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Digging and soil turnover by a mycophagous marsupial

Garkaklis, M.J., Bradley, J.S. and Wooller, R.D. (2004) Digging and soil turnover by a mycophagous marsupial. Journal of Arid Environments, 56 (3). pp. 569-578.

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The woylie Bettongia penicillata is a small (1 kg) kangaroo-like marsupial that digs to obtain the fruiting bodies of fungi. The number of woylies in a 60 ha area of sclerophyll woodland in south-western Australia was estimated using mark-recapture at 3 month intervals over 3 successive years. The number of new diggings by woylies, determined at the same intervals, allowed an assessment of the rate of digging per individual. This varied three-fold from 38 to 114 diggings per individual per night, with no consistent seasonality. On average, each woylie displaced 4.8 tonnes of soil annually.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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