Effect of forest fires on a Mediterranean Odonata assemblage


Large-scale forest fires have shaped the Mediterranean landscape for millennia, causing a recurrent disturbance that constitutes a serious environmental issue. Following a devastating forest fire, changes in the Odonata larvae assemblage of a headwater stream were analysed during six consecutive years. Five dragonflies survived the fire as larvae: Boyeria irene, Gomphus pulchellus, Onychogomphus forcipatus, O. uncatus, and Cordulegaster boltonii. Mediterranean semivoltine odonates, in contrast to species with short life cycles, exhibited resilience to forest fires, suggesting that species with long life cycles were adapted to fire disturbances that periodically sweep through their habitats.

Issue section: Original Article