Restoring habitat connectivity over the road: vegetation on a fauna land-bridge in south-east Queensland



The Compton Road overpass in southern Brisbane is known to be allowing passage by numerous birds, reptiles and amphibians; but what type of vegetation is providing habitat suitable for these movements? An evaluation of the reconstructed vegetation on the overpass shows that 45 species of plants were present after 4 years of growth. Most of these were in the original planting list but over 40% have almost certainly come from salvaged native topsoil used in the bypass construction. The resulting habitat, 4 years later, now appears similar to a typical coastal eucalypt forest secondary succession, although not yet identical to nearby forest. The current presence of a dense mid-layer of small trees and shrubs may be an important factor in allowing even the edge-avoiding species to cross the road. On-going investigation of successional changes and the changing responses of the birds and other taxa will contribute to understanding the functionality of such crossing structures.