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

Ian R C Baird*, Shelley Burgin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Groundwater-dependent ecosystems 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-178
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Insect Conservation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


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