Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Characteristics of sap trees used by yellow-bellied gliders in southern Queensland

Teresa J. Eyre A B C and Ross L. Goldingay A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Environmental Science & Management, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia.

B Present address: Wildlife Ecology, Environmental Protection Agency, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly, Qld 4068, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: teresa.eyre@epa.qld.gov.au

Wildlife Research 32(1) 23-35 https://doi.org/10.1071/WR03075
Submitted: 14 August 2004  Accepted: 14 December 2004   Published: 25 February 2005

Abstract

An extensive survey was conducted to locate sap trees used by the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) throughout the forests and woodlands of southern Queensland, across an area of 43.7 million hectares. We recorded the characteristics of 478 sap trees located at 109 of 297 sites surveyed. Only 13 tree species were selected by gliders for sap feeding throughout the study region, with the grey gum species Eucalyptus longirostrata and E. biturbinata most likely to be incised for sap. Of the tree species used for sap feeding by gliders, trees >40 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh) were used more than would be expected on the basis of their abundance in the forest. The number of sap trees with active and recently active feed scars at a site ranged from 0 to 12. Factors that appear to influence the abundance of active and recently active sap trees at a site include intensity of disturbance (basal area of cut stumps and dead trees), the number of stems in the 41–60 and 61–80 cm dbh classes, and number of Myrtaceae species. The response to these variables could be indicative of habitat quality, and the availability of alternative foraging substrates such as flower cover and decorticating bark. Intensification of selective logging in south-east Queensland, as an outcome of the Southeast Queensland Regional Forest Agreement, could potentially marginalise glider habitat. This would necessitate the retention of potential, or ‘recruit’, sap trees to maintain yellow-bellied glider habitat in these areas.


Acknowledgments

This project was supported by the Queensland Department of Primary Industries Forest Service and the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service. Deep gratitude to David Hannah, Martin Schulz, Martin Smith, Gordon Agnew, Maritza De Oliviera and Chris Corben for assistance in the field. Many thanks to Tracy Bell for assistance with data entry, and Terri Sutcliffe and Christian Witte for their GIS skills and helping with the stratification of the study region. Thanks also to two anonymous reviewers whose comments improved earlier versions of the manuscript.


References

Bale, C. L. , Williams, J. B. , and Charley, J. L. (1998). The impact of aspect on forest structure and floristics in some eastern Australian sites. Forest Ecology and Management 110, 363–377.
CrossRef |

Bell, M. J. , and Bell, T. J. (1997). Use of Lophostemon confertus as a sap-feed tree by yellow-bellied gliders, Petaurus australis, on the mid north coast of New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 20, 103–106.


Bradford, M. G. , and Harrington, G. N. (1999). Aerial and ground survey of sap trees of the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis reginae) near Atherton, North Queensland. Wildlife Research 26, 723–729.


Bréda, N. , Granier, A. , and Aussenac, G. (1995). Effects of thinning on soil and tree water relations, transpiration and growth in an oak forest (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.). Tree Physiology 15, 295–306.
PubMed |

Brooker M. I. H., and Kleinig D. A. (1994). ‘Field Guide to the Eucalypts. Vol. 3. Northern Australia.’ (Inkata Press: Sydney.)

Carthew, S. M. , Goldingay, R. L. , and Funnel, D. L. (1999). Feeding behaviour of the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) at the western edge of its range. Wildlife Research 26, 199–208.


Craig, S. A. (1985). Social organisation, reproduction and feeding behaviour of a population of yellow-bellied gliders, Petaurus australis (Marsupialia: Petauridae). Australian Wildlife Research 12, 1–18.


Eyre T. J. (2002). Habitat preferences and management of large gliding possums in southern Queensland. Ph.D. Thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore.

Eyre T. J. (2004). Distribution and conservation status of the possums and gliders of southern Queensland. In ‘The Biology of Possums and Gliders’. (Eds R. L. Goldingay and S. M. Jackson.) pp. 1–25. (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)

Eyre, T. J. , and Goldingay, R. L. (2003). Use of sap trees by the yellow-bellied glider near Maryborough in south-east Queensland. Wildlife Research 30, 229–236.
CrossRef |

Eyre, T. J. , and Smith, A. P. (1997). Floristic and structural habitat preferences of the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) and selective logging impacts in southeast Queensland, Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 98, 281–295.
CrossRef |

Goldingay, R. L. (1987). Sap feeding by the marsupial Petaurus australis: an enigmatic behaviour? Oecologia 73, 154–158.
CrossRef |

Goldingay, R. L. (1991). An evaluation of hypotheses to explain the pattern of sap feeding by the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis. Australian Journal of Ecology 16, 491–500.


