Resilience of reptiles to megafires

Extreme climate events, together with anthropogenic land use changes, have led to the rise of megafires (i.e., fires at the top of the frequency size distribution) in many world regions. Megafires imply that the centre of the burned area is far from the unburnt; thus, recolonization may be critical for species with low dispersal abilities such as reptiles. We aimed to evaluate the effect of megafires on a reptile community, exploring to what extent reptile responses are spatially shaped by the distance to the unburned area. We examined the short-term spatiotemporal response of a Mediterranean reptile community after two megafires (>20.000 hectares) occurred in summer 2012 at eastern Spain. Reptiles were sampled during four years after the fire in burnt plots located at different distances from the fire perimeter (edge, middle, and centre), and in adjacent unburnt plots. Reptile responses were modelled with fire history, as well as climate and remotely sensed environmental variables. Leer más.

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