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Relationship between body weight and elevation in Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri)

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-10, 04:09 authored by JL Williams, D Harley, Darcy James WatchornDarcy James Watchorn, L McBurney, DB Lindenmayer
The body size of mammals is influenced by several evolutionary, morphological, physiological and ecological factors. Studies of body size can provide insight into the processes underlying observed variation in patterns of mammal morphology. We sought to determine if body weight in Leadbeater’s possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) is related to environmental variables and/or sex. Using linear regression modelling, we quantified the influence on body weight of broadscale geographic variables such as latitude and elevation, site-level indicators of forest productivity (forest type, slope, aspect and topographic wetness) and an individual-level variable (sex). We found that body weight was significantly associated with elevation and sex, with individuals being heavier at higher elevations and males (on average) being heavier than females. Monitoring body weight changes over time within particular forest types will be valuable, given the variations in temperature and resource productivity throughout the range of Leadbeater’s possum that are likely to arise from climate change.

History

Journal

Australian Journal of Zoology

Volume

69

Pagination

167-174

ISSN

0004-959X

eISSN

1446-5698

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Editor/Contributor(s)

Cooper P

Issue

5

Publisher

CSIRO PUBLISHING