Journal article

The importance of fine-scale savanna heterogeneity for reptiles and small mammals

B Price, AS Kutt, CA McAlpine



Tropical savannas are an important reservoir of global biodiversity. Australia's extensive savannas, although still largely intact, are experiencing substantial declines in terrestrial biodiversity due to a variety of interrelated effects of altered fire regimes, grazing and increases in invasive species. These disturbance processes are spatially variable, combine to increase landscape to local-scale landscape heterogeneity, but rarely result in well-defined patch boundaries. We quantified the importance of this heterogeneity for native reptile and small mammal species in a tropical savanna landscape of Queensland, Australia. We used high resolution remote sensing imagery (IKONOS) to map hab..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council (ARC)

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project DP0667029: "Beyond discrete landscape metrics: spatial analysis tools and surface textural measures for quantifying gradients in landscape structure". We are grateful for the help of numerous landholders in granting us access to their properties for the survey: the Bodes (Woura Park and Timaru) and Haydons (Penrice). Michiala Bowen (The University of Queensland) assisted greatly with vegetation surveys and Figure design. Eric Vanderduys and Justin Perry (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems) provided valuable assistance with the fauna surveys, which was funded by CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems and the Australian Government Natural Heritage Trust.