Andrew F Bennett

Andrew F Bennett
La Trobe University · Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution

BSc (Hons), PhD

About

196
Publications
54,441
Reads
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11,530
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 1996 - December 2012
Deakin University

Publications

Publications (196)
Article
Prescribed burning to achieve management objectives is a common practice in fire-prone regions worldwide. Structural components of habitat that are combustible and slow to develop are particularly susceptible to change associated with prescribed burning. We used an experimental, 'whole of landscape' approach to investigate the effect of differing p...
Article
1.Conservation of biodiversity in urban environments depends on species’ responses to the intensity of urban development. ‘Land sharing’ and ‘land sparing’ represent alternate ends of a gradient that conceptualises a trade‐off between the human population and biodiversity. We used a linear optimisation procedure to 1) identify the optimal allocatio...
Article
Ecosystem engineers physically modify their environment, thereby altering habitats for other organisms. Increasingly, ‘engineers’ are recognised as an important focus for conservation and ecological restoration because their actions affect a range of ecosystem processes and thereby influence how ecosystems function. The superb lyrebird Menura novae...
Article
Full-text available
Fire has been a source of global biodiversity for millions of years. However, interactions with anthropogenic drivers such as climate change, land use, and invasive species are changing the nature of fire activity and its impacts. We review how such changes are threatening species with extinction and transforming terrestrial ecosystems. Conservatio...
Article
To mitigate the impact of severe wildfire on human society and the environment, prescribed fire is widely used in forest ecosystems to reduce fuel loads and limit fire spread. To avoid detrimental effects on conservation values, it is imperative to understand how prescribed fire affects taxa having a range of different adaptations to disturbance. S...
Article
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Abstract 1. Semi‐natural features among farmland have a key role in maintaining wildlife in rural landscapes. Practical conservation requires knowledge of which combinations of features are of greatest value and whether this differs among faunal groups. We used a ‘landscape’ approach to investigate the relative importance to birds and insects (bees...
Article
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Abstract Ecosystem engineers that modify the soil and ground‐layer properties exert a strong influence on vegetation communities in ecosystems worldwide. Understanding the interactions between animal engineers and vegetation is challenging when in the presence of large herbivores, as many vegetation communities are simultaneously affected by both e...
Article
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Context: Seasonal migration and movements of bats have important implications for their conservation. The southern bent-winged bat (Miniopterus orianae bassanii), a critically endangered cave-dwelling taxon in Australia, has been described as undertaking regional-scale migration between maternity and non-breeding caves. Aims: To describe the seaso...
Article
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Aim Many dry forests and woodlands worldwide are fire‐prone and support bird and plant communities shaped by fire. Changes in fire regimes, including the time between fires, have important implications for population trajectories. We studied the responses of bird and plant communities of heathy woodlands to time since the last fire, a key measure u...
Article
Ecological restoration in rural environments is a global challenge for the 21st century. Restoration measures—such as agri‐environment activities, woodlots, natural regeneration and conservation plantings—collectively alter landscape structure with the aim of restoring conservation values that are characteristic of natural ecosystems. We tested the...
Article
Restoration planting is undertaken widely in rural landscapes to promote more sustainable land use, such as reforesting agricultural land, and to enhance nature conservation. Land managers and community groups have a key role in delivering these actions and can also contribute to monitoring the outcomes. Here, we describe a monitoring protocol deve...
Article
Identifying factors that affect species’ distributions in highly modified landscapes, especially threatened species, is a key issue for conservation worldwide. Three types of factors commonly are considered important: the extent and pattern of suitable habitat at a landscape scale; the availability of key resources at a local scale; and interaction...
Article
Knowledge of how factors such as climate, plant regeneration traits and fire characteristics influence the rate and pattern of post-fire habitat change is crucial for strategic fire management and biodiversity conservation in fire-affected areas. Yet knowledge of when and where these factors are in play, and how species-habitat relationships differ...
Article
1. Small‐scale revegetation plantings on farms are common to restoration efforts in agricultural regions worldwide. Such plantings provide habitat for diverse faunal groups. A key question concerns the degree to which their value for biodiversity is influenced by the features of individual plantings, which can be controlled by local land managers,...
Article
Restoration of degraded ecosystems is a global issue, particularly in rural regions where excessive loss of natural vegetation has occurred. We investigated, at both landscape and patch scales, the benefits to butterfly communities of restoration by revegetation (planting trees and shrubs), typical of many rural landscapes in south-eastern Australi...
