Title

Conservation of a groundwater-dependent mire-dwelling dragonfly: Implications of multiple threatening processes

Date of this Version

2016

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Baird, I., & Burgin, R. (2016). Conservation of a groundwater-dependent mire-dwelling dragonfly: Implications of multiple threatening processes. Journal of Insect Conservation, 20(2), 165-178.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

ISSN

1366-638X, 1572-9753 (online)

Abstract

Groundwater-dependent cosystems and their dependent species are under increasing threat globally. Petalurid dragonflies are one such group. This review highlights processes that threaten the groundwater-dependent mire habitats of Petalura gigantea, a dragonfly with long-lived fossorial larvae. The species is reliant for successful reproduction on areas of emergent seepage, or at least, on a water table that is sufficiently high to cause saturation of the peaty substrate. These microhabitat characteristics are critical for successful oviposition and larval burrow establishment, making the species particularly vulnerable to any lowering of water tables. The effect of any lowering of water tables, due to groundwater abstraction or longwall coal mining, for example, will be compounded by the effects of more intense fire regimes in these mires and by projected climate change. These threatening processes act in conjunction with a range of other anthropogenic threats and are mirrored globally in threats to other groundwater-dependent mire ecosystems and their dependent species, including other petalurid dragonflies.

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This document has been peer reviewed.