Does resource availability govern vertical stratification of small mammals in an Australian lowland tropical rainforest?

Rader, Romina, and Krockenberger, Andrew (2006) Does resource availability govern vertical stratification of small mammals in an Australian lowland tropical rainforest? Wildlife Research, 33 (7). pp. 571-576.

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Abstract

Mammal assemblages of rainforest communities are commonly vertically stratified. This can be associated with competition for, or access to, resources in the upper canopy layers of the forest. This study investigated the extent of vertical stratification in a small mammal community of a tropical rainforest and whether any structure was related to resource abundance. The mammal community was vertically stratified, with Pogonomys mollipilosus and Cercartetus caudatus found only in the upper canopy layers and Rattus sp., Isoodon macrourus and Antechinus flavipes rubeculus on the ground and in the understorey layer. Melomys cervinipes and Uromys caudimaculatus were found at all four height layers. Total rodent captures were not significantly correlated with the abundance of fruit and flower resources, but arboreal captures of M. cervinipes and P. mollipilosus were correlated with the number of individual canopy trees of four prominent flower- and fruit-yielding species: Syzigium sayeri, Acmena graveolens, Argyrodendron perelatum and Castanospermum australe. We suggest that arboreal behaviour in these rodents serves to provide the advantages of first access to food resources, the availability of abundant resources in the canopy, and, ultimately, reduced competition in the upper strata.

Item ID: 3811
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: tropical rainforest; small mammals; resource availability; vertical stratification
ISSN: 1448-5494
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2009 23:55
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 4
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