Article
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Fire shapes ecosystems globally, including semi-arid ecosystems. In Australia, semi-arid ‘mallee’ ecosystems occur primarily across the southern part of the continent, forming an interface between the arid interior and temperate south. Mallee vegetation is characterized by short, multi-stemmed eucalypts that grow from a basal lignotuber. Fire shape...
Article
Biodiversity faces many threats and these can interact to produce outcomes that may not be predicted by considering their effects in isolation. Habitat loss and fragmentation (hereafter 'fragmentation') and altered fire regimes are important threats to biodiversity, but their interactions have not been systematically evaluated across the globe. In...
Article
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Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are one of the world's most destructive vertebrate pests. In Australia, they dominate many aquatic ecosystems causing a severe threat to aquatic plants, invertebrates, water quality, native fish and social amenity. The Australian Government is considering release of cyprinid herpesvirus-3 (CyHV-3) as a control measure...
Article
Access to suitable roosts is critical for the conservation of tree-hollow roosting bats worldwide. Availability of roost sites is influenced by human land-use, but also by the roosting requirements and behaviour of species. We investigated roosting behaviour of the lesser long-eared bat (Nyctophilus geoffroyi) and Gould’s wattled bat (Chalinolobus...
Research
Full-text available
Revegetation helps to restore cleared areas, expand existing bushland, and also connect isolated patches to assist the movement of native plants and animals across the landscape. Under a changing climate, these revegetation actions are even more important to help native species to persist. Land managers and community groups play an important role i...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The aim of this project was to develop a quick and scientifically robust monitoring method for revegetation projects undertaken by community groups and organisations to better understand how well plants survived after planting, and what influenced their survival and growth. In Phase 1 of the project (June 2018 - June 2019), we contacted a number of...
Article
The concept that vegetation structure (and faunal habitat) develops predictably with time since fire has been central to understanding the relationship between fire and fauna. However, because plants regenerate after fire in different ways (e.g. resprouting from above‐ground stems vs. underground lignotubers), use of simple categories based on time...
Article
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Rural landscape change as a consequence of human population growth is a major challenge for nature conservation in the twenty-first century. Rural regions are globally experiencing change driven by diverse factors, including agricultural intensification, new agricultural commodities, residential development, and land abandonment. Understanding how...
Article
Wildfire refugia (unburnt patches within large wildfires) are important for the persistence of fire-sensitive species across forested landscapes globally. A key challenge is to identify the factors that determine the distribution of fire refugia across space and time. In particular, determining the relative influence of climatic and landscape facto...
Method
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This factsheet provides an overview and initial results for the revegetation monitoring component of DELWP's Adaptive Learning Project. The aim is to: 1) Assess the outcomes of revegetation, in terms of the survival of planted trees, shrubs and understory plants, 2) Determine the factors that affect variation in survival among different species, an...
Article
Worldwide, bees have an important role in ecosystem function and the provision of ecosystem services through their role as pollinators. The diversity of bee species in rural landscapes is influenced by the type of landscape features present, and by land-use and management practices. A key challenge is to understand and predict how species vary acro...
Article
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Movement is a trait of fundamental importance in ecosystems subject to frequent disturbances, such as fire‐prone ecosystems. Despite this, the role of movement in facilitating responses to fire has received little attention. Herein, we consider how animal movement interacts with fire history to shape species distributions. We consider how fire affe...
Article
Landscape heterogeneity, from both natural and anthropogenic causes, fundamentally influence the distribution of species. Conservation management requires an understanding of how species respond to heterogeneity at different spatial scales and whether differences may occur between demographic components of a species population. We examined the spat...
Article
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Many large-scale connectivity initiatives have been proposed around the world with the aim of maintaining or restoring connectivity to offset the impacts on biodiversity of habitat loss and fragmentation. Frequently, these are based on the requirements of a single focal species of concern, but there is growing attention to identifying connectivity...
Data
Identified linkages with two types of resistance surfaces for five species. The resistance surfaces were based on species distribution models and expert-assigned scores. The five species are sugar glider, tree goanna, wood gecko, white-throated treecreeper and yellow-footed antechinus. Habitat patches are shown in green, and least-cost paths are sh...
Data
Summary of information on estimated home range and gap-crossing ability for the selected study species. (DOCX)
Data
Identified linkages with two types of resistance surfaces for five species. The resistance surfaces were based on species distribution models and expert-assigned scores. The five species are Bougainville’s skink, fuscous honeyeater, grey shrike-thrush, jacky lizard and rufous whistler. Habitat patches are shown in green, and least-cost paths are sh...
