Vegetation structure & food resources in drought affected semi-natural grasslands: Implications for the nationally vulnerable Plains-wanderer Pedionomus torquatus.

Kylie Eklom

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

66 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Wanderers between years based on assimilated δ13C and δ15N ratios. A substantial shift in stable-carbon ratios suggests that carbon was being sourced from seeds of plants with a different photosynthetic pathway (C3 and C4) in different years, while nitrogen was sourced from invertebrates in 2007 and seeds in 2008. This indicates that Plains-wanderers may switch their diet based on food availability at the time and are thus dietary generalists.It is likely that the prolonged drought had a substantial impact on food resources, although comparative data from wet' years are required to substantiate this. The main conclusion from this study is that during drought, the abundance and dispersion of food resources did not vary substantially between grassland types or management types. This suggests that grassland suitability for Plains-wanderers is defined principally by vegetation structure during drought periods. It also suggests that regardless of the grazing intensity during drought, food resources are affected similarly owing to the over-riding influence of climate, but production grazing creates areas of grassland that are structurally too bare for Plains-wanderers.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Award date01 Oct 2011
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Vegetation structure & food resources in drought affected semi-natural grasslands: Implications for the nationally vulnerable Plains-wanderer Pedionomus torquatus.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this