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Landscape characteristics associated with species richness and occurrence of small native mammals inhabiting a coastal heathland: a spatial modelling approach

Gibson, Lesley A., Wilson, Barbara and Aberton, John 2004, Landscape characteristics associated with species richness and occurrence of small native mammals inhabiting a coastal heathland: a spatial modelling approach, Biological conservation, vol. 120, no. 1, pp. 75-89, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2004.01.027.

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Title Landscape characteristics associated with species richness and occurrence of small native mammals inhabiting a coastal heathland: a spatial modelling approach
Author(s) Gibson, Lesley A.
Wilson, Barbara
Aberton, John
Journal name Biological conservation
Volume number 120
Issue number 1
Start page 75
End page 89
Publisher Applied Science Publishers
Place of publication Barking, England
Publication date 2004-11
ISSN 0006-3207
1873-2917
Keyword(s) geographic information system
habitat models
akaike information criterion
information-theoretic approach
small mammal assemblages
Summary In the coastal region of south-western Victoria, Australia, populations of native small mammal species are restricted to patches of suitable habitat in a highly fragmented landscape. The size and spatial arrangement of these patches is likely to influence both the occupancy and richness of species at a location. Geographic Information System (GIS)-based habitat models of the species richness of native small mammals, and individual species  occurrences, were developed to produce maps displaying the spatial  configuration of suitable habitat. Models were generated using either generalised linear Poisson regression (for species richness) or logistic regression (for species occurrences) with species richness or  presence/absence as the dependent variable and landscape variables, extracted from both GIS data layers and multi-spectral digital imagery, as the predictor variables. A multi-model inference approach based on the Akaike Information Criterion was used and the resulting model was applied in a GIS framework to extrapolate predicted richness/likelihood of occurrence across the entire area of the study. A negative association between species  richness and elevation, habitat complexity and sun index indicated that richness within the study area decreases with increasing altitude, vertical vegetation structure and exposure to solar radiation. Landform  characteristics were important (to varying degrees) in determining habitat occupancy for all of the species examined, while the influence of habitat complexity was important for only one of the species. Performance of all but one of the models generated using presence/absence data was high, as indicated by the area under the curve of a receiver-operating characteristic plot. The effective conservation of the small mammal species in the area of concern is likely to depend on management actions that promote the protection of the critical habitats identified in the models.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2004.01.027
Field of Research 050104 Landscape Ecology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Elsevier Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002728

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Ecology and Environment
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