Article
Full-text available
Linear strips of vegetation (e.g., hedges, roadsides) are characteristic of rural environments worldwide. Different types of linear features have distinct structure and landscape context, suggesting they each may offer unique opportunities for conservation in modified landscapes. We compared the avifauna of 76 streamside (riparian) sites and 33 sit...
Article
Prescribed burning is used in fire-prone environments worldwide to reduce fuel loads and the severity and spread of future wildfires. Forest habitat structures, such as large trees, dead trees and logs are highly flammable, yet also are essential for animal species that require hollows (cavities) as den sites for shelter and reproduction. We examin...
Article
How does time-since-fire influence the structural recovery of semi-arid, eucalypt-dominated Murray-Mallee shrublands after fire, and is recovery affected by spatial variation in climate? We assessed the structure and dynamics of a hummock grass, Triodia scariosa N.T. Burb, and mallee eucalypts – two key structural components of mallee shrublands –...
Article
The rapid development of mechanistic, trait-based models has resulted in increasingly reliable predictions of the functional diversity of individuals in populations and communities. However, a focus on individuals’ traits differs from the prevailing focus on species in much of community ecology. We sought to identify correlative links between speci...
Article
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Rare species can play important functional roles, but human-induced changes to disturbance regimes, such as fire, can inadvertently affect these species. We examined the influence of prescribed burns on the recruitment and diversity of plant species within a temperate forest in southeastern Australia, with a focus on species that were rare prior to...
Article
Managing fire is critical for the conservation of biodiversity in many ecosystems globally. To manage fire effectively, it is necessary to identify the temporal and spatial scales at which it affects a diverse range of species. This information is challenging to obtain for rare and threatened species for which data often are sparse, and in systems...
Article
Intrigued by the power of science to grapple with questions relevant to management, Victorian landscape ecologist Andrew Bennett has directed his career to investigating how human land-use and landscape change affect native fauna and ecological processes, seeking ways to achieve the ongoing conservation of Australian native fauna.
Article
Fire is an important disturbance in forest ecosystems globally. Many of the effects of fire on forest processes are mediated through effects on vegetation structure. Understanding how fire properties, fire regimes and environmental variation interact to affect structure is required in the face of predictions of increasing size and severity of fires...
Article
Full-text available
Fire is a global driver of ecosystem structure, function, and change. Problems common to fire scientists and managers worldwide include a limited knowledge of how multiple taxonomic groups within a given ecosystem respond to recurrent fires, and how interactions between fire regimes and environmental gradients influence biodiversity. We tested six...
Article
In forest ecosystems, uniformity in fire spread may be moderated by topography such that sheltered areas (e.g. gullies) escape fire. However, gullies are not immune to fire and, under extreme fire weather conditions, can burn. This may compromise their habitat value, and diminish differences in faunal communities across topographical gradients. We...
Article
Fire plays an important role in structuring vegetation in fire-prone regions worldwide. Progress has been made towards documenting the effects of individual fire events and fire regimes on vegetation structure; less is known of how different fire history attributes (e.g., time-since-fire, fire frequency) interact to affect vegetation. Using the tem...
Article
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In agricultural regions worldwide, linear networks of vegetation such as hedges, fencerows and live fences provide habitat for plant and animal species in heavily modified landscapes. In Australia, networks of remnant native vegetation along roadsides are a distinctive feature of many rural landscapes. Here, we investigated the richness and composi...
Article
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Article
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Understanding the age structure of vegetation is important for effective land management, especially in fire-prone landscapes where the effects of fire can persist for decades and centuries. In many parts of the world, such information is limited due to an inability to map disturbance histories before the availability of satellite images (~1972). H...
Article
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Wildfires have major impacts on ecosystems globally. Fire regimes (including fire frequency, intensity, season and type of fire) influence the status of species by altering habitat suitability at the site scale, and by creating heterogeneity at the landscape scale. The relative effects of site and landscape-scale fire attributes on animal species a...
Article
Ecological restoration of modified and degraded landscapes is an important challenge for the 21st century, with potential for major gains in the recovery of biodiversity. However, there is a general lack of agreement between plant- and animal- based approaches to restoration, both in theory and practice. Here, we review these approaches, identify l...
Article
Nests provide essential ecological services to breeding birds, and the location and architectural characteristics of nests may vary to maximise reproductive success. We investigated variation in nest-characteristics within a breeding population of Superb Lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae) in south-eastern Australia over 14 years. Lyrebird nests con...
