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The diet of the long-footed potoroo


, : The diet of the long-footed potoroo. Australian Journal of Ecology 24(2): 151-156, April

The diet of the long-footed potoroo Potorous longipes was studied at logged and unlogged sites in East Gippsland and northeastern Victoria. Most data were for two sites in East Gippsland, with the logged site (Bellbird) having the most samples. Faecal material collected between 1993 and 1995 at Bellbird comprised 91.2 +- 4.4% fungal remains, with no significant seasonal variation, in contrast to all other dietary studies of Australian mycophagous mammals. There were, however, significant differences in the composition of the fungi consumed seasonally and between years. One genus of fungus, Mesophellia, constituted on average 40% of all spores found in scats at Bellbird and was the most seasonally variable. Mesophellia spores were least common in scats in winter 1993 and autumn/winter 1994 but most common in winter 1995. The high occurrence of Mesophellia in scats at Bellbird reflected the disturbed nature of the site. Fungal species requiring deep, friable soils and a deep litter layer were more commonly represented at comparatively undisturbed sites.

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