The Value of Countryside Elements in the Conservation of the Threatened Arboreal Marsupial Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis in Agricultural Landscapes of South-eastern Australia - the Disproportional Value of Scattered Trees dataset, 2005

Abstract: Human activities, particularly agriculture, have transformed much of the world’s terrestrial environment. Within these anthropogenic landscapes, a variety of relictual and semi-natural habitats exist, which we term countryside elements. The habitat value of countryside elements (‘elements’) is increasingly recognised. In association with the Nanangroe Plot network in the South-West Slopes of New South Wales, we quantify the relative value of four kinds of such ‘elements’ (linear roadside remnants, native vegetation patches, scattered trees and tree plantings) used by a threatened Australian arboreal marsupial, the squirrel glider Petaurus norfolcensis. We examined relationships between home range size and the availability of each ‘element’ and whether the actual usage was relative to predicted levels of usage. The usage of ‘elements’ by gliders was largely explained by their availability, however there was a preference for native vegetation patches and scattered trees. We found home range size was significantly smaller with increasing area of scattered trees and a contrasting effect with increasing area of linear roadside remnants or native vegetation patches. Our work showed that each ‘element’ was used and as such had a role in the conservation of the squirrel glider, but their relative value varied. We illustrate the need to assess the conservation value of countryside elements so they can be incorporated into the holistic management of agricultural landscapes. This work demonstrates the disproportional value of scattered trees, underscoring the need to specifically incorporate and /or enhance the protection and recruitment of scattered trees in biodiversity conservation policy and management. (Crane, M.J., Lindenmayer, D.B., Cunningham, R.B., 2014. The Value of Countryside Elements in the Conservation of a Threatened Arboreal Marsupial Petaurus norfolcensis in Agricultural Landscapes of South-Eastern Australia—The Disproportional Value of Scattered Trees. PLOS One. 9(9): e107178 http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0107178). Sampling method: Radio tracking data was collected between March and July 2005, mapping was developed in 2013 from 2005 SPOT5 imagery. Study extent: Our investigation encompassed five study areas within the south-west slopes of New South Wales, Australia (Fig. 1). The region is the most extensively and intensively disturbed of the 13 botanical regions of NSW, with an estimated 85% of the original cover of native vegetation removed in the past 200 years (Benson, 2008). The five study areas were located in heavily modified agricultural landscapes, used predominantly for livestock grazing and dryland cropping. Study areas were approximately 3km x 3km. Woody vegetation occurred primarily as relictual scattered paddock trees, native vegetation plantings and remnant temperate Eucalyptus woodlands on private lands, road reserves and travelling stock reserves.
Type
collection
Title
The Value of Countryside Elements in the Conservation of the Threatened Arboreal Marsupial Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis in Agricultural Landscapes of South-eastern Australia - the Disproportional Value of Scattered Trees dataset, 2005
Brief Title
Nanangroe Plantation Plot Network, 2005
Collection Type
Dataset
Access Privileges
Long Term Ecological Research Network
DOI - Digital Object Identifier
10.25911/5c443a25a2e20
Metadata Language
English
Data Language
English
Brief Description
This work demonstrates the disproportional value of scattered trees, underscoring the need to specifically incorporate and /or enhance the protection and recruitment of scattered trees in biodiversity conservation policy and management. (Crane, M.J., Lindenmayer, D.B., Cunningham, R.B., 2014. The Value of Countryside Elements in the Conservation of a Threatened Arboreal Marsupial Petaurus norfolcensis in Agricultural Landscapes of South-Eastern Australia—The Disproportional Value of Scattered Trees. PLOS One. 9(9): e107178, http://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pone.0107178).
