Experimental investigations of colonisation by north temperate dung beetles of different types of domestic herbivore dung

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2002
Authors:J. A. Finn, Giller P. S.
Journal:Applied Soil Ecology
Date Published:Apr
Accession Number:ISI:000177123900001
Keywords:abundance, aphodius, assemblage, cattle dung, COLEOPTERA, colonisation, disappearance, dung beetle, Onthophagus, resource, resource utilization, Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeoidea, seasonal-changes, utilisation

Field experiments investigated the colonisation by a north temperate dung beetle community (Aphodius, Geotrupes and Sphaeridium species) of artificial, standardised (11) dung pats from native herbivore species (cow, horse and sheep). An additional experiment compared the colonisation by dung beetles of five different types of cow dung. These experiments did not examine naturally occurring dung pats, but used experimental dung pats to examine the ability of north temperate dung beetles to discriminate among different dung types. A small number of laboratory experiments investigated pat residence times (PRT) and larval production across different dung types. There were significant differences in the biomass and abundance of dung beetle colonisation across different dung types. Sheep dung tended to have highest abundances of beetles, but there was evidence of species-specific differences in dung beetle colonisation of the different kinds of dung. In two out of three comparisons, laboratory experiments provided evidence that adult PRT were significantly different among different kinds of dung. In each of three laboratory experiments, larval production was significantly higher in sheep than cow dung pats of the same size. The relevance of these findings to the interpretation of what constitutes a dung type preference is discussed. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

URL:<Go to ISI>://000177123900001
Alternate Journal:Appl. Soil Ecol.
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