Interactions Between Rainforest Trees and Their Vertebrate Seed Predators in Continuous and Fragmented Habitat

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Catterall, Carla
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Zalucki, Jacinta
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2017
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Abstract

Ground-active vertebrates can potentially exert a strong influence over the community composition of rainforest trees because they are significant predators of seeds. If the fragmentation of rainforest habitat alters the species composition of vertebrate seed predator assemblages, or patterns of interaction between seed predators and tree species, the subsequent patterns of tree recruitment are also likely to be affected. However, these interactions have not previously been investigated at a community-level. This thesis investigated patterns of community-level interactions between species of ground-active vertebrate seed predators and seeds from a range of common local rainforest tree species in the Big Scrub region of subtropical eastern Australia. In six sites in continuous forest and six sites in fragmented rainforest, ground-active vertebrates were surveyed using automated infra-red videos cameras and predation on seeds of 20 tree species were assessed at experimental seed stations. In addition, laboratory analysis of the physical and chemical traits of the 20 rainforest tree species were conducted.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Griffith School of Environment
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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
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Subject
Rainforest ecology
Seed dispersal by vertebrates
Ground-active vertebrates
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