Ground-dwelling arthropod association with coarse woody debris following long-term dormant season prescribed burning in the longleaf pine flatwoods of North Florida
A 5-year study of long-term (40 years) study plots was conducted on the Osceola National Forest in northern Florida to determine how dormant-season fire frequency (annual, biennial, quadrennial, or unburned) affects ground-dwelling macroarthropod use of coarse woody debris in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests. Pitfall traps were used to sample arthropods near logs or metal drift fences of equal length. Samples were identified to genus or the lowest practical taxonomic level. Overall, significantly more arthropods and more arthropod biomass were captured near drift fences than near logs. Similarity of arthropods captured near logs or drift fences ranged from 64.4% in annually burned plots to 69.2% in quadrennially burned plots, with no significant differences noted. Likewise, Shannon diversity,evenness, richness, and number of rare genera were the same for traps regardless of the trap location. Interaction between fires and trap location were observed in 31 of 932 arthropod taxa.