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Title: Is response to fire influenced by dietary specialization and mobility? A comparative study with multiple animal assemblages
Author: Santos Santiró, Xavier
Mateos Frías, Eduardo
Bros i Catón, Vicenç
Brotons Alabau, Lluís
Mas Castroverde, Eva de
Herraiz, J.A.
Herrando Vila, Sergi
Miño, Àngel
Olmo Vidal, Josep Maria
Quesada Lara, Javier
Ribes, J.
Sabaté i Jorba, Santi
Sauras Yera, Teresa
Serra Sorribes, Antoni
Vallejo, V. Ramón (Victoriano Ramón)
Viñolas, Amador
Keywords: Alimentació animal
Ecologia animal
Ecologia del foc
Mediterrània (Regió)
Incendis forestals
Adaptació (Biologia)
Animal feeding
Animal ecology
Fire ecology
Mediterranean Region
Forest fires
Adaptation (Biology)
Issue Date: 7-Feb-2014
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: Fire is a major agent involved in landscape transformation and an indirect cause of changes in species composition. Responses to fire may vary greatly depending on life histories and functional traits of species. We have examined the taxonomic and functional responses to fire of eight taxonomic animal groups displaying a gradient of dietary and mobility patterns: Gastropoda, Heteroptera, Formicidae, Coleoptera, Araneae, Orthoptera, Reptilia and Aves. The fieldwork was conducted in a Mediterranean protected area on 3 sites (one unburnt and two burnt with different postfire management practices) with five replicates per site. We collected information from 4606 specimens from 274 animal species. Similarity in species composition and abundance between areas was measured by the Bray-Curtis index and ANOSIM, and comparisons between animal and plant responses by Mantel tests. We analyze whether groups with the highest percentage of omnivorous species, these species being more generalist in their dietary habits, show weak responses to fire (i.e. more similarity between burnt and unburnt areas), and independent responses to changes in vegetation. We also explore how mobility, i.e. dispersal ability, influences responses to fire. Our results demonstrate that differences in species composition and abundance between burnt and unburnt areas differed among groups. We found a tendency towards presenting lower differences between areas for groups with higher percentages of omnivorous species. Moreover, taxa with a higher percentage of omnivorous species had significantly more independent responses of changes in vegetation. High- (e.g. Aves) and low-mobility (e.g. Gastropoda) groups had the strongest responses to fire (higher R scores of the ANOSIM); however, we failed to find a significant general pattern with all the groups according to their mobility. Our results partially support the idea that functional traits underlie the response of organisms to environmental changes caused by fire.
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It is part of: PLoS One, 2014, vol. 9, num. 2, p. e88224
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ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

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