Vol. 78 No. 5 (2023)

Biomonitoring of edaphic microarthropods in wild fires broadleaf stands in the Montefalcone Nature Reserve

Published 2024-02-14


  • broadleaf forests,
  • wild fires,
  • soil,
  • adaphic microarthropods,
  • environmental monitoring


The aim of this study is to assess the impact of fire on edaphic microarthropod communities in stands of broadleaf trees with a prevalence of Quercus species affected by several fires: in 2001, in 2009, and in some areas in both years, within the Montefalcone Nature Reserve (Pisa). Soil sampling was carried out seasonally between autumn 2011 and autumn 2012 for a total of 120 samples including a nearby area where non fire has occurred since at least 40 years (control). Monitoring was carried out using the soil biological quality index (QBS-ar) and the abundances of microarthropods, which did not show clear differences between areas burned, once or twice, and the control area. Although no significant differences emerged, the study shows that some ecomorphological groups are more sensitive to the passage of fire than others. In our caase, the density of microarthropods and the biological quality of the soil did not show any particular reductions, confirming that the recovery of edaphic communities, generally, takes place within a couple of years. This highlights the important role of monitoring over time in order to provide information on the impact of fire on a forest stand and therefore on its stability after a disturbance.


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