Goldingay, R. L. (1992). Socioecology of the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) in a coastal forest. Australian Journal of Ecology 40, 267–278.


Goldingay, R. L. (2000). Use of sap trees by the yellow-bellied glider in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales. Wildlife Research 27, 217–222.
CrossRef |

Goldingay, R. L. , and Kavanagh, R. P. (1993). Home-range estimates and habitat of the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) at Waratah Creek, New South Wales. Wildlife Research 20, 387–404.


Goldingay R. L., and Quin D. G. (2004). Components of the habitat of the yellow-bellied glider in north Queensland. In ‘The Biology of Possums and Gliders’. (Eds R. L. Goldingay and S. M. Jackson.) pp. 369–375. (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)

Grimes R. F. (1978). Crown assessment of natural spotted gum–ironbark forest. Technical Paper No.7. Department of Forestry, Queensland.

Henry S. R., and Craig S. A. (1984). Diet, ranging behaviour and social organization of the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis Shaw) in Victoria. In ‘Possums and Gliders’. (Eds A. P. Smith and I. D. Hume.) pp. 331–341. (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)

Hosmer D. W., and Lemeshow S. (1989). ‘Applied Logistic Regression.’ (John Wiley and Sons: New York.)

Hutchinson M. F., Nix H. A., Houlder D. J., and McMahon J. P. (1998). ‘ANUCLIM Version 1.6 User Guide.’ (Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University: Canberra.)

Incoll, R. D. , Loyn, R. H. , Ward, S. J. , Cunningham, R. B. , and Donnelly, C. F. (2001). The occurrence of gliding possums in old-growth forest patches of mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) in the central highlands of Victoria. Biological Conservation 98, 77–88.
CrossRef |

Kavanagh, R. P. (1987a). Foraging behaviour of the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis (Marsupialia: Petauridae), near Eden, New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 10, 37–39.


Kavanagh, R. P. (1987b). Forest phenology and its effect on foraging behaviour and selection of habitat by the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis Shaw. Australian Wildlife Research 14, 371–384.


Law, B. , Mackowski, C. , Schoer, L. , and Tweedie, T. (2000). Flowering phenology of myrtaceous trees and their relation to climatic, environmental and disturbance variables in northern New South Wales. Austral Ecology 25, 160–178.
CrossRef |

Lindenmayer, D. B. , Cunningham, R. B. , and McCarthy, M. A. (1999). The conservation of arboreal marsupials in the montane ash forests of the central highlands of Victoria, south-eastern Australia: VIII. Landscape analysis of the occurrence of arboreal marsupials. Biological Conservation 89, 83–92.
CrossRef |

Mackowski, C. M. (1986). Distribution, habitat and status of the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis Shaw (Marsupialia: Petauridae) in northeastern New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 9, 141–144.


Mackowski, C. M. (1988). Characteristics of eucalypts incised for sap by the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis Shaw (Marsupialia: Petauridae), in northeastern New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 11, 5–13.


Meinzer, F. C. , Fownes, J. H. , and Harrington, R. A. (1996). Growth indices and stomatal control of transpiration in Acacia koa stands planted at different densities. Tree Physiology 16, 607–615.
PubMed |

QDNR (2000). Land cover change in Queensland 1997–1999. A Statewide Landcover and Trees Study (SLATS) report. Natural Resource Sciences, Queensland Department of Natural Resources.

QDPI-F (1994). Harvesting, Marketing and Resource Management Manual. Volume 2. Queensland Department of Primary Industries – Forest Service.

Quin, D. G. , Goldingay, R. L. , Churchill, S. , and Engel, D. (1996). Feeding behaviour and food availability of the yellow-bellied glider in North Queensland. Wildlife Research 23, 637–646.


Russell R. (1984). Social behaviour of the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis reginae in north Queensland. In ‘Possums and Gliders’. (Eds A. P. Smith and I. D. Hume.) pp. 343–353. (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)

Sattler P. (1999). Introduction. In ‘The Conservation Status of Queensland’s Bioregional Ecosystems’. (Eds P. Sattler and R. D. Williams.) pp. 1–19. (Environment Protection Agency: Brisbane.)

Smith, A. , and Russell, R. (1982). Diet of the yellow-bellied glider Petaurus australis (Marsupialia: Petauridae) in north Queensland. Australian Mammalogy 5, 41–45.



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (8)