International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Fly and wasp diversity responds to elements of both the visible and invisible fire mosaic

Julian Brown A B and Alan York A

A School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne, 4 Water Street, Creswick, Vic. 3363, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Emails: julian.macpherson.brown@gmail.com

International Journal of Wildland Fire - https://doi.org/10.1071/WF16189
Submitted: 16 October 2016  Accepted: 25 February 2017   Published online: 4 April 2017

Abstract

It is increasingly recognised that fire management for biodiversity conservation must account for two kinds of landscape mosaics: 1) the ‘visible’ mosaic of post-fire age classes as it relates to organism responses to the most recent fire events; and 2) the ‘invisible’ mosaic of inter-fire intervals, frequencies and other components of the fire regime as they relate to the cumulative effects of multiple fires. Patch mosaic burning (PMB) aims to create landscape mosaics of fire ages to cater for the needs of a diversity of species differing in their age class preferences, but empirical studies often fail to detect a link between species richness and the visible mosaic. Empirical studies of cumulative effects have so far related species richness to the fire regimes of sample locations rather than the invisible mosaic, within which sample locations are embedded. Invertebrate responses to landscape fire mosaics are particularly poorly understood, so we investigated relationships between fire history heterogeneity and fly and wasp species richness. We find support for the PMB paradigm and the notion the invisible mosaic influences species richness. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical test of the invisible mosaic’s influence on animal communities.

Additional keywords: biodiversity, fire frequency.


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