MARTINEZ fernando Joaquin
Ground-Dwelling Arachnids and Fire Disturbance: A Case Study in Northeastern Patagonia (Argentina)
MARTÍNEZ, F. J.; CHELI, G. H.; GRISMADO, C. J.; BISIGATO, A. J.
Lugar: Basilea; Año: 2022
Fire is one of the main disturbances in northeastern Patagonia. Wildfires are becomingmore frequent and severe, threatening the sustainability of local ecosystems. Arachnids respondmarkedly to environmental modifications and can regulate processes linked to lower trophic levels.Assessing changes in arachnid diversity is useful to understand the effect of fire on animalassemblages and ecosystem functionality. The aim of this study was to analyze the response of the ground-dwelling arachnid assemblage to fire disturbance. Eight sampling sites were selected: four burned and four unburned. Arachnids were sampled using pitfall traps. The taxonomic andfunctional structure of the assemblage was found to differ between burned and unburned areas.This change was related to major taxa turnover. On the other hand, the alpha diversity did not differsignificantly according to fire disturbance. The abundance of specialist spiders decreasedsignificantly in burned areas, possibly related to post-fire changes in the composition and structureof the plant community. In addition, significant species indicators of unburned and burned siteswere found. The results of this study are useful for ecosystem management and the developmentof biodiversity conservation strategies in northeastern Patagonia, an area severely affected by fires.