Metacommunity resilience against simulated gradients of wildfire: disturbance intensity and species dispersal ability determine landscape recover capacity

Cunillera-Montcusí et al. (2021) – Ecography, 44(7): 1022-1034.

We applied a lottery model that considers landscape alteration and species dispersal abilities to analyse biodiversity resilience to increasing intensity wildfire disturbances in a pond macroinvertebrate metacommunity. We evaluated metacommunity recovery across gradients of wildfire size (area) and intensity (% of burned communities). Our simulated responses reported a highly resilient system. However, our model identified non-linear relationships between fire intensity and resilience. When fire intensity affects more than half of the landscape the network becomes fragmented, breaking stepping-stone recolonization dynamics for some dispersal groups and compromising recolonization from unburned or recolonized sites.

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