Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Climate-driven variation in food availability between the core and range edge of the endangered northern bettong (Bettongia tropica)

Brooke L. Bateman A D , Sandra E. Abell-Davis B and Christopher N. Johnson A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change Research, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.

B School of Marine and Tropical Biology and Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia.

C School of Zoology, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 5, Hobart, Tas. 7001, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: brooke.bateman@gmail.com

Australian Journal of Zoology 59(3) 177-185 https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO11079
Submitted: 13 May 2011  Accepted: 14 November 2011   Published: 15 February 2012

Abstract

The endangered northern bettong (Bettongia tropica) occurs in four disjunct populations in far north Queensland, Australia, at a high density only in its range core (RC). A recent study suggested that B. tropica populations are sparse at the northern and southern range edges (SRE) due to more severe droughts and variable climatic conditions causing fluctuations in the availability of their principal food resource, truffle-like fungi. Truffle availability in the Australian tropics is affected by climate, specifically seasonality of precipitation. We aimed to determine whether the differences in weather patterns between the RC and SRE could be translated to actual differences in truffle availability. Truffle density was consistently lower on the SRE although biomass was slightly higher there due to dominance by drought-tolerant truffle taxa that produce few but large truffles. Lower densities of truffles on the SRE could explain why B. tropica is also less abundant there and why they may be less resilient to competition from the more generalist rufous bettong (Aepyprymnus rufescens). Increasing temperatures and, more importantly, harsher droughts predicted for this region as a result of climate change, may have further detrimental impacts on truffle availability and thus population densities of B. tropica and other mycophagous species.

Additional keywords: Bettongia tropica, endangered species, truffles, range edge, range core, climate change.


References

Abell, S. E., Gadek, P. A., Pearce, C. A., and Congdon, B. C. (2006). Seasonal resource availability and use by an endangered tropical mycophagous marsupial. Biological Conservation 132, 533–540.
Seasonal resource availability and use by an endangered tropical mycophagous marsupial.CrossRef | open url image1

Abell-Davis, S. E. (2008). Tropical hypogeous fungal sporocarp distribution in time and space: implications for an endangered specialist mycophagous marsupial, Bettongia tropica. Ph.D. Thesis, James Cook University, Townsville.

Accad, A., Neldner V. J., Wilson B. A., and Niehus, R. E. (2006). Remnant Vegetation in Queensland. Analysis of remnant vegetation 1997–1999–2000–2001–2003, including regional ecosystem information. Brisbane: Queensland Herbarium. The State of Queensland, Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.

Bateman, B. L. (2010). Beyond simple means: integrating extreme events and biotic interactions in species distribution models. Conservation implications for the northern bettong (Bettongia tropica) under climate change. Ph.D. Thesis, James Cook University, Townsville.

Bateman, B. L., VanDerWal, J., and Johnson, C. N. (2011). Nice weather for bettongs: using weather events, not climate means, in species distribution models. Ecography , . open url image1

Brook, B. W., Akçakaya, H. R., Keith, D. A., Mace, G. M., Pearson, R. G., and Araújo, M. B. (2009). Integrating bioclimate with population models to improve forecasts of species extinctions under climate change. Biology Letters 5, 723–725. open url image1

Chen, I.-C., Hill, J. K., Ohlemüller, R., Roy, D. B., and Thomas, C. D. (2011). Rapid range shifts of species associated with high levels of climate warming. Science 333, 1024–1026.
Rapid range shifts of species associated with high levels of climate warming.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3MXhtVWrtr7E&md5=d3a026fdcccb2add3b4ba4171e104fc2CAS | open url image1

Claridge, A. W., and May, T. W. (1994). Mycophagy among Australian mammals. Australian Journal of Ecology 19, 251–275.
Mycophagy among Australian mammals.CrossRef | open url image1

Claridge, A. W., Robinson, A. P., Tanton, M. T., and Cunningham, R. B. (1993). Seasonal production of hypogeal fungal sporocarps in a mixed-species eucalypt forest stand in south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Botany 41, 145–167.
Seasonal production of hypogeal fungal sporocarps in a mixed-species eucalypt forest stand in south-eastern Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Claridge, A. W., Barry, S. C., Cork, S. J., and Trappe, J. M. (2000). Diversity and habitat relationships of hypogeous fungi. II. Factors influencing the occurrence and number of taxa. Biodiversity and Conservation 9, 175–199.
Diversity and habitat relationships of hypogeous fungi. II. Factors influencing the occurrence and number of taxa.CrossRef | open url image1

Claridge, A. W., Trappe, J. M., Mills, D. J., and Claridge, D. L. (2009). Diversity and habitat relationships of hypogeous fungi. III. Factors influencing the occurrence of fire-adapted species. Mycological Research 113, 792–801.
Diversity and habitat relationships of hypogeous fungi. III. Factors influencing the occurrence of fire-adapted species.CrossRef | open url image1

Dennis, A. J. (2001). Recovery plan for the northern bettong, Bettongia tropica 2000–2004. Report to Environment Australia. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.

