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Does fire influence the landscape-scale distribution of an invasive mesopredator?

Payne, Catherine J, Ritchie, Euan G, Kelly, Luke T and Nimmo, Dale G 2014, Does fire influence the landscape-scale distribution of an invasive mesopredator?, PLoS One, vol. 9, no. 10, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107862.

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Title Does fire influence the landscape-scale distribution of an invasive mesopredator?
Author(s) Payne, Catherine J
Ritchie, Euan GORCID iD for Ritchie, Euan G orcid.org/0000-0003-4410-8868
Kelly, Luke T
Nimmo, Dale G
Journal name PLoS One
Volume number 9
Issue number 10
Article ID e107862
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher PLoS
Place of publication United States
Publication date 2014-10
ISSN 1932-6203
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
FOXES VULPES-VULPES
NEW-SOUTH-WALES
SMALL VERTEBRATE FAUNA
RED FOXES
BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
HOME-RANGE
VEGETATION STRUCTURE
POPULATION-DYNAMICS
WESTERN-AUSTRALIA
EASTERN AUSTRALIA
Summary Predation and fire shape the structure and function of ecosystems globally. However, studies exploring interactions between these two processes are rare, especially at large spatial scales. This knowledge gap is significant not only for ecological theory, but also in an applied context, because it limits the ability of landscape managers to predict the outcomes of manipulating fire and predators. We examined the influence of fire on the occurrence of an introduced and widespread mesopredator, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), in semi-arid Australia. We used two extensive and complimentary datasets collected at two spatial scales. At the landscape-scale, we surveyed red foxes using sand-plots within 28 study landscapes - which incorporated variation in the diversity and proportional extent of fire-age classes - located across a 104 000 km2 study area. At the site-scale, we surveyed red foxes using camera traps at 108 sites stratified along a century-long post-fire chronosequence (0-105 years) within a 6630 km2 study area. Red foxes were widespread both at the landscape and site-scale. Fire did not influence fox distribution at either spatial scale, nor did other environmental variables that we measured. Our results show that red foxes exploit a broad range of environmental conditions within semi-arid Australia. The presence of red foxes throughout much of the landscape is likely to have significant implications for native fauna, particularly in recently burnt habitats where reduced cover may increase prey species' predation risk.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0107862
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30070751

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.