Hollow selection by vertebrate fauna

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Hollow selection by vertebrate fauna
From: Laurie & Leanne Knight <>
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 18:30:37 +1000
I have received a digital copy of the following paper [published in the
current edition of Conservation Biology] from Phil Gibbons and can
forward copies on request ...

Hollow selection by vertebrate fauna in forests of southeastern
Australia and implications for forest management

P. Gibbonsa,*, D.B. Lindenmayera, S.C. Barryb,1, M.T. Tantonc

aCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National
University, Canberra, 0200, Australia

bDepartment of Statistics and Econometrics, The Australian National
University, Canberra, 0200, Australia

cDepartment of Forestry, The Australian National University, Canberra,
0200, Australia

Received 2 November 2000; received in revised form 14 April 2001;
accepted 20 April 2001


We examined the types of hollows, and types of hollow-bearing trees,
occupied by vertebrate fauna in temperate eucalypt forests in
southeastern Australia. Hollow-bearing trees are selected for retention
in wood production forests to mitigate the effects of logging on
hole-nesting fauna. A total of 471 hollows was examined in 228 trees
felled as part of routine logging operations. Fauna had occupied 43% of
all hollows (52cm minimum entrance width; 55cm depth). Hollows with
small (2.5cm), medium (6.10cm) and large (>10cm) minimum entrance widths
had occupancy rates of 29, 44 and 62%, respectively. The internal
dimensions of hollows, especially hollow depth, were the best predictors
of hollow occupancy, even when variables measured at the tree and site
levels were considered. Fauna occupied 57% of all hollow-bearing trees.
In a Poisson regression model, the number of hollows in trees that
contained evidence of occupancy was positively associated with: (1) the
total number of hollows visible in the tree; (2) the proportion of the
tree?s crown that contained dead branches; and (3) tree diameter. The
number of different vertebrate species that occupied trees was
positively associated with the same explanatory variables except tree
diameter. Thus, our results suggest that trees with multiple hollows and
dead branches in the crown should be preferentially selected for
occupancy by hollow-using fauna. Our results suggest that trees
with the largest diameter are not the most suitable for retention.
Possibly  because they contain proportionally fewer hollows with small
entrances, which are favoured by some vertebrate species.
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