Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 165–176 | Cite as

Community assembly of Diptera following restoration of mined boreal bogs: taxonomic and functional diversity



Peat mining causes major degradation to bogs and natural regeneration of these sites is slow and often incomplete. Thus, restoration is an important tool for re-establishing natural ecosystem properties (although perhaps not the original species pool) in mined bogs. Because faunal recovery cannot be taken for granted following plant restoration, we assessed community assembly of higher flies (Diptera: Brachycera) in previously mined bogs 7 years after restoration. Species assemblages in restored sites were compared to those in nearby natural and abandoned mined sites. The three treatment types did not differ significantly in overall species composition, suggesting high resilience to disturbance. However, species richness and evenness were generally lower in abandoned sites than restored and natural sites, which had similar abundance distributions, indicating that restoration enhanced recovery of species diversity and community structure. Functional traits (trophic group, body size) provided a different insight into the status of restored sites. Trophic and small size-class (<5 mm) composition in restored sites were similar to those in abandoned sites. However, high species richness estimates indicated that predators and saprophages successfully colonized restored sites. Species assemblages were mostly affected by coverage of bare peat, Sphagnum mosses and ericaceous shrubs; trophic assemblages were affected by variables directly linked to feeding habits. Our results suggest that active restoration is needed for the renewal of high species and trophic diversity, although it is clear from environmental conditions and functional traits that the restored sites are not yet fully functioning peatlands 7 years after restoration.


Peatlands Colonization Trophic assemblages Biodiversity Environmental conditions 



We thank M. Poulin, S. Boudreau and L. Rochefort for help in selecting study sites, access to maps and ecological data and field support. The Peatland Ecology Research Group, Premier Horticulture and Nirom Peat Moss gave permission to collect in the study sites. H. Lalande analysed peat samples. M. Giroux, S. Brooks, J. Cumming, and J. Skevington verified Diptera. C. Buddle advised on analyses. Funding was provided by a Nature Discovery Fund grant and Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies scholarship to AGT and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada grant to TAW.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 145 kb)
10841_2011_9403_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (53 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 53 kb)
10841_2011_9403_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (59 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 58 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amélie Grégoire Taillefer
    • 1
  • Terry A. Wheeler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resource SciencesMcGill UniversitySte-Anne-de-BellevueCanada

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