Predicting loss and fragmentation of habitat of the vulnerable subtropical rainforest tree Macadamia integrifolia with models developed from compiled ecological data
Powell, Michael, Accad, Arnon, Austin, Mike, Low Choy, Samantha, Williams, Kristen, & Shapcott, Alison (2010) Predicting loss and fragmentation of habitat of the vulnerable subtropical rainforest tree Macadamia integrifolia with models developed from compiled ecological data. Biological Conservation, 143(6), 1385 -1396 .
Habitat models are widely used in ecology, however there are relatively few studies of rare species, primarily because of a paucity of survey records and lack of robust means of assessing accuracy of modelled spatial predictions. We investigated the potential of compiled ecological data in developing habitat models for Macadamia integrifolia, a vulnerable mid-stratum tree endemic to lowland subtropical rainforests of southeast Queensland, Australia. We compared performance of two binomial models—Classification and Regression Trees (CART) and Generalised Additive Models (GAM)—with Maximum Entropy (MAXENT) models developed from (i) presence records and available absence data and (ii) developed using presence records and background data. The GAM model was the best performer across the range of evaluation measures employed, however all models were assessed as potentially useful for informing in situ conservation of M. integrifolia, A significant loss in the amount of M. integrifolia habitat has occurred (p < 0.05), with only 37% of former habitat (pre-clearing) remaining in 2003. Remnant patches are significantly smaller, have larger edge-to-area ratios and are more isolated from each other compared to pre-clearing configurations (p < 0.05). Whilst the network of suitable habitat patches is still largely intact, there are numerous smaller patches that are more isolated in the contemporary landscape compared with their connectedness before clearing. These results suggest that in situ conservation of M. integrifolia may be best achieved through a landscape approach that considers the relative contribution of small remnant habitat fragments to the species as a whole, as facilitating connectivity among the entire network of habitat patches.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.|
|Deposited On:||12 Aug 2010 04:15|
|Last Modified:||02 Sep 2012 22:59|
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