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The response of cerambycid beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) to long-term fire frequency regimes in subtropical eucalypt forest

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Eliott, M., Lawson, S., Hayes, A. R., Debuse, V., York, A. and Lewis, T. (2019) The response of cerambycid beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) to long-term fire frequency regimes in subtropical eucalypt forest. Austral Ecology, 44 (4). pp. 609-620.

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/aec.12702

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aec.12702


Fire has a varied influence on plant and animal species through direct (e.g. fire-induced mortality) and indirect (e.g. modification of habitat) effects. Our understanding of the influence of fire regime on invertebrates and their response to fire-induced modifications to habitat is poor. We aimed to determine the response of a beetle family (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) to varying fire treatments and hypothesised that the abundance of cerambycid beetles is influenced by fire frequency due to modifications in habitat associated with the fire treatments. Arthropods were sampled across 3 months in annually and triennially burnt areas (treatments starting in 1952 and 1973 respectively), an area unburnt since 1946, and a former unburnt treatment, burnt by wildfire in 2006. Eleven different cerambycid taxa were collected using flight intercept panel traps, dominated by three species (Ipomoria tillides, Adrium sp. and Bethelium signiferum) which made up 99% of individuals collected. Over the sampling period the long unburnt treatment had significantly lower species richness than the triennial and wildfire treatments. Cerambycid abundance was significantly higher in the triennially burnt treatment than in all other fire treatments. Ipomoria tillides was more abundant in both frequently burnt treatments, Adrium sp. was more common in triennially burnt areas, whereas B. signiferum, was more common in the wildfire affected treatment. Some, but not all, cerambycid beetles were more common in areas with a more open understorey (i.e. resulting from frequent burning), and lower tree basal area, as this likely influences their ability to fly easily between food sources. Cerambycid abundance was positively related to the volume of coarse woody debris and healthy tree crowns. Cerambycid beetles were clearly influenced by historic fire regime, suggesting that changes in fire regime can potentially have a profound influence on arthropod assemblages, and subsequent influences on ecosystem processes, which are currently poorly understood.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:arthropod fire experiment fire regime habitat longicorn
Subjects:Science > Biology
Live Archive:07 Mar 2019 01:30
Last Modified:06 Mar 2024 01:38

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