Apulian biodiversity response to wildfires

Mario Elia, Raffaele Lafortezza, Eustachio Tarasco, Giovanni Sanesi


Wildfires are important drivers of forest composition and biodiversity in the Apulian Region. We examined the 5-year response of beetles to wildfires by assessing patterns of community composition across a gradient in a burnt forest area. We characterized the relationship between distance from the forest edge and occurrence of beetle taxonomic assemblages. We also analysed the composition, similarity, and dominance of ground beetle communities in some selected plots located along this gradient. A negative relationship exists between community similarity and distance from the forest edge. As the distance from the forest edge into the burned area became greater the dominance of few species increased, and species composition shifted toward habitat generalists. The knowledge of the biological effects of wildfires is crucial for supporting management strategies and policies   on the loss of biodiversity at the global, regional and national levels.


wildfires; insects; biodiversity

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