Mammal Species Diversity in Australian Heathlands: the Importance of Pyric Succession and Habitat Diversity

  • B. J. Fox
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 43)


Many of the ecological studies of Australian small mammals have related to the effects of fire, predominantly forest fire (Cowley et al. 1969; Christensen and Kimber 1975; Newsome et al. 1975; Recher et al. 1975, 1978; Schmidt and Mason 1975; Fox and McKay 1981). Cockburn (1978) and Fox (1980; 1982b) are the only studies dealing specifically with heathland regeneration after fire. However, the areas studied by both Newsome et al. (1975) and Recher et al. (1975) contained heath components, as did that of Catling and Newsome (1981) who recently explored the proposition that Australian vertebrate fauna has adapted to an environment subject to frequent burning over evolutionary time, as has been suggested for the flora by Mount (1964) and Gill (1975). Newsome and Catling (1979) produced a habitat complexity score, made up of components important to heathland small mammal species, and used it to analyse faunal habitat relations in lowland and highland heaths, and changes in small mammal faunas in pyric succession.


Small Mammal Regeneration Niche Recovery Index Myall Lake Southern Community 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1983

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  • B. J. Fox

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