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Habitat features act as unidirectional and dynamic filters to bat use of production landscapes

Burgar, J.M., Stokes, V.L. and Craig, M.D (2017) Habitat features act as unidirectional and dynamic filters to bat use of production landscapes. Biological Conservation, 209 . pp. 280-288.

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Conserving global biodiversity requires careful management of production landscapes, especially in this era of rapid environmental change. The habitat filtering framework has been used for predicting species responses to land-use changes. Habitat filters are essentially features that may slow, or limit, species use of certain habitats. We wanted to determine if this framework could identify habitat and landscape filters that predicted bat use of restored forest at the species-specific and trait group levels. We surveyed bat activity, vegetation structure, and landscape characteristics at 64 sites over two years in restored northern jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forests of south-western Australia. Filters to use of restored forest were present for all bats, other than the open space group. We detected dynamic filters to use of restored forest by the open space edge group and unidirectional filters for the closed space edge and closed space groups. Filters to bat use of restored forests were species-specific and related to habitat, rather than landscape, features. In landscapes with relatively low patch-matrix contrast, such as the northern jarrah forest, management actions to reduce filters should focus on habitat features. To manage for the persistence of specific species within restored forest patches, tree density and midstory cover should aim to be at, or close to, reference forest levels.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
UNSD Goals: Goal 15: Conserve Life on Land
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