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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 20(5)

Habitat Requirements of the Tasmanian Bettong (Bettongia Gaimardi), a Mycophagous Marsupial.

RJ Taylor

Wildlife Research 20(5) 699 - 710
Published: 1993


The habitat requirements of the Tasmanian Bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) were investigated by assessed density at 20 sites covering a broad range of dry sclerophyll forest types throughout the species' range. There was no consistent relation between the density of bettongs and the floristics of an area. Bettongs did not occur in areas with dense undergrowth. However, the occurrence of an open undergrowth did not guarantee the presence of bettongs. The abundance of bettongs on areas with an open undergrowth was related to the extent of mycorrhizal root development, sporocarps of mycorrhizal fungi forming the major component of the diet of bettongs. The highest densities of bettongs occurred in areas with infertile soils. It was suggested that since mycorrhizal fungi develop and sporulate well in soils of low fertility, this factor may be important in indirectly influencing bettong numbers.

Full text doi:10.1071/WR9930699

© CSIRO 1993

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