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The status of hollow-bearing trees required for the conservation of arboreal marsupials in the dry sclerophyll forests of south-east Queensland, Australia
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Kevin WormingtonKevin Wormington, D Lamb, H McCallum, D Moloney
At 38 sites in the dry sclerophyll forests of south-east Queensland, Australia, hollow-bearing trees were studied to determine the effects of past forestry practices on their density, size and spatial distribution. The density of hollow-bearing trees was reduced at sites that had been altered by poisoning and ringbarking of unmerchantable trees. This was especially the case for living hollow-bearing trees that were now at densities too low to support the full range of arboreal marsupials. Although there are presently enough hollow-bearing stags (i.e., dead hollow-bearing trees) to provide additional denning and nesting opportunities, the standing life of these hollow-bearing stags is lower than the living counterparts which means dennning and nesting sites may be limited in the near future. The mean diameter at breast height (DBH) of hollow-bearing stags was significantly less than that of living hollow-bearing trees. This indicated that many large hollow-bearing stags may have a shorter standing life than smaller hollow-bearing stags. Hollow-bearing trees appear to be randomly distributed throughout the forest in both silviculturally treated and untreated areas. This finding is at odds with the suggestion by some forest manageres that hollow-bearing trees should have a clumped distribution in dry sclerophyll forests of south-east Queensland.