The forest fire of Leuk (Wallis) in 2003 offered the opportunity to assess the impact of fire on arthropods and their succession after the event. We used standardized traps to sample arthropods in the center and at the edge of the burned area as well as in the intact forest outside the surface, two, three, five and ten years after the fire. We investigated different taxonomic and functional groups with particular focus on deadwood dwelling and endangered beetle species. We sampled 1898 species: 949 exclusively within the burned area and 159 exclusively in the intact forest. While the species number in the intact forest hardly changed during the investigation period, it increased dramatically in the burned area immediately after the fire. This was true for the herbivores and pollinators, as well as for the deadwood dwelling and endangered beetle species. In contrast, the number of species in two ground-dwelling groups, i.e., spiders (predators) and woodlice (decomposers), in the burned area exceeded those of the intact forest plots only five or ten years after the fire. During the first three years after the fire, we also sampled pyrophilic (fire-adapted) species, such as the bark bug Aradus lugubris and the longhorn beetles Acmaeops septentrionis and A. marginatus in the burned area. In total, there were 285 indicator species of specific and 38 further indicator species of unspecific post-fire successional stages. In contrast, only 18 indicator species of intact forests could be found. As such, forest fire is an ecological disturbance that can be considered as an important driver for maintaining and enhancing biodiversity as well as fire-specialized species.

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