Fire severity alters spatio-temporal movements and habitat utilisation by an arboreal marsupial, the mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami)

Berry, L.E., Lindenmayer, D.B., Dennis, T.E., Driscoll, D.A. and Banks, S.C. 2016, Fire severity alters spatio-temporal movements and habitat utilisation by an arboreal marsupial, the mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami), International journal of wildland fire, vol. 25, no. 12, pp. 1291-1302, doi: 10.1071/WF15204.

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Title Fire severity alters spatio-temporal movements and habitat utilisation by an arboreal marsupial, the mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami)
Formatted title Fire severity alters spatio-temporal movements and habitat utilisation by an arboreal marsupial, the mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami)
Author(s) Berry, L.E.
Lindenmayer, D.B.
Dennis, T.E.
Driscoll, D.A.ORCID iD for Driscoll, D.A. orcid.org/0000-0002-1560-5235
Banks, S.C.
Journal name International journal of wildland fire
Volume number 25
Issue number 12
Start page 1291
End page 1302
Total pages 12
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Clayton, Vic.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1049-8001
1448-5516
Keyword(s) biodiversity
ecosystems
fire regimes
mosaic
post-fire effects
Summary Understanding how severe wildfires influence faunal movement is essential for predicting how changes in fire regimes will affect ecosystems. We examined the effects of fire severity distribution on spatial and temporal variation in movement of an Australian arboreal mammal, the mountain brushtail possum (Trichosurus cunninghami). We used GPS telemetry to characterise the movements of 18 possums in landscapes burnt to differing extents by a large wildfire. We identified a temporal change in movement patterns in response to fire. In unburnt landscapes, individuals moved greater distances early and late in the night and had less overlap in the areas used for foraging and denning, than in high-severity burnt landscapes. Habitat selection was dependent on the spatial context of fire in the surrounding landscape. Forest recently burnt at high severity may provide suitable habitat for species such as the mountain brushtail possum, if protected from subsequent disturbance, such as salvage logging. However, spatial and temporal patterns of habitat use and selection differ considerably between burnt and undisturbed landscapes. The spatial outcomes of ecological disturbances such as wildfires have the potential to alter the behaviour and functional roles of fauna across large areas.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/WF15204
Field of Research 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
060207 Population Ecology
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
0705 Forestry Sciences
0502 Environmental Science And Management
0602 Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, IAWF
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30090585

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