Edge effects across boundaries between natural and restored jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forests in south‐western Australia

Michael Craig, V.L. Stokes, G.E. Stj. Hardy, Richard Hobbs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Edge effects are a widespread and ubiquitous ecological phenomenon, yet they remain poorly studied across edges between restored and natural forests. To address this lack of knowledge, we studied vertebrate communities across edges between 3-year old restored mine-pits and adjacent unmined forest in the jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest of south-western Australia. We found that mammal communities showed no edge response but reptile communities did. Overall reptile abundance and Morethia obscura abundance were higher in unmined forest along edges, Egernia napoleonis abundance was lower in unmined forest along edges, while Pogona minor abundance was lower in restored mine-pits along edges. Predictive models were unable to predict species edge responses, due to the lack of knowledge of the ecology of jarrah forest reptiles, but proved useful in identifying potential ecological mechanisms behind observed edge responses and suggested that potential mechanisms were likely different for each species. Our study is the first to show edge responses in both habitats forming the edge between restored and natural forests, emphasizing the importance of studying both habitats forming the edge. Our results also suggest that, despite being poorly studied, edge responses are common across edges between restored and natural forest and result from a variety of ecological mechanisms. An increased understanding of the ecological mechanisms driving edge responses across edges between restored and natural forests will improve our ability to integrate restored areas into cross-landscape management and, ultimately, improve our ability to manage landscapes for biodiversity conservation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)186-197
    JournalAustral Ecology
    Volume40
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

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