Plant pathogens causing vegetation dieback: a serious threat to the conservation of small mammals in Australia

Garkaklis, Mark, Armistead, Rodney, Wilson, Barbara, Dell, Bernie and St J. Hardy, Giles 2003, Plant pathogens causing vegetation dieback: a serious threat to the conservation of small mammals in Australia, in 3rd International Wildlife Management Congress : programme and abstracts, Landcare New Zealand, New Zealand, pp. 175-175.

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Title Plant pathogens causing vegetation dieback: a serious threat to the conservation of small mammals in Australia
Author(s) Garkaklis, Mark
Armistead, Rodney
Wilson, Barbara
Dell, Bernie
St J. Hardy, Giles
Conference name International Wildlife Management Congress (3rd : 2003 : Christchurch, N.Z.)
Conference location Christchurch, N.Z.
Conference dates 1-5 December 2003
Title of proceedings 3rd International Wildlife Management Congress : programme and abstracts
Publication date 2003
Start page 175
End page 175
Publisher Landcare New Zealand
Place of publication New Zealand
Summary The soil-borne plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi occurs in most Australian states. It is pathogenic to many Australian species, particularly the Proteaceae, Fabaceae, Dillineaceae and Epacridaceae. In Western Australia, c. 2000 of the 9000 endemic plant species are directly affected by the disease. The epidemic of plant deaths caused by P. cinnamomi is recognised as one of 11 Key Threatening Processes to the Australian Environment, and is now also acknowledged as a potential threat fauna in a range of communities. The implications of landscape modification due to the effects of P. cinnamomi dieback prompted our research, designed to measure the distribution and abundance of small mammals in disease-affected ecosystems. This study was in the Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forests in the Darling Range, Western Australia and measured the distribution and abundance of one small mammal species, the Mardo (Antechinus flavipes) by Elliott trapping in forests with (1) high, (2) mixed and (3) no evidence of Phytophthora dieback. Trap success was highest in sites with no effect of Phytophthora (7.3 animals per 100 trap nights), whereas the lowest trap success was recorded at the high impact sites (0.67 animals per 100 trap night). There was a significant difference in trap success of Mardos in Elliott trapping over 1800 trap nights (x2= 23.19, d.f = 5, p < 0.001). An examination of the distribution of individuals and sexes suggests that Phytophthora-affected sites act as sinks for Mardos, while source areas are healthy, unaffected Jarrah forest.
Language eng
Field of Research 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category L3 Extract of paper (minor conferences)
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