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.
|Title of host publication||2018 Linnean Society of NSW Natural History Field Symposium|
|Subtitle of host publication||volcanoes of northwest New South Wales: exploring relationships among geology, flora, fauna and fires|
|Publisher||Linnean Society of New South Wales|
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Sep 2018|
|Event||2018 Linnean Society of NSW natural history field symposium - Coonabarabran, Australia|
Duration: 25 Sep 2018 → 27 Sep 2018
|Conference||2018 Linnean Society of NSW natural history field symposium|
|Period||25/09/18 → 27/09/18|
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Wetlands in Drylands: conservation through environmental research, citizen science and global engagement
Tim Ralph (Participant)
Impact: Science impacts, Environment impacts, Policy impacts, Society impacts