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Delayed effects of fire and logging on cicada nymph abundance

The degradation of the root system after fire and logging entails alteration of belowground biodiversity. Nymphs of Cicada orni feed on the sap of roots and can be indicators of the fate of the root-feeding fauna. I studied the cicada population of a pine forest which was affected in 2010 by a wildfire that burned all the vegetation aboveground and was subsequently logged. I hypothesized that the effect of these disturbances on the forest root system would negatively affect nymph abundance and length, due to the consequent food limitation. I used a BACI (before-after control-impact) design approach, assuming that root degradation, taking place around 1 year after the death of aerial structures, was the main impact on cicada nymphs. Cicada exuviae attached to vegetation were collected as a proxy for nymphs. From 2011 to 2012, the relative abundance of exuviae increased from 12.6 to 23.3 exuviae/100 m2 in the control area, but decreased from 18.0 to 3.6 exuviae/100 m2 in the burned area, probably as a consequence of progressive root degradation and/or to the absence of 2-year-old nymphs due to the destruction of eggs by fire. However, interannual trends in exuviae length of males and females cicadas were not significantly different between areas. This population crash illustrates a previously undescribed time lag in the response of belowground animals to fire and logging which may have consequences for the ecosystem as a whole

Study partly supported by CGL2014-54094-R

© Journal of Insect Conservation, 2015, vol. 19, núm. 3, p. 601-606

Springer Verlag

Author: Pons Ferran, Pere
Date: 2015 June
Abstract: The degradation of the root system after fire and logging entails alteration of belowground biodiversity. Nymphs of Cicada orni feed on the sap of roots and can be indicators of the fate of the root-feeding fauna. I studied the cicada population of a pine forest which was affected in 2010 by a wildfire that burned all the vegetation aboveground and was subsequently logged. I hypothesized that the effect of these disturbances on the forest root system would negatively affect nymph abundance and length, due to the consequent food limitation. I used a BACI (before-after control-impact) design approach, assuming that root degradation, taking place around 1 year after the death of aerial structures, was the main impact on cicada nymphs. Cicada exuviae attached to vegetation were collected as a proxy for nymphs. From 2011 to 2012, the relative abundance of exuviae increased from 12.6 to 23.3 exuviae/100 m2 in the control area, but decreased from 18.0 to 3.6 exuviae/100 m2 in the burned area, probably as a consequence of progressive root degradation and/or to the absence of 2-year-old nymphs due to the destruction of eggs by fire. However, interannual trends in exuviae length of males and females cicadas were not significantly different between areas. This population crash illustrates a previously undescribed time lag in the response of belowground animals to fire and logging which may have consequences for the ecosystem as a whole
Study partly supported by CGL2014-54094-R
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 1366-638X (versió paper)
1366-638X (versió electrònica)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/10963
Language: eng
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Collection: MINECO/PE 2015-2017/CGL2014-54094-R
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10841-015-9781-6
Articles publicats (D-CCAA)
Is part of: © Journal of Insect Conservation, 2015, vol. 19, núm. 3, p. 601-606
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Incendis forestals
Forest fires
Desboscament
Deforestation
Biodiversitat
Biological diversity
Title: Delayed effects of fire and logging on cicada nymph abundance
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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