Elith, J., Graham, C. H., Anderson, R. P., Dudík, M., Ferrier, S., Guisan, A., Hijmans, R. J., Huettmann, F., Leathwick, J. R., Lehmann, A., Li, J., Lohmann, L. G., Loiselle, B. A., Manion, G., Moritz, C., Nakamura, M., Nakazawa, Y., Overton, J. M. M., Peterson, A. T., Phillips, S. J., Richardson, K., Scachetti-Pereira, R., Schapire, R. E., Soberón, J., Williams, S., Wisz, M. S., and Zimmerman, N. E. (2006). Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data. Ecography 29, 129–151.
Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data.CrossRef | open url image1

Environmental Protection Agency (2007). National recovery plan for the northern bettong Bettongia tropica. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane.

Fogel, R. (1976). Ecological studies of hypogeous fungi. II. Sporocarp phenology in a western Oregon Douglas fir stand. Canadian Journal of Botany 54, 1152–1162.
Ecological studies of hypogeous fungi. II. Sporocarp phenology in a western Oregon Douglas fir stand.CrossRef | open url image1

Guisan, A., Graham, C. H., Elith, J., Huettmann, F., and Distri, N. S. (2007). Sensitivity of predictive species distribution models to change in grain size. Diversity & Distributions 13, 332–340.
Sensitivity of predictive species distribution models to change in grain size.CrossRef | open url image1

Harrington, G. N., and Sanderson, K. D. (1994). Recent contractions of wet sclerophyll forest in the wet tropics of Queensland due to invasion by rainforest. Pacific Conservation Biology 1, 319–327. open url image1

Hernandez, P. A., Graham, C. H., Master, L. L., and Albert, D. L. (2006). The effect of sample size and species characteristics on performance of different species distribution modeling methods. Ecography 29, 773–785.
The effect of sample size and species characteristics on performance of different species distribution modeling methods.CrossRef | open url image1

Hijmans, R. J., and Graham, C. H. (2006). The ability of climate envelope models to predict the effect of climate change on species distributions. Global Change Biology 12, 2272–2281.
The ability of climate envelope models to predict the effect of climate change on species distributions.CrossRef | open url image1

Hughes, L. (2003). Climate change and Australia: trends, projections, and impacts. Austral Ecology 28, 423–443.
Climate change and Australia: trends, projections, and impacts.CrossRef | open url image1

Jentsch, A., and Beierkuhnlein, C. (2008). Research frontiers in climate change: effects of extreme meteorological events on ecosystems. Comptes Rendus Geoscience 340, 621–628.
Research frontiers in climate change: effects of extreme meteorological events on ecosystems.CrossRef | open url image1

Jentsch, A., Kreyling, J., and Beierkuhnlein, C. (2007). A new generation of climate-change experiments: events, not trends. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5, 365–374.
A new generation of climate-change experiments: events, not trends.CrossRef | open url image1

Johnson, C. N. (1994). Fruiting of hypogeous fungi in dry sclerophyll forest in Tasmania, Australia: seasonal variation and annual production. Mycological Research 98, 1173–1182.
Fruiting of hypogeous fungi in dry sclerophyll forest in Tasmania, Australia: seasonal variation and annual production.CrossRef | open url image1

Johnson, C. N. (1996). Interactions between mammals and ectomycorrhizal fungi. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 11, 503–507.
Interactions between mammals and ectomycorrhizal fungi.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3M7itFGlsA%3D%3D&md5=af0305ed94492f8a5a698efe12d1cbe8CAS | open url image1

Johnson, C. N. (2006). ‘Australia’s Mammal Extinctions: a 50 000 Year History.’ (Cambridge University Press: Melbourne.)

