Habitat islands in a sea of urbanisation – Identifying reserves used by quenda

westernWEB

By Gill Bryant.  Quenda are fantastic urban adapters, persisting in and around cities and towns across southwest Western Australia (WA). Quenda play an important role as ecosystem engineers by modifying their environment well out of proportion to their body size, where a single quenda can excavate 3.9 tonnes of soil each year digging for their main food, mycorrhizae fungi below the soil surface [1,2].

Quenda are important ecosystem engineers turning over soil, cycling nutrients from leaf litter, and increasing seedling survival. Quenda are important ecosystem engineers turning over soil, cycling nutrients from leaf litter, and increasing seedling survival.

Quenda are truly ecosystem engineers.  By cultivating the landscape, they increase seedling recruitment by capturing organic matter and increasing soil moisture. They also consume invertebrate prey and disperse important mycorrhizae fungi across the landscape to assist in vegetation growth. The presence of quenda in your local bushland area, therefore, reflects a healthy ecosystem.

These southern brown bandicoots (Isodoon obesulus fusciventer) make their…

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