Dugn beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) diversity in continuous forest, forest fragments and cattle pastures in a landscape of Chiapas, Mexico: the effects of anthropogenic changes

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:D. Navarrete, Halffter G.
Journal:Biodiversity Conservation

We studied the diversity of dung beetles in three different habitats in the Lacandona Forest, Chiapas, Mexico. We found a total of 49 species. Of these, 44 were in well-preserved forests (SC) within the limits of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, 42 in fragmented forests (SF), and 13 in cattle pastures (PZ). These two latter habitats were part of a fragmented landscape. Even though the species richness between the two forest habitats is similar, there is a change in guild composition and structure. About 12% of the species were exclusively found in SC, while 4.1% and 2% were exclusive of SF and PZ respectively. b diversity was the most important element for overall diversity (c), above that of the local richness (a). Within well-preserved forests, species composition changes substantially, even among neighboring sites. Species diversity within the landscape seems to depend on canopy coverage, soil temperature and geographic distance between sites. Functional groups vary with the habitat. Large-bodied, nocturnal species with specific requirements of soil temperature and compaction are more sensitive to anthropogenic changes. In cattle pastures there is a larger number of heliophilic species, with a higher percentage of small-bodied and roller beetles.

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