Johnson, C. N., and McIlwee, A. P. (1997). Ecology of the northern bettong, Bettongia tropica, a tropical mycophagist. Wildlife Research 24, 549–559.
Ecology of the northern bettong, Bettongia tropica, a tropical mycophagist.CrossRef | open url image1

Johnson, C. N., Isaac, J. L., and Fisher, D. O. (2007). Rarity of a top predator triggers continent-wide collapse of mammal prey: dingoes and marsupials in Australia. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 274, 341–346.
Rarity of a top predator triggers continent-wide collapse of mammal prey: dingoes and marsupials in Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Jumpponen, A., Claridge, A. W., Trappe, J. M., Lebel, T., and Claridge, D. L. (2004). Ecological relationships among hypogeous fungi and trees: inferences from association analysis integrated with habitat modeling. Mycologia 96, 510–525.
Ecological relationships among hypogeous fungi and trees: inferences from association analysis integrated with habitat modeling.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BC3M%2FktVKnsA%3D%3D&md5=a2732d840fd837e4f7b2f0c331c58956CAS | open url image1

Le Brocque, A. F., and Buckney, R. T. (2003). Species richness–environment relationships within coastal sclerophyll and mesophyll vegetation in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, New South Wales, Australia. Austral Ecology 28, 404–412.
Species richness–environment relationships within coastal sclerophyll and mesophyll vegetation in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, New South Wales, Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Lewellen, R. H., and Vessey, S. H. (1998). The effect of density dependence and weather on population size of a polyvoltine species. Ecological Monographs 68, 571–594. open url image1

Mathams, S. G. (2008). A reassessment of a northern bettong (Bettongia tropica) reintroduction site quantifying fine-scale habitat and critical food resources and the development of a methodology for future assessment of potential habitat. Honours Thesis, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

McIlwee, A., and Freeman, A. (1998). The discovery of northern bettongs (Bettongia tropica) at Paluma, North Queensland. Report to the Department of Environment.

McIlwee, A. P., and Johnson, C. N. (1998). The contribution of fungus to the diets of three mycophagous marsupials in Eucalyptus forests, revealed by stable isotope analysis. Functional Ecology 12, 223–231.
The contribution of fungus to the diets of three mycophagous marsupials in Eucalyptus forests, revealed by stable isotope analysis.CrossRef | open url image1

McMahon, J. P., Hutchinson, M. F., Nix, H. A., and Ord, K. D. (1995). ‘ANUCLIM User’s Guide, Version 1.’ (Australian National University: Canberra.)

Meyer, M. D., and North, M. P. (2005). Truffle abundance in riparian and upland mixed-conifer forest of California’s southern Sierra Nevada. Canadian Journal of Botany 83, 1015–1020.
Truffle abundance in riparian and upland mixed-conifer forest of California’s southern Sierra Nevada.CrossRef | open url image1

Murphy, H. T., VanDerWal, J., and Lovett-Doust, J. (2010). Signatures of range expansion and erosion in eastern North American trees. Ecology Letters 13, 1233–1244.
Signatures of range expansion and erosion in eastern North American trees.CrossRef | open url image1

North, M. (2002). Seasonality and abundance of truffles from oak woodlands to red fir forests. In ‘Proceedings of a Symposium on the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project: Progress and Current Status’. (Ed. J Verner.) pp. 91–98. (USDA Forest Service.)

Parmesan, C. (2006). Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 37, 637–669.
Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change.CrossRef | open url image1

Parmesan, C., and Yohe, G. (2003). A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421, 37–42.
A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXoslM%3D&md5=05cb39cabc357e5c4552566f887f7a8dCAS | open url image1

Parmesan, C., Root, T. L., and Willig, M. R. (2000). Impacts of extreme weather and climate on terrestrial biota. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 81, 443–450. open url image1

Phillips, S. J., and Dudik, M. (2008). Modeling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography 31, 161–175.
Modeling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation.CrossRef | open url image1

Phillips, S. J., Anderson, R. P., and Schapire, R. E. (2006). Maximum entropy modelling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling 190, 231–259.
Maximum entropy modelling of species geographic distributions.CrossRef | open url image1

Pope, L. C., Estoup, A., and Moritz, C. (2000). Phylogeography and population structure of an ecotonal marsupial, Bettongia tropica, determined using mtDNA and microsatellites. Molecular Ecology 9, 2041–2053.
Phylogeography and population structure of an ecotonal marsupial, Bettongia tropica, determined using mtDNA and microsatellites.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXot1Oksg%3D%3D&md5=95e162e3e4e1af9095d69e2973ffe7f4CAS | open url image1

Raes, N., and ter Steege, H. (2007). A null-model for significance testing of presence-only species distribution models. Ecography 30, 727–736.
A null-model for significance testing of presence-only species distribution models.CrossRef | open url image1

Ritchie, E. G., Martin, J. K., Johnson, C. N., and Fox, B. J. (2009). Separating the influences of environment and species interactions on patterns of distribution and abundance: competition between large herbivores. Journal of Animal Ecology 78, 724–731. open url image1

Root, T. L., Price, J. T., Hall, K. R., Schneider, S. H., Rosenzweig, C., and Pounds, J. A. (2003). Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature 421, 57–60.
Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXovVc%3D&md5=1f530c5aefdc9d6cffc24ef6e123a41cCAS | open url image1

Root, T. L., MacMynowski, D. P., Mastrandrea, M. D., and Schneider, S. H. (2005). Human-modified temperatures induce species changes: joint attribution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102, 7465–7469.
| 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXkslOnt7g%3D&md5=d913c22c4146a065561211ca04f856ecCAS | open url image1

Rosenzweig, M. L., and Lomolino, M. V. (1997). Who gets the short bits of the broken stick? In ‘The Biology of Rarity: Causes and Consequences of Rare-common Differences’. (Eds W. E. Kunin and K. J. Gaston.) pp. 63–90. (Chapman & Hall: London.)

