Aquatic animal community at Dunphy Lake after the Wambelong fire indicates the importance of ephemeral pools and lake sediment for recovery process

Tsuyoshi Kobayashi, Tim J. Ralph, Peter Berney

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract

    Abstract

    Fires are a natural phenomenon in many terrestrial ecosystems. The ecological effects of fires can be complex, depending on the attributes of fires, landscapes, as well as local climate and weather. A large fire occurred in January 2013 within and adjacent to the Warrumbungle National Park, affecting a large area of the park including Dunphy Lake (the Wambelong fire). We assessed the aquatic animal community of Dunphy Lake in March and September 2014. The lake was largely dry and covered with grasses, with only small isolated pools of water in the lake. We found 53 invertebrate taxa including the larvae of the dragonfly Austrogynacantha heterogena and one vertebrate species (larvae of the frog Litoria rubella) in the pool-water samples. Artificial inundation of the lake sediment samples under laboratory conditions led to the emergence of 31 taxa, totalling 62 taxa in the lake overall. Our results indicate the importance of ephemeral pools and lake sediment as refugia against drought and fires for aquatic organisms. The conservation of these seemingly marginal habitats across the park would help the recovery process of aquatic organisms and thus maintain the aquatic species diversity and function after major environmental disturbance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2018 Linnean Society of NSW Natural History Field Symposium
    Subtitle of host publicationvolcanoes of northwest New South Wales: exploring relationships among geology, flora, fauna and fires
    PublisherLinnean Society of New South Wales
    Pages16
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2018
    Event2018 Linnean Society of NSW natural history field symposium - Coonabarabran, Australia
    Duration: 25 Sep 201827 Sep 2018

    Conference

    Conference2018 Linnean Society of NSW natural history field symposium
    CountryAustralia
    CityCoonabarabran
    Period25/09/1827/09/18

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