Full Description
Abstract: Human activities, particularly agriculture, have transformed much of the world’s terrestrial environment. Within these anthropogenic landscapes, a variety of relictual and semi-natural habitats exist, which we term countryside elements. The habitat value of countryside elements (‘elements’) is increasingly recognised. In association with the Nanangroe Plot network in the South-West Slopes of New South Wales, we quantify the relative value of four kinds of such ‘elements’ (linear roadside remnants, native vegetation patches, scattered trees and tree plantings) used by a threatened Australian arboreal marsupial, the squirrel glider Petaurus norfolcensis. We examined relationships between home range size and the availability of each ‘element’ and whether the actual usage was relative to predicted levels of usage. The usage of ‘elements’ by gliders was largely explained by their availability, however there was a preference for native vegetation patches and scattered trees. We found home range size was significantly smaller with increasing area of scattered trees and a contrasting effect with increasing area of linear roadside remnants or native vegetation patches. Our work showed that each ‘element’ was used and as such had a role in the conservation of the squirrel glider, but their relative value varied. We illustrate the need to assess the conservation value of countryside elements so they can be incorporated into the holistic management of agricultural landscapes. This work demonstrates the disproportional value of scattered trees, underscoring the need to specifically incorporate and /or enhance the protection and recruitment of scattered trees in biodiversity conservation policy and management. (Crane, M.J., Lindenmayer, D.B., Cunningham, R.B., 2014. The Value of Countryside Elements in the Conservation of a Threatened Arboreal Marsupial Petaurus norfolcensis in Agricultural Landscapes of South-Eastern Australia—The Disproportional Value of Scattered Trees. PLOS One. 9(9): e107178 http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0107178). Sampling method: Radio tracking data was collected between March and July 2005, mapping was developed in 2013 from 2005 SPOT5 imagery. Study extent: Our investigation encompassed five study areas within the south-west slopes of New South Wales, Australia (Fig. 1). The region is the most extensively and intensively disturbed of the 13 botanical regions of NSW, with an estimated 85% of the original cover of native vegetation removed in the past 200 years (Benson, 2008). The five study areas were located in heavily modified agricultural landscapes, used predominantly for livestock grazing and dryland cropping. Study areas were approximately 3km x 3km. Woody vegetation occurred primarily as relictual scattered paddock trees, native vegetation plantings and remnant temperate Eucalyptus woodlands on private lands, road reserves and travelling stock reserves.
Methods
1
Data Collection (spatial data)
The area of each countryside element available to an individual squirrel glider was calculated by measuring the total area of woody vegetation attributed to that ‘element’, within a 1000 m radius of the centre point of all fixes for each individual glider. A 1000 m radius was used, as 2000 m is approximately the maximum home range length that has been reported for this species (van der Ree and Bennett, 2003). The area of woody vegetation was measured using geographical information systems software (ArcGIS 9.2- Esri) to draw polygons over the canopy of woody vegetation interpreted from satellite imagery (SPOT5- Astrium GEO). Woody vegetation isolated by a gap distance of greater than 70 meters was considered unavailable to the glider (van der Ree et al., 2004).
ArcGIS 9.2- Esri, SPOT5- Astrium GEO
2
Plot setup
Sites were selected on the basis of having squirrel gliders present and also to ensure we had 5 spatial independent sites, each encapsulating a number of different countryside elements.
3
Data collection (radio- tracking data)
We captured gliders using drop-door, wire mesh cage traps (170 mm x 200 mm x 500 mm) over a three night period at each site in March 2005 (Crane et al., 2008). We fitted 32 gliders with a single stage brass loop radio transmitter, weighing 4.5 grams (Sirtrack, New Zealand). Gliders were radio-tracked to their diurnal denning site at least twice a week and to a nocturnal location at least 1-3 times a fortnight, over a 4-5 month period (Crane et al., 2008; Crane et al., 2012). For each fix, we recorded the countryside element in which the glider was located.
single stage brass loop radio transmitter, weighing 4.5 grams (Sirtrack, New Zealand).
File Descriptions
Countryside elements in the conservation of the threatened arboreal marsupial Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis in agricultural landscapes of south-eastern Australia (P206T462)
Animal
definitionIndividual animal code.
nominal text definitiontext
descriptionCountryside elements in the conservation of the threatened arboreal marsupial Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis in agricultural landscapes of south-eastern Australia Data
HOME RANGE 100%_est
definitionEstimated home range of individual animals using grid cell method - 100% of fixes used in calculation. Asterisk denotes insufficient fixes.
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
HOME RANGE 95%_est
definitionEstimated home range of individual animals using grid cell method - 95% of fixes used in calculation. Asterisk denotes insufficient fixes.
