Recolonisation of powerline corridor vegetation by small mammals : timing and the influence of vegetation management

Clarke, Donna J. and White, John G. 2008, Recolonisation of powerline corridor vegetation by small mammals : timing and the influence of vegetation management, Landscape and urban planning, vol. 87, no. 2, pp. 108-116, doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2008.04.009.

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Title Recolonisation of powerline corridor vegetation by small mammals : timing and the influence of vegetation management
Author(s) Clarke, Donna J.
White, John G.ORCID iD for White, John G.
Journal name Landscape and urban planning
Volume number 87
Issue number 2
Start page 108
End page 116
Total pages 9
Publisher Elsevier B.V.
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2008-08-11
ISSN 0169-2046
Keyword(s) mammal succession
vegetation succession
Summary Powerline corridors through forested ecosystems have been criticised due their potential to fragment the landscape and facilitate the intrusion of undesirable species into natural areas. This study investigates the effects of vegetation management (slashing), on: (1) timing of small mammal recolonisation; (2) vegetation characteristics that drive small mammal responses; and (3) the point where corridor resources are sufficient to provide functional habitat for native species. Small mammal trapping was undertaken within Bunyip State Park, Australia, across three sites, once a month from January 2001 to May 2002 and every 2 months thereafter until January 2004. Changes in vegetation around each trap station were assessed annually in the forest and bi-annually in the corridor. Principal components analysis on the vegetation structural complexity values produced factors for use in species abundance models. Native small mammal species recolonised the corridor 1.5–3.5 years after management and the corridor supported a breeding population of small mammals around 2.5 years post-management. Males however, generally recolonised the corridor first, resulting in a sex-biased population in these areas. Species corridor habitat models for five native and one introduced species suggested cover and shelter were more important in determining corridor use than plant species per se. Powerline corridors have the potential to create a mixture of different successional stages, enhancing habitat availability for many species. However, the intensity of current management needs to be reduced and an integrated approach to management needs to be undertaken if powerline corridors are to continuously provide habitat for native small mammal species.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2008.04.009
Field of Research 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Elsevier B.V.
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