Document


Title

The negative impacts of fire on the resurrection ecology of invertebrates from temporary wetlands in Cape Flats Sand Fynbos in the Western Cape, South Africa
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Michelle Blanckenberg; Musa C. Mlambo; Denham Parker; Cecile Reed
Publication Year: 2019

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • Africa
  • hatching assays
  • hatching success
  • macroinvertebrate community
  • South Africa
  • wetlands
Region(s):
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 31, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 58236

Description

Fire is an important environmental disturbance in Mediterranean‐climate regions; however, its intensity and frequency are predicted to increase under climate change scenarios with unknown implications for ecosystems in these regions. Temporary wetlands, with their periodic wet and dry phases, are considered one of the most productive systems in the world and their invertebrate communities form a crucial diet component for higher trophic levels. The effect of fire on the hatching success of invertebrate propagules from temporary wetlands in the Cape Flats Sand Fynbos (Cape Town, South Africa) was investigated. Homogenised soil samples from these wetlands were either experimentally subjected to vegetation fires (treatment samples) or were left as is (control samples). The results revealed that fire had a significant negative impact on invertebrate hatching success, as revealed by analyses of the different diversity measures (e.g. taxon richness, Shannon diversity and Pielou's evenness) and community composition. Proper management of fire, especially in the Mediterranean‐climate regions, which replicates the natural fire intervals typical of the area (10-15 years) and avoids unregulated or accidental fires, is essential to ensuring future protection of these critical biodiversity hotspots created by the temporary wetlands.

Online Link(s):
Citation:
Blanckenberg, Michelle; Mlambo, Musa C.; Parker, Denham; Reed, Cecile. 2019. The negative impacts of fire on the resurrection ecology of invertebrates from temporary wetlands in Cape Flats Sand Fynbos in the Western Cape, South Africa. Austral Ecology 44(7):1225-1235.