Short, J. (1998). The extinction of rat-kangaroos (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) in New South Wales, Australia. Biological Conservation 86, 365–377.
The extinction of rat-kangaroos (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) in New South Wales, Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Short, J., and Turner, B. (1993). The distribution and abundance of the burrowing bettong (Marsupialia: Macropodoidea). Wildlife Research 20, 525–534.
The distribution and abundance of the burrowing bettong (Marsupialia: Macropodoidea).CrossRef | open url image1

Stanton, P. (2007). ‘The Vegetation and Ecosystems of the Mount Zero-Taravale Sanctuary.’ (Australian Wildlife Conservancy.)

Thuiller, W., Albert, C., Araújo, M. B., Berry, P. M., Cabeza, M., Guisan, A., Hickler, T., Midgley, G. F., Paterson, J., Schurr, F. M., Sykes, M. T., and Zimmermann, N. E. (2008). Predicting global change impacts on plant species’ distributions: future challenges. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 9, 137–152. open url image1

VanDerWal, J., Shoo, L. P., Graham, C., and William, S. E. (2009). Selecting pseudo-absence data for presence-only distribution modeling: how far should you stray from what you know? Ecological Modelling 220, 589–594.
Selecting pseudo-absence data for presence-only distribution modeling: how far should you stray from what you know?CrossRef | open url image1

Vernes, K. A. (1999). Fire, fungi and a tropical mycophagist: ecology of the northern bettong (Bettongia tropica) in fire-prone sclerophyll forest. Ph.D. Thesis, James Cook University, Townsville.

Vernes, K. A., and Pope, L. C. (2006). Population density of the northern bettong Bettongia tropica in northeastern Queensland. Australian Mammalogy 28, 87–92.
Population density of the northern bettong Bettongia tropica in northeastern Queensland.CrossRef | open url image1

Vernes, K., Castellano, M., and Johnson, C. N. (2001). Effects of season and fire on the diversity of hypogeous fungi consumed by a tropical mycophagous marsupial. Journal of Animal Ecology 70, 945–954.
Effects of season and fire on the diversity of hypogeous fungi consumed by a tropical mycophagous marsupial.CrossRef | open url image1

Walsh, K. J. E., and Ryan, B. F. (2000). Tropical cyclone intensity increase near Australia as a result of climate change. Journal of Climate 13, 3029–3036.
Tropical cyclone intensity increase near Australia as a result of climate change.CrossRef | open url image1

White, T. C. R. (2008). The role of food, weather and climate in limiting the abundance of animals. Biological Reviews 83, 227–248.
| 1:STN:280:DC%2BD1crjtVClsg%3D%3D&md5=d9fe8a001f5cc1212a807d7db7cc6140CAS | open url image1

Williams, S. E., and Middleton, J. (2008). Climatic seasonality, resource bottlenecks, and abundance of rainforest birds: implications for global climate change. Diversity & Distributions 14, 69–77.
Climatic seasonality, resource bottlenecks, and abundance of rainforest birds: implications for global climate change.CrossRef | open url image1

Winter, J. W. (1992). Population assessment of the northern brush-tailed bettong on the Mt Windsor tableland, north-eastern Queensland. The Department of Environment and Heritage.

Winter, J. (1997a). Distribution of the northern bettong Bettongia tropica in north-eastern Australia. World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Australia.

Winter, J. W. (1997b). Responses of non-volant mammals to late Quaternary climatic changes in the Wet Tropics region of north-eastern Australia. Wildlife Research 24, 493–511.
Responses of non-volant mammals to late Quaternary climatic changes in the Wet Tropics region of north-eastern Australia.CrossRef | open url image1

Zimmermann, N. E., Yoccoz, N. G., Edwards, T. C., Meier, E. S., Thuiller, W., Guisan, A., Schmatz, D. R., and Pearman, P. B. (2009). Climatic extremes improve predictions of spatial patterns of tree species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106, 19723–19728.
Climatic extremes improve predictions of spatial patterns of tree species.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3cXntFKltLk%3D&md5=2c326a60c5a9688e4bc85816f2094c54CAS | open url image1



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (6)

View Altmetrics