Article
Eucalypts — gums, stringybarks, box, ironbarks and mallees — are key elements of ecosystems occupied by much of Australia’s distinctive and unique wildlife. Individual eucalypts provide an array of food resources (e.g. foliage, seeds, nectar, sap) for animals, while shelter, refuge and breeding sites for many species are associated with the physica...
Article
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Termites play an important ecological role in many ecosystems, particularly in nutrient-poor arid and semi-arid environments. We examined the distribution and occurrence of termites in the fire-prone, semi-arid mallee region of south-eastern Australia. In addition to periodic large wildfires, land managers use fire as a tool to achieve both asset p...
Article
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In fire-prone regions, wildfire influences spatial and temporal patterns of landscape heterogeneity. The likely impacts of climate change on the frequency and intensity of wildfire highlights the importance of understanding how fire-induced heterogeneity may affect different components of the biota. Here, we examine the influence of wildfire, as an...
Article
1.Ecosystems worldwide increasingly are subject to multiple interacting disturbances. Biodiversity in anthropogenic landscapes can be enhanced by manipulating landscape patterns; but could such landscape management also assist biota to cope with the effects of extreme climatic events, such as drought?2.We surveyed woodland bird communities in 24 ‘w...
Article
Confronted with increasing anthropogenic change, conservation in the 21st century requires a sound understanding of how ecological systems change during disturbance. We highlight the benefits of recognizing two distinct components of change in an ecological unit (i.e., ecosystem, community, population): 'resistance', the ability to withstand distur...
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Understanding what constitutes high quality habitat is crucial for the conservation of species, especially those threatened with extinction. Habitat quality frequently is inferred by comparing the attributes of sites where a species is present with those where it is absent. However, species presence may not always indicate high quality habitat. Dem...
Article
Extreme weather events, such as drought, have marked impacts on biotic communities. In many regions, a predicted increase in occurrence of such events will be imposed on landscapes already heavily modified by human land use. There is an urgency, therefore, to understand the way in which the effects of such events may be exacerbated, or moderated, b...
Article
Coarse woody debris (CWD) is a common structural component of terrestrial ecosystems, and provides important habitat for biota. Fires modify the distribution of CWD, both spatially and temporally. Changes in fire regimes, such as those arising from prescribed burning and changing climatic conditions, make it critical to understand the response of t...
Article
Fire is used as a management tool for biodiversity conservation worldwide. A common objective is to avoid population extinctions due to inappropriate fire regimes. However, in many ecosystems, it is unclear what mix of fire histories will achieve this goal. We determined the optimal fire history of a given area for biological conservation with a me...
Article
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AimClimate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events, such as severe droughts and intense rainfall periods. We explored how the avifauna of a highly modified region responded to a 13-year drought (the ‘Big Dry’), followed by a two-year period of substantially higher than average rainfall (the ‘Big Wet’).L...
Article
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Unburnt patches within a fire boundary may act as refuges for fauna, facilitating their survival and persistence within fire-prone landscapes. Unburnt patches can arise due to various processes, including topographic variation, fire behaviour, and fuel reduction from recent burning. However, the value of unburnt patches of differing characteristics...
Article
Identifying landscape patterns that allow native fauna to coexist with human land use is a global challenge. Riparian vegetation often persists in anthropogenic environments as strips of natural or semi-natural vegetation that provide habitat for many terrestrial species. Its relative contribution to landscape-scale conservation is likely to change...
Article
A capacity to predict the effects of fire on biota is critical for conservation in fire-prone regions as it assists managers to anticipate the outcomes of different approaches to fire management. The task is complicated because species’ responses to fire can vary geographically. This poses challenges, both for conceptual understanding of post-fire...
Article
Large, intense fires are generators of heterogeneity in many ecosystems. An important component of this heterogeneity is the occurrence of unburnt patches within the fire boundary: these fulfil a number of ecological functions including serving as refuges for fire-sensitive organisms. An important issue for land managers is the degree to which pote...
Article
A common assumption in fire ecology and management is that landscapes with a greater diversity of fire-ages will support a greater diversity of animal species (i.e. ‘pyrodiversity begets biodiversity’). This assumption is based on the idea that landscapes with a more diverse fire history provide a greater array of post-fire habitats, leading to a g...
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Rapid environmental change is placing increasing pressure on the survival of many species globally. Ecological refuges can mitigate the impacts of change by facilitating the survival or persistence of organisms in the face of disturbance events that would otherwise lead to their mortality, displacement or extinction. Refuges may have a critical inf...