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Keywords:

  • birds;
  • edge effects;
  • millipedes;
  • mining;
  • rehabilitation;
  • roads;
  • rodents

Abstract Post-mining coastal dune rehabilitation north of Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal started 20 years before field work for the present study commenced. This resulted in the development of a known age sere of coastal dune forest succession. These rehabilitating areas are fragmented by roads that may act as ecological edges. To establish whether roads affect regenerating bird, millipede, and rodent assemblages, multivariate techniques were applied to test for existence of edge and core assemblages within seral stages representative of the coastal dune forest successional sere. Edge and core assemblages were identified for both the bird and millipede communities but not for the rodent community. Low rodent numbers may have concealed edge effects, but the absence of edge and core assemblages could also be ascribed to the absence of a forest core. In the bird community species composition, richness, density, and total number of species contributed to the identification of edge and core assemblages. Within seral stages the species composition of millipedes differed between the edge and core assemblages. However, if the site was the same age the number of species in edge and core assemblages was similar. The generality of the edge concept should be approached with caution when dealing with taxa comprising species with such diverse natural histories as in the present study. It should also be kept in mind that some species require forest interiors for survival.