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      Fire and windthrow in forests: Winners and losers in Neuropterida and Mecoptera

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      Alpine Entomology

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The mid-term impact of forest fires and windthrows on species compositions in the insect orders Neuroptera, Raphidioptera and Mecoptera was assessed in Swiss forests using standardized flight interception traps. For 50 species the abundances in intact control plots were compared to those in moderately or strongly disturbed forest stands. The catches were combined over four forest disturbance projects ranging from windthrows in alpine spruce forests and lowland deciduous forests to winter forest fires in Southern Switzerland and a large summer fire in southwestern Switzerland. As a result 82% of the 50 species benefited from the disturbance and became more abundant in the years after the fire or windthrow. More species (19) had their maximum abundance in intermediately disturbed plots than in heavily disturbed forests (17). Only 11 species mainly Hemerobiidae and Coniopterygidae peaked in the undisturbed forest stands. The species are listed per impact and ranked as winners (more than 66% specimens per treatment collected in disturbed forest plots) losers (more than 66% specimens per treatment in undisturbed forest plots) and indifferent species. An additional 29 species that were too scarce for an assessment are listed in Appendix 1. We conclude that for Neuropterida and Mecoptera catastrophic incidences are natural ecological events which create new habitats and by this foster their occurrence and abundance.

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          Biodiversity evaluation in agricultural landscapes: above-ground insects

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            The effects of windthrow on forest insect communities: a literature review

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              Biodiversity and resilience of arthropod communities after fire disturbance in temperate forests.

              Changes in ecosystem functions following disturbances are of central concern in ecology and a challenge for ecologists is to understand the factors that affect the resilience of community structures and ecosystem functions. In many forest ecosystems, one such important natural disturbance is fire. The aim of this study was to understand the variation of resilience in six functional groups of invertebrates in response to different fire frequencies in southern Switzerland. We measured resilience by analysing arthropod species composition, abundance and diversity in plots where the elapsed time after single or repeated fires, as determined by dendrochronology, varied. We compared data from these plots with data from plots that had not burned recently and defined high resilience as the rapid recovery of the species composition to that prior to fire. Pooling all functional groups showed that they were more resilient to single fires than to repeated events, recovering 6-14 years after a single fire, but only 17-24 years after the last of several fires. Flying zoophagous and phytophagous arthropods were the most resilient groups. Pollinophagous and epigaeic zoophagous species showed intermediate resilience, while ground-litter saprophagous and saproxylophagous arthropods clearly displayed the lowest resilience to fire. Their species composition 17-24 years post-burn still differed markedly from that of the unburned control plots. Depending on the fire history of a forest plot, we found significant differences in the dominance hierarchy among invertebrate species. Any attempt to imitate natural disturbances, such as fire, through forest management must take into account the recovery times of biodiversity, including functional group composition, to ensure the conservation of multiple taxa and ecosystem functions in a sustainable manner.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Alpine Entomology
                AlpEnt
                Pensoft Publishers
                2535-0889
                April 03 2019
                April 03 2019
                : 3
                : 39-50
                Article
                10.3897/alpento.3.30868
                © 2019

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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