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Diptera community composition and succession following habitat disturbance by wildfireAuthor(s): Michael A. Patten; Jutta C. Burger; Thomas R. Prentice; John T. Rotenberry; Richard A. Redak
Source: In: Kus, Barbara E., and Beyers, Jan L., technical coordinators. Planning for Biodiversity: Bringing Research and Management Together. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-195. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 245-248
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionBoth biogeographic (for example, latitude) and local (for example, soil) processes determine composition and succession of biotic communities. Postfire succession of vegetation has been studied intensively in chaparral and coastal sage scrub. Fewer studies have examined postfire succession of animals, even though fires can drastically alter their abundance and diversity (Ahlgren and Ahlgren 1960, DeBano and others 1998). Work on response to fire has focused on vertebrates, with few studies on insects, several yielding conflicting results. Little is known about community ecology of Diptera. Flies exhibit high alpha-diversity, show remarkable variation in foods and habitats (occupying every trophic level), and are highly vagile (recolonization is likely to occur quickly). Studies of arthropod succession are important for understanding mechanisms that determine community structure, which can be critical to land management, conservation, and reserve design (Kremen and others 1993).
We examined Diptera community differences between burned and unburned sites at family and guild levels. We focused on a mid-successional period (2.5 to 4 yr after a burn). Full recovery of burned sage scrub requires 5–10 yr and may never equal the preburn state (Westman 1981). We hypothesized that (1) Diptera communities differ qualitatively between burned and unburned plots; (2) recolonization occurs in a predictable order of scavengers, animal feeders (predators, parasitoids, and hematavores), plant feeders (pollinators and herbivores), and detritivores; (3) local-scale processes drive short-term vegetation recovery because many sage scrub shrubs reestablish from rootstock and seeds that survive fire; and (4) geographic-scale processes drive Diptera community reestablishment because flies recolonize from surrounding intact areas, not from the disturbed site itself.
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CitationPatten, Michael A.; Burger, Jutta C.; Prentice, Thomas R.; Rotenberry, John T.; Redak, Richard A. 2005. Diptera community composition and succession following habitat disturbance by wildfire. In: Kus, Barbara E., and Beyers, Jan L., technical coordinators. Planning for Biodiversity: Bringing Research and Management Together. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-195. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 245-248
Keywordscoastal sage scrub, diversity, flies, postfire, richness
- Patterns and processes of arthropod community succession after a fire
- Salvia L.: sage
- Long-term prospects for restoration of coastal sage scrub: invasive species, nitrogen deposition, and novel ecosystems
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