Regrowth and revegetation in temperate Australia presents a conservation challenge for reptile fauna in agricultural landscapes

Regrowth and revegetation in temperate Australia presents a conservation challenge for reptile... Secondary vegetation, associated with changes in land use, presents a conservation issue in the preservation of biological diversity in agricultural landscapes. We examine the interactive effect of eucalypt regrowth and rock habitat on reptile species richness and assemblage structure in fragmented agricultural landscapes in south-eastern Australia. Zoogeographic and geomorphic factors influenced species richness and community composition. Saxicolous and arboreal species were less abundant in grassy woodland regrowth, whereas Bassian and fossorial species responded positively to forest regrowth (and tree plantings). Regrowth with rock habitat had higher reptile richness, and more old growth-associated taxa, than regrowth without rock habitat. Thus, the presence of saxicolous habitat can reduce the time required for regrowth to attain a climax community structure and elements of old growth fauna. However, in the absence of vegetation management, secondary vegetation can reduce habitat suitability for a broad range of reptiles. In agricultural landscapes historically supporting savannah-like vegetation, habitat manipulation may be necessary to maintain reptile diversity. Furthermore, tree plantings in temperate agricultural landscapes should aim to restore historical vegetation composition and structure, thereby reflecting the habitat requirements of extant species and facilitating evolutionary processes. In grassy woodland ecosystems, this may involve heterogeneous plantings which emulate natural levels of canopy cover and solar penetration. Maintaining biodiversity in agricultural landscapes will therefore involve managing trade-offs to preserve areas of dense regeneration for regrowth-dependant fauna, while at the same time, creating open-canopy environments to enhance habitat for ectothermic organisms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Regrowth and revegetation in temperate Australia presents a conservation challenge for reptile fauna in agricultural landscapes

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/regrowth-and-revegetation-in-temperate-australia-presents-a-L7dHkHWV6A
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2010.09.019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Secondary vegetation, associated with changes in land use, presents a conservation issue in the preservation of biological diversity in agricultural landscapes. We examine the interactive effect of eucalypt regrowth and rock habitat on reptile species richness and assemblage structure in fragmented agricultural landscapes in south-eastern Australia. Zoogeographic and geomorphic factors influenced species richness and community composition. Saxicolous and arboreal species were less abundant in grassy woodland regrowth, whereas Bassian and fossorial species responded positively to forest regrowth (and tree plantings). Regrowth with rock habitat had higher reptile richness, and more old growth-associated taxa, than regrowth without rock habitat. Thus, the presence of saxicolous habitat can reduce the time required for regrowth to attain a climax community structure and elements of old growth fauna. However, in the absence of vegetation management, secondary vegetation can reduce habitat suitability for a broad range of reptiles. In agricultural landscapes historically supporting savannah-like vegetation, habitat manipulation may be necessary to maintain reptile diversity. Furthermore, tree plantings in temperate agricultural landscapes should aim to restore historical vegetation composition and structure, thereby reflecting the habitat requirements of extant species and facilitating evolutionary processes. In grassy woodland ecosystems, this may involve heterogeneous plantings which emulate natural levels of canopy cover and solar penetration. Maintaining biodiversity in agricultural landscapes will therefore involve managing trade-offs to preserve areas of dense regeneration for regrowth-dependant fauna, while at the same time, creating open-canopy environments to enhance habitat for ectothermic organisms.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2011

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off