Spatial and temporal variation in species composition of dung beetle assemblages in southern Ireland

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:J. A. Finn, Gittings, T., Giller, P. S.
Journal:Ecological Entomology
Keywords:Anim, Animalia-, Aphodius-spp. [dung-beetle] (Coleoptera-), Arthropoda-, Coleoptera-: Insecta-, Environmental-Sciences), Geotrupes-spp. [dung-beetle] (Coleoptera-), Invertebrata-, Sphaeridium-spp. [dung-beetle] (Coleoptera-), Terrestrial-Ecology (Ecology-

1. This study attempts to identify the main community characteristics that contribute to variability in dung beetle assemblage composition and structure across a range of spatial and temporal scales. 2. Dung beetle assemblages (Aphodius, Sphaeridium, and Geotrupes species) were monitored by dung-baited pitfall trapping at 10-day intervals during the seasonally active period at eleven sites in southern Ireland. Three of the sites were monitored over at least 2 years between 1991 and 1996. 3. Although the species composition of the above taxonomic groups was comparable among sites and years, relative abundances of component species varied considerably. Detrended correspondence analysis ordinations indicated a similar level of variability in dung beetle assemblage structure among years, and among sites apprxeq 1-180 km apart. 4. Processes that may contribute to spatio-temporal variability in dung beetle assemblages are discussed, and strategies for future research are suggested.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith