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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Responses of prairie insects and other arthropods to prescription burns
Year: 1997
Author(s): Reed, C. C.
Source Title: Natural Areas Journal
Source Type: Journal
pages: 380-385
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: The results of many field studies provide ample evidence that burning has a major influence on the presence and persistence of arthropod species on prairie sites. The variation in fire tolerance of species and the changes in the physical environment and plant communities following burns result in the development of distinctly different arthropod communities on frequently burned sites compared to sites protected from burning. Changing successional stages following burns also support distinctive arthropod species and groups. In general, a landscape containing sites at different successional stages, and sites varying in burn frequency, will support the most species; if a single site is burned at intervals, a cycle of arthropod species richness, species composition, and numbers of individuals will occur. It is possible to predict the responses of a prairie arthropod community or of a single species to a controlled burn or a series of burns if the fire history of the site, and the burn tolerance, colonizing ability, and basic biology of the species present, are known.