Potential impact of harvesting for the long-term conservation of arboreal marsupials

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Abstract

We used a simulation approach to study the trade-off between forest harvesting and the conservation of arboreal marsupials in managed eucalypt forests of south-eastern New South Wales (Australia). The EDEN gap model is used to predict tree biomass harvested and the resulting shifts in habitat quality (HQ) for arboreal marsupials under different harvesting scenarios. These harvesting scenarios generate a gradient of biomass harvested by varying rotation length and tree retention in different topographic positions. The results suggest that the shape of the curve of reduction of HQ along the harvesting gradient is very sensitive to topographic position and hence to the proportion of topographic units in the landscape. Consequently arboreal marsupial management in logged forests will be region-dependent as each region will have its own pattern of landscape complexity.

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