Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/5141
Title: Are introduced black rats ('Rattus rattus') a functional replacement for mycophagous native rodents in fragmented forests?
Contributor(s): Vernes, Karl A  (author)orcid ; McGrath, Katrina A (author)
Publication Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1016/j.funeco.2009.03.001
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/5141
Abstract: The fungal diet of the introduced black rat ('Rattus rattus') was examined in a fragmented forest in northeastern New South Wales, Australia, to determine whether this species was consuming and dispersing the spores of native truffles. Because of the absence of native rodents at the site, the diet of the swamp wallaby ('Wallabia bicolor'), a known mycophagist in the region, was examined simultaneously as a benchmark against which to compare fungal consumption by black rats. All 19 scats collected from black rats contained fungal spores, while 29 of the 34 swamp wallaby scats contained fungal spores. Most spores were from hypogeous ('truffle-like') fungal species, although both black rats and swamp wallabies each consumed a few epigeous ('mushroom-like') taxa. While rat and wallaby diets contained many of the same taxa, their diets were significantly different in terms of the fungal taxa that comprised each sample. Our results suggest that black rats might perform an important spore dispersal role in degraded and fragmented landscapes where native rodents have been extirpated, and might complement the dispersal role played by larger mycophagous mammals like swamp wallabies.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Fungal Ecology, 2(3), p. 145-148
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ISSN: 1754-5048
1878-0083
Field of Research (FOR): 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
050209 Natural Resource Management
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
961203 Rehabilitation of Degraded Forest and Woodlands Environments
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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