
forest ecosystems
forest ecosystem
tree crown
rain forests
highlands
ash
demographic statistics
persistence

Cite this

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title = "The use of topographic fire refuges by the greater glider (Petauroides volans) and the mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami) following a landscape-scale fire",
abstract = "We examined the abundance of arboreal marsupials in topographic fire refuges after a major fire in a stand-replacing crown-fire forest ecosystem. We surveyed the abundance of arboreal marsupials across 48 sites in rainforest gullies burnt to differing extents by the 2009 fires in the mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests of the Victorian Central Highlands, Australia. The greater glider (Petauroides volans) was less abundant within the extent of the 2009 fire. The mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami) was more abundant within the extent of the 2009 fire, particularly within unburnt peninsulas protruding into burnt areas from unburnt edges. Our results indicate that fire refuges may facilitate the persistence of some species within extensively burnt landscapes. Additional work should seek to clarify this finding and identify the demographic mechanisms underlying this response.",
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The use of topographic fire refuges by the greater glider (Petauroides volans) and the mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami) following a landscape-scale fire. / Berry, Laurence E.; Driscoll, Don A.; Banks, Samuel C.; Lindenmayer, David B.

In: Australian Mammalogy, Vol. 37, No. 1, 06.02.2015, p. 39-45.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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