Changes in Resources Consequences for the Dynamics of Dung Beetle Communities

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1992
Authors:J. P. Lumaret, Kadiri, N., Bertrand, M.
Journal:Journal of Applied Ecology
Keywords:Animalia-, Animals-, Arthropoda-, Arthropods-, Coleoptera-: Insecta-, Insects-, Invertebrata-, Invertebrates-, sheep cattle coleoptera biomass mediterranean pasture ecosystem

1. The effects of a change from sheep to cattle grazing on dung beetle communities were studied under Mediterranean conditions. 2. Five years after the beginning of a change in the grazing regime, dung resources had increased by a factor of 3 and led to a 3-fold increase in beetle numbers and a 2.5-fold increase in biomass. 3. Marked re-adjustments towards a new equilibrium occurred in the dung beetle communities, with drastic changes in the relative frequencies of many species. Dwellers became dominant, coexisting with medium and large tunnellers. No significant changes in species composition occurred during the same period. 4. Mediterranean pasture ecosystems show a strong resilience allowing them to re-adjust rapidly to the processes of recycling organic matter.

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