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Type: Journal article
Title: Effect of fire on small mammals: a systematic review
Author: Griffiths, A.D.
Brook, B.W.
Citation: International Journal of Wildland Fire, 2014; 23(7):1034-1043
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1049-8001
Statement of
Anthony D. Griffiths and Barry W. Brook
Abstract: Fire is a natural disturbance that exerts an important influence on global ecosystems, affecting vegetation distribution and structure, the carbon cycle and climate. However, human-induced changes to fire regimes may affect at-risk species groups such as small mammals. We examine the effect of fire on small mammals and evaluate the relative sensitivity to fire among different groups using a systematic review methodology that included critiquing the literature with respect to survey design and statistical analysis. Overall, small mammal abundance is slightly higher, and demographic parameters more favourable, in unburnt sites compared to burnt sites. This was more pronounced in species with body size range of 101–1000 g and with habitat requirements that are sensitive to fire (e.g. dense ground cover): in 66.6 and 69.7% of pairwise comparisons, abundance or a demographic parameter were higher in unburnt than burnt sites. This systematic review demonstrates that there remains a continued focus on simple shifts in abundance with regards to effect of fire and small mammals, which limits understanding of mechanisms responsible for change. Body size and habitat preference were most important in explaining variation in small mammal species’ responses to fire.
Keywords: disturbance; effect size; extinction; model selection
Description: Published: 14 August 2014
Rights: Journal compilation © IAWF 2014
DOI: 10.1071/WF14026
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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