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Post-fire recovery of torpor and activity patterns of a small mammal

Stawski, C, Hume, T, Körtner, G, Currie, SE, Nowack, J and Geiser, F (2017) Post-fire recovery of torpor and activity patterns of a small mammal. Biology Letters, 13 (5). ISSN 1744-9561

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Abstract

To cope with the post-fire challenges of decreased availability of food and shelter, brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), a small marsupial mammal, increase the use of energy conserving torpor and reduce activity. However, it is not known how long it takes for animals to resume pre-fire torpor and activity patterns during the recovery of burnt habitat. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that antechinus will adjust torpor use and activity after a fire depending on vegetation recovery. We simultaneously quantified torpor and activity patterns for female antechinus from three adjacent areas: (i) the area of a management burn one year post-fire, (ii) an area that was burned two years prior and (iii) a control area. In comparison to shortly after the management burn, antechinus in all three groups displayed less frequent and less pronounced torpor while being more active. We provide the first evidence that only one year post-fire antechinus resume pre-fire torpor and activity patterns, likely in response to the return of herbaceous ground cover and foraging opportunities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: The Royal Society
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2019 12:55
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 12:55
DOI or Identification number: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0036
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11528

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