Multi-scaled habitat considerations for conserving urban biodiversity: native reptiles and small mammals in Brisbane, Australia
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The rapid expansion of the world's urban population is a major driver of contemporary landscape change and ecosystem modification. Urbanisation destroys, degrades and fragments native ecosystems, replacing them with a heterogeneous matrix of urban development, parks, roads, and isolated remnant fragments of varying size and quality. This presents a major challenge for biodiversity conservation within urban areas. To make spatially explicit decisions about urban biodiversity conservation actions, urban planners and managers need to be able to separate the relative influence of landscape composition and configuration from patch and local (site)-scale variables for a range of fauna species. We address this problem using a hierarchical landscape approach for native, terrestrial reptiles and small mammals living in a fragmented semi-urban landscape of Brisbane, Australia. Generalised linear modelling and hierarchical partitioning analysis were applied to quantify the relative influence of landscape composition and configuration, patch size and shape, and local habitat composition and structure on the species' richness of mammal and reptile assemblages. Landscape structure (composition and configuration) and local-scale habitat structure variables were found to be most important for influencing reptile and mammal assemblages, although the relative importance of specific variables differed between reptile and mammal assemblages. These findings highlight the importance of considering landscape composition and configuration in addition to local habitat elements when planning and/or managing for the conservation of native, terrestrial fauna diversity in urban landscapes.
Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified