JOURNAL OF PEST SCIENCE, vol.78, no.2, pp.53-55, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
Fire is a frequent and common disturbance factor in Mediterranean ecosystems. It is a most spectacular ecological force because it destroys ecosystems in a very short time. Pinus brutia Ten. forests, which are one of the most widespread ecosystems in the eastern Mediterranean rim, have developed adaptations against fire. The adaptations evolved by plant species have been studied extensively. However, the response of insects, which are an important part of the ecosystem, has received little attention. In this study, we investigated the effects of fire on the community structure of Buprestidae over the long term and along a successional gradient. The study was carried out at the Marmaris National Park (N 36 degrees 50', E 28 degrees 17'), which is located in southwestern Turkey. Four sites were selected to represent the different stages of succession. Buprestids were sampled using sweep nets with a 32-cm diameter that were swung 200 times while walking along a 100-m transect in three sampling lines. Total abundance, species richness and the Shannon diversity index were used in order to compare the Buprestidae community at different successional stages. Twenty-seven individuals belonging to I I species were found. Total abundance and species richness decreased with successional age. Both parameters were significantly and negatively correlated with time since fire (respectively r(S) = -0.547, P = 0.013, n = 20; r(S) = -0.479, P = 0.033, n = 20). The results showed that fire affects the Buprestidae community through food supply and changes of habitat. Buprestidae species benefited from conditions that occurred after fire. Weakened trees, spread branches and trunks constituted suitable food resources for the wood-boring beetles in early successional sites. In addition, because of the low abundance of Buprestidae species, no damages were observed on pine seedlings in early successional sites.