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      Plant diversity and structure describe the presence of a new, threatened Australian marsupial within its highly restricted, post-fire habitat

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          Abstract

          Management of critical habitat for threatened species with small ranges requires location-specific, fine-scale survey data. The silver-headed antechinus ( Antechinus argentus) is known from only two isolated, fire-prone locations. At least one of these populations, at Kroombit Tops National Park in central-eastern Queensland, Australia, possesses a very small range. Here, we present detailed vegetation species diversity and structure data from three sites comprising the known habitat of A. argentus at Kroombit Tops and relate it to capture data obtained over two years. We found differences in both vegetation and capture data between burnt and unburnt habitat. Leaf litter and grasstrees ( Xanthorrhoea johnsonii) were the strongest vegetative predictors for A. argentus capture. The species declined considerably over the two years of the trapping study, and we raise concern for its survival at Kroombit Tops. We suggest that future work should focus on structural vegetative variables (specifically, the diameter and leaf density of grasstree crowns) and relate them to A. argentus occurrence. We also recommend a survey of invertebrate diversity in grasstrees and leaf litter with a comparison to A. argentus prey. The data presented here illustrates how critical detailed monitoring is for planning habitat management and fire regimes, and highlights the utility of a high-resolution approach to habitat mapping. While a traditional approach to fire management contends that pyrodiversity encourages biodiversity, the present study demonstrates that some species prefer long-unburnt habitat. Additionally, in predicting the distribution of rare species like A. argentus, data quality (i.e., spatial resolution) may prevail over data quantity (i.e., number of data).

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          Most cited references55

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          On the Relationship between Abundance and Distribution of Species

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            An improved approach for predicting the distribution of rare and endangered species from occurrence and pseudo-absence data

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              Fire and Mammalian Secondary Succession in an Australian Coastal Heath

              Barry Fox (1982)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                10 August 2017
                2017
                : 12
                : 8
                : e0182319
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
                [2 ] Queensland Museum, South Brisbane, Qld, Australia
                [3 ] Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing, Level 19, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
                University of Sydney, AUSTRALIA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3186-3728
                Article
                PONE-D-17-13209
                10.1371/journal.pone.0182319
                5552313
                28797038
                4c6f8869-f795-4e4f-a8ce-234036d7e8d7
                © 2017 Mason et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                History
                : 5 April 2017
                : 16 July 2017
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 3, Pages: 15
                Funding
                Funded by: Fitzroy Basin Association
                Award ID: RGD14
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: Burnett Mary Regional Group
                Award Recipient :
                EDM and AMB were funded by the Fitzroy Basin Association with activity agreement RGD14 ( https://www.fba.org.au/). EDM and AMB were also funded by the Burnett Mary Regional Group with activity agreement S150000 ( http://www.bmrg.org.au/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Wildfires
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Habitats
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Plant Science
                Plant Anatomy
                Leaves
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Plants
                Shrubs
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Community Ecology
                Trophic Interactions
                Predation
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Community Ecology
                Trophic Interactions
                Predation
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Animals
                Vertebrates
                Amniotes
                Mammals
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Conservation Science
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Plant Ecology
                Plant Communities
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Plant Ecology
                Plant Communities
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Plant Science
                Plant Ecology
                Plant Communities
                Custom metadata
                Data files are available at the following link: https://figshare.com/articles/Ground_cover_data_Kroombit_2014_xlsx/5249131.

                Uncategorized
                Uncategorized

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