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
LRR_AvW
definitionWoody vegetation (linear roadside remnants) within 1 km radius, excluding vegetation isolated (>70 m gaps).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
LRR_DD
definitionUsage in "linear roadside remnant" denoted by number of diurnal radio tracking fixes for individual animal.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
LRR_N
definitionUsage in "linear roadside remnant" denoted by number of nocturnal radio tracking fixes for individual animal.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
LRR_W
definitionWoody vegetation within 1 km radius (linear roadside remnant).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
number of records32
NVP_AvW
definitionWoody vegetation (native vegetation patches) within 1 km radius, excluding vegetation isolated (>70 m gaps).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
NVP_DD
definitionUsage in "native vegetation" patch denoted by number of diurnal radio tracking fixes for individual animal.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
NVP_N
definitionUsage in "native vegetation patches" denoted by number of nocturnal radio tracking fixes for individual animal.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
NVP_W
definitionWoody vegetation within 1 km radius (native vegetation patches).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
Sex
definitionSex of animal.
nominal enumeration codes
FFemale
MMale
ST_AvW
definitionWoody vegetation (scattered trees) within 1 km radius, excluding vegetation isolated (>70 m gaps).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
ST_DD
definitionUsage in "scattered trees" area denoted by number of diurnal radio tracking fixes for individual animal.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
ST_N
definitionUsage in "scattered trees" area denoted by number of nocturnal radio tracking fixes for individual animal.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
ST_W
definitionWoody vegetation within 1 km radius (scattered trees).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
Total number of fixes
definitionNumber of radio tracking fixes.
interval number typenatural
interval standard unitnumber
Total_AvW
definitionWoody vegetation (all woody vegetation) within 1 km radius, excluding vegetation isolated (>70 m gaps).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
Total_W
definitionWoody vegetation within 1 km radius (all woody vegetation).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
TP_AvW
definitionWoody vegetation (tree plantings) within 1 km radius, excluding vegetation isolated (>70 m gaps).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
TP_DD
definitionUsage in "tree planting" area denoted by number of diurnal radio tracking fixes for individual animal.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
TP_N
definitionUsage in "tree planting" area denoted by number of nocturnal radio tracking fixes for individual animal.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitnumber
TP_W
definitionWoody vegetation within 1 km radius (tree plantings).
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unithectare
Weight
definitionAnimal weights (missing value denotes weights not recorded).
interval number typenatural
interval standard unitgram
Contact Email
david.lindenmayer@anu.edu.au; mason.crane@anu.edu.au; masoncrane@yahoo.com
Contact Address
Fenner School of Environment & Society ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment Frank Fenner Building 141 Linnaeus Way CANBERRA, ACT, 0200 Australia
Contact Phone Number
+61 2 612 50654; +61 427 770 594; +61 427 770 593
Contact Fax Number
+61 2 6125 0746
Principal Investigator
David Lindenmayer
Supervisors
David Lindenmayer
Collaborators
Ross Cunningham; Mason Crane
Fields of Research
0602 - Ecology
Keywords
GCMD:Earth Science > Biosphere > Vegetation; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Vegetation structure; keyword:Petaurus norfolcensis; keyword:countryside elements; keyword:home-range; Nanangroe Plantation
Taxonomic Classification
norfolcensis (Squirrel glider)
Type of Research Activity
Strategic basic research
Date Coverage
2005
Geospatial Location
text
South-West Slopes of New South Wales, Australia
iso19139dcmiBox
northlimit = -34.9758; southlimit = -36.0574; westlimit = 146.5718; eastLimit = 147.8947
Date of data creation
2014-07-31
Year of data publication
2014
Creator(s) for Citation
David
Lindenmayer
Mason
Crane
Publisher for Citation
Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN), ANU Data Commons, The Australian National University
Publications
doi
10.1371/journal.pone.0107178
The Value of Countryside Elements in the Conservation of a Threatened Arboreal Marsupial Petaurus norfolcensis in Agricultural Landscapes of South-Eastern Australia—The Disproportional Value of Scattered Trees
Crane, M.J., Lindenmayer, D.B., Cunningham, R.B., 2014. The Value of Countryside Elements in the Conservation of a Threatened Arboreal Marsupial Petaurus norfolcensis in Agricultural Landscapes of South-Eastern Australia—The Disproportional Value of Scattered Trees. PLOS One. 9(9): e107178 http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0107178
Related Websites
https://hdl.handle.net/1885/130861
ANU Open Research. Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) collection.
Other Related Identifiers
MorphoId:ltern2.80; PackageId:206
Access Rights Type
Open
Rights held in and over the data
Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-ND) is assigned to this data. Details of the licence can be found at http://creativecommons.org.au/licences.
Licence Type
CC-BY-ND - Attribution-NoDervis (Version 3.0)
Licence
LTERN Deed: 39 Date of execution: 2014-07-04 Licence: TERN-BY-ND-1_0
Retention Period
Indefinitely
Data Management Plan
No
Status: Published
Published to:
  • Australian National University
  • Australian National Data Service
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