Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 69–78

Efficacy of exclusion fencing to protect ephemeral floodplain lagoon habitats from feral pigs (Sus scrofa)

  • Robert G. Doupé
  • Jim Mitchell
  • Matthew J. Knott
  • Aaron M. Davis
  • Alan J. Lymbery
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11273-009-9149-3

Cite this article as:
Doupé, R.G., Mitchell, J., Knott, M.J. et al. Wetlands Ecol Manage (2010) 18: 69. doi:10.1007/s11273-009-9149-3

Abstract

Foraging by feral pigs can strongly affect wetland vegetation assemblages and so too wider ecological processes, although their effects on freshwater ecosystems have seldom been studied. We assessed the ecological effects of pig foraging in replicate fenced and unfenced ephemeral floodplain lagoons in tropical north-eastern Australia. Pig foraging activities in unfenced lagoons caused major changes to aquatic macrophyte communities and as a consequence, to the proportional amounts of open water and bare ground. The destruction of macrophyte communities and upheaval of wetland sediments significantly affected wetland turbidity, and caused prolonged anoxia and pH imbalances in the unfenced treatments. Whilst fencing of floodplain lagoons will protect against feral pig foraging activities, our repeated measures of many biological, physical and chemical parameters inferred that natural seasonal (i.e. temporal) effects had a greater influence on these variables than did pigs. To validate this observation requires measuring how these effects are influenced by the seemingly greater annual disturbance regime of variable flooding and drying in this tropical climate.

Keywords

Ecological disturbance regimes Feral animal control Introduced ungulates 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert G. Doupé
    • 1
  • Jim Mitchell
    • 2
  • Matthew J. Knott
    • 1
  • Aaron M. Davis
    • 1
  • Alan J. Lymbery
    • 3
  1. 1.Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater ResearchJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Tropical Weeds Research CentreDepartment of Primary Industries and FisheriesCharters TowersAustralia
  3. 3.Fish Health Unit, Centre for Fish and Fisheries ResearchMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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