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Title: Fine-scale habitat preferences and habitat partitioning by three mycophagous mammals in tropical wet sclerophyll forest, north-eastern Australia
Contributor(s): Vernes, KA (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2003
DOI: 10.1046/j.1442-9993.2003.01303.x
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Abstract: Fine-scale habitat preferences of three co-occurring mycophagous mammals were examined in a tropical wet sclerophyll forest community in north-eastern Australia. Two of the three mammal species responded to fine-scale variation in vegetation and landform around individual trap locations. At a broad scale, the northern bettong (Bettongia tropica), an endangered marsupial endemic to the Australian wet tropics region, showed a preference for ridges over mid-slopes and gullies, irrespective of forest type. In contrast, the northern brown bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus), a widespread marsupial, displayed a preference for Eucalyptus woodland over adjacent Allocasuarina forest, irrespective of topographic category. The giant white-tailed rat (Uromys caudimaculatus), a rodent endemic to the wet tropics, showed no particular preference for either forest type or topographic category. A multiple regression model of mammal capture success against three principal habitat gradients constructed from 21 habitat variables using principal component analysis indicated strong species-specific preferences for fine-scale vegetation assemblages. Bettongs preferred areas of Eucalyptus woodland with sparse ground cover, low densities of certain grass species, high density of tree stems and few pig diggings. Bandicoots, in contrast, favoured areas in both forest types with dense ground cover, fewer tree stems and greater numbers of pig diggings; that is, characteristics least favoured by bettongs. The striking differences in fine-scale habitat preferences of these two mammals of similar body size and broad habitat requirements suggest a high degree of fine-scale habitat partitioning. White-tailed rats did not show preference for any of the habitat gradients examined.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Austral Ecology, 28(5), p. 471-479
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1442-9985
Field of Research (FOR): 060801 Animal Behaviour
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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