Dung beetle movements at two spatial scales

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2000
Authors:T. Roslin
Date Published:Nov
Accession Number:ISI:000166017800013
Keywords:APHODIUS SCARABAEIDAE, butterfly, colonization, euphydryas-editha-bayensis, long-distance dispersal, melitaea-cinxia, metapopulation structure, migration, patch size, proclossiana-eunomia lepidoptera, resource utilization

To understand the dynamics of spatially structured populations, we need to know the level of movements at different spatial scales. This paper reports on Aphodius dung beetle movements at two scales: movements between dung pats within pastures, and movements between pastures. First, I test an assumption common to many recent models of spatially structured populations - that the probability of an individual moving between habitat patches decreases exponentially with distance. For dung beetles, I find sufficient evidence to reject this assumption. The distribution of dispersal distances was clearly leptokurtic, with more individuals moving short and long distances than expected on the basis of an exponential function. In contrast, the data were well described by a power function. I conclude that dung beetle movements include an element of non-randomness not captured by the simplistic exponential model. The power function offers a promising alternative, but the actual mechanisms behind the pattern need to be clarified. Second, I compare several species of Aphodius to each other. Although these species occur in the same network of habitat patches, their movement patterns are different enough to result in a mixture of different spatial population structures. Movements between pastures were more frequent the larger the species, the more specific its occurrence in relation to pat age, and the more specialized it is on cow dung and open pasture habitats. Within pastures, all species form "patchy" populations, with much movement among individual pats.

URL:<Go to ISI>://000166017800013
Alternate Journal:Oikos
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith