iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Impact of wildfire on the edaphic microarthropod community in a Pinus pinaster forest in central Italy

Chiara Lisa (1), Donatella Paffetti (2), Susanna Nocentini (1), Enrico Marchi (1)   , Francesca Bottalico (1), Silvia Fiorentini (1), Davide Travaglini (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 6, Pages 874-883 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1404-008
Published: May 05, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

The purpose of this study was to investigate the response of the soil microarthropod community to wildfire in forest ecosystems. The edaphic microarthropod communities of pine stands burned in 2001, in 2009, both in 2001 and in 2009, in 2012 were compared to an area never burned. Sampling was conducted in the spring and autumn of 2011 and 2012 in the areas burned in 2001, in 2009 and those never burned, while in the area burned in 2012, soil samples were collected in March (10 days after fire), June and September. The abundance and biodiversity of the microarthropod community were assessed. A multitemporal analysis was also carried out to assess the effect of fire on soil microarthropod abundance 5 months, 2-3 years and 10-11 years after fire. The results showed that the abundance of edaphic microarthropod communities decreased dramatically in areas burned twice, but also in areas burned once in 2009 and five months after the fire in the area burned in 2012. Different taxonomic groups did not seem to respond to fire in the same way, some taxa being more sensitive than others. Pseudoscorpionida decreased in both the short- and the long-term, while Diplopoda, Thysanoptera and Symphyla showed a reduction in the intermediate- and long-term. In the short-term, Diptera and Coleoptera larvae appeared to be the most influenced taxonomic groups. Our study shows that biomonitoring is a valuable tool to investigate the reaction of forest ecosystems to fire, and that edaphic microarthropods can provide interesting answers about the direct and indirect effects of fire on soil.


Biomonitoring, Microarthropod Community, Forest Fires, Pinus pinaster Aiton

Authors’ address

Chiara Lisa
Susanna Nocentini
Enrico Marchi
Francesca Bottalico
Silvia Fiorentini
Davide Travaglini
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems, University of Florence, v. San Bonaventura 13, I-50145 Florence (Italy)
Donatella Paffetti
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Florence, p.le delle Cascine 28, I-50144 Florence (Italy)

Corresponding author

Enrico Marchi


Lisa C, Paffetti D, Nocentini S, Marchi E, Bottalico F, Fiorentini S, Travaglini D (2015). Impact of wildfire on the edaphic microarthropod community in a Pinus pinaster forest in central Italy. iForest 8: 874-883. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1404-008

Academic Editor

Massimo Faccoli

Paper history

Received: Jul 21, 2014
Accepted: Jan 27, 2015

First online: May 05, 2015
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2015
Publication Time: 3.27 months

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