Law B, Slade C, Gonsalves L, Brassil T, Flanagan C and Kerr I. (2022) Tree use by koalas after timber harvesting in a mosaic landscape, Wildlife Research, 50(7): 581-592.
- Male and female koalas commonly used small trees both during the day and at night. Medium-sized trees were preferred over small and large trees.
- Koalas used trees across the full range of the landscape available to them, including in the net harvest area (5-10 years post-harvest) and harvest exclusion zones.
- Tallowwood was the most commonly used species for browsing at night, and this species is targeted for retention during harvesting planning.
- Tracking results support results from other acoustic studies showing koalas are resilient to harvesting.
Koala density and harvesting
Law B, Gonsalves L, Burgar J, Brassil T, Kerr I, O'Loughlin C, Eichinski P and Roe P. (2022) Regulated timber harvesting does not reduce koala density in north-east forests of New South Wales, Sci Rep, 12: 3968.
- Koala density was found to be similar between national park (controls) and state forest (harvested) sites.
- No change in koala density was observed from before to after timber harvesting, most likely because of the extent of environmental exclusions during harvesting.
- The study provides rigorous data to demonstrate koalas are resilient to carefully regulated harvesting.
Biodiversity benefits of thinning in cypress
Gonsalves L, Law B, Brassil T, Waters C, Toole I and Tap P. (2018) Ecological outcomes for multiple taxa from silvicultural thinning of regrowth forest, Forest Ecology and Management, 425: 177-188.
- Thinning of dense, regrowth forests had neutral to positive effects on biodiversity and responses were species-specific.
- Unthinned forest represented habitat of similar value to thinned forest for some taxa, indicating that regrowth patches of varying size should be retained across the landscape to provide a mosaic forest structure suitable for a diverse suite of flora and fauna.
Influence of timber harvesting on nectar production
Law B and Chidel M. (2008) Quantifying the canopy nectar resource and the impact of logging and climate in spotted gum Corymbia maculata forests, Austral Ecology, 33(8): 999-1014.
- Eucalypts are important for producing nectar for a diverse suite of native fauna and commercial honeybees.
- This study measured canopy nectar production in recently harvested, regrowth and mature spotted gum forest.
- When nectar production was scaled up to the forest stand (incorporating flower and tree density) mature forest produced almost 10 times as much sugar per ha as recently logged forest, with regrowth being intermediate, however, forest practices reduce this difference between mature forest and recently logged forest to a factor of two. Further, nectar availability was only slightly depleted when flowering was extensive.
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