German Journal of Herpetology

Drummond, L. O., F. R. Moura & M. R. S. Pires

In Issues 2018

Impact of fire on anurans of rupestrian grasslands (campos rupestres): a case study in the Serra do Espinhaço, Brazil. pp. 1-10.

Abstract. The rupestrian grasslands of the Serra do Espinhaço (Espinhaço Mountain Range) are mainly a savanna vegetation complex with a high degree of anuran endemism. Although this fire-prone vegetation is frequently burned by natural and anthropogenic fires, there is no information about how populations of the anurans of this ecosystem respond to such an impact. Aiming to evaluate the effect of fire on the anuran composition of a typical rupestrian grasslands environment, a high-elevation temporary pond of about 500 m² (Lagoa Seca) in Parque Estadual do Itacolomi was monitored during three different one-year time periods: Pre-fire (PrF), immediately Post-fire (PoF) and Seven Years Post-fire (7PoF). Surveys took place every two weeks throughout each study period. An increase in anuran species richness was found immediately after the fire event. The species present during the periods when the vegetation was in advanced stages of regeneration (PrF and 7PoF) were not eliminated by the fire event. Additionally, five species were recorded at low densities exclusively in the PoF period. The factors that may provide fire resistance to anuran of rupestrian grasslands and the implications of the results for fire management plans, a conservation measure previously treated as a taboo by many Brazilian conservation managers, are discussed.

Key words. Amphibians, altitudinal grasslands, conservation, fire effect, rocky fields, savanna, Espinhaço Mountain Range.