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Fly and wasp diversity responds to elements of both the visible and invisible fire mosaic
It is increasingly recognised that fire management for biodiversity conservation must account for two kinds of landscape mosaics: 1) the âvisibleâ mosaic of post-fire age classes as it relates to organism responses to the most recent fire events; and 2) the âinvisibleâ 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, though 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 mosaicâs influence on animal communities.
WF16189 Accepted 25 February 2017
© CSIRO 2017