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17-10-2016 | Original Paper | Issue 1/2017

Biodiversity and Conservation 1/2017

The effect of fire history in shaping diversity patterns of flower-visiting insects in post-fire Mediterranean pine forests

Journal:
Biodiversity and Conservation > Issue 1/2017
Authors:
Maria Lazarina, Stefanos P. Sgardelis, Thomas Tscheulin, Jelle Devalez, Vangelis Mizerakis, Athanasios S. Kallimanis, Spyridon Papakonstantinou, Thanassis Kyriazis, Theodora Petanidou
Important notes
Communicated by B. D. Hoffmann.

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10531-016-1228-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Forest and plantation biodiversity.

Abstract

Fire affects diversity and structure of flower-visitor communities. We explored the effect of fire history on the diversity patterns and structure of the flower-visitor guilds (bees, beetles, flies, sawflies, and wasps), across a post-fire regeneration sequence of pine forests in Rhodes Island, Greece. Fire history was defined by fire frequency and post-fire age of sites. We did not find significant differences in species richness and abundance per guild between fire-history regimes except for the abundance of flies, sawflies and the entire flower-visitor community. Fire strongly affected the community structure of bees, beetles, and sawflies. Some of the most abundant and common species responded significantly to fire in terms of abundance; yet, we observed no significant variation in the abundance of the common species of bees, the most prominent pollinator group, implying that provision of pollination services may not be considerably affected by fire. Long-unburnt sites displayed higher heterogeneity in species composition compared to recently-burnt sites (either burnt once or twice). This pattern deviated significantly from null expectations when analyzing the abundance-based metric of β-diversity and was obscure in the case of the presence/absence-based metric, indicating that fire affected mainly the spatial distribution of individuals, i.e. the main change is not due to species turnover but to changes in relative abundance. Furthermore, the species composition in recently-burnt sites (burnt once in 2008) were more similar than in twice-burnt sites (including areas burnt once between 1984 and 1992, and in 2008), indicating that fire frequency affected post-fire heterogeneity of species composition.

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