Land use affects dung beetle communities and their ecosystem service in forests and grasslands

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Land use affects dung beetle communities and their ecosystem service in forests and grasslands. / Frank, Kevin; Hülsmann, Marietta; Aßmann, Thorsten; Schmitt, Thomas; Blüthgen, Nico.

In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 243, 01.06.2017, p. 114-122.

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@article{ba3b2c1ee127482cb6bd0cfcfef816e9,
title = "Land use affects dung beetle communities and their ecosystem service in forests and grasslands",
abstract = "Dung beetles (Scarabaeidae) are common detritivores, and especially the tunnelling genera Geotrupes, Anoplotrupes and Onthophagus enhance the soil quality and support nutrient cycles by rapid burial of mammalian dung. These functionally important beetles are faced with a wide range of anthropogenic disturbances and changes in environmental conditions due to land use. We thus conducted quantitative surveys of the abundance (converted to total biomass) of dung beetles and their dung removal rates (g per two days) in 150 forest and 150 grassland sites with varying land-use intensity, located in north-east, central and south-west Germany. We used dung from livestock (cow, sheep, horse) and game animals (wild boar, red deer and fox) to provide a characteristic spectrum of dung resources on each site. Most dung beetle species showed habitat preferences: Anoplotrupes, Typhaeus and several Aphodius species almost exclusively occurred in forests, while most Onthophagus individuals were found in grasslands. In total we collected 18780 individuals from 33 species. The average dung beetle biomass was 36 times higher in forests than in grasslands, and their effective dung removal rate was 3 times increased. The beetles{\textquoteright} total biomass was strongly correlated to their removal rates. In forests, the amount of wood harvesting significantly reduced dung removal rates by 20%, and mowing frequency (−7%) and fertilisation (−4%) had a significant negative effect in grasslands. Dung removal by beetles increased with grazing intensity (+6%), however, and was higher in non-native coniferous forests (+22%). Overall, our study demonstrates negative effects of habitat conversion from forest to grassland, and negative effects of land-use intensity within forests and grasslands on dung beetle activities.",
keywords = "Ecosystems Research, Biodiversity exploratories, Decomposition, Ecosystem services, Forest management, Grassland management, Land-use intensity",
author = "Kevin Frank and Marietta H{\"u}lsmann and Thorsten A{\ss}mann and Thomas Schmitt and Nico Bl{\"u}thgen",
year = "2017",
month = jun,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.010",
language = "English",
volume = "243",
pages = "114--122",
journal = "Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment",
issn = "0167-8809",
publisher = "Elsevier B.V.",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Land use affects dung beetle communities and their ecosystem service in forests and grasslands

AU - Frank, Kevin

AU - Hülsmann, Marietta

AU - Aßmann, Thorsten

AU - Schmitt, Thomas

AU - Blüthgen, Nico

PY - 2017/6/1

Y1 - 2017/6/1

N2 - Dung beetles (Scarabaeidae) are common detritivores, and especially the tunnelling genera Geotrupes, Anoplotrupes and Onthophagus enhance the soil quality and support nutrient cycles by rapid burial of mammalian dung. These functionally important beetles are faced with a wide range of anthropogenic disturbances and changes in environmental conditions due to land use. We thus conducted quantitative surveys of the abundance (converted to total biomass) of dung beetles and their dung removal rates (g per two days) in 150 forest and 150 grassland sites with varying land-use intensity, located in north-east, central and south-west Germany. We used dung from livestock (cow, sheep, horse) and game animals (wild boar, red deer and fox) to provide a characteristic spectrum of dung resources on each site. Most dung beetle species showed habitat preferences: Anoplotrupes, Typhaeus and several Aphodius species almost exclusively occurred in forests, while most Onthophagus individuals were found in grasslands. In total we collected 18780 individuals from 33 species. The average dung beetle biomass was 36 times higher in forests than in grasslands, and their effective dung removal rate was 3 times increased. The beetles’ total biomass was strongly correlated to their removal rates. In forests, the amount of wood harvesting significantly reduced dung removal rates by 20%, and mowing frequency (−7%) and fertilisation (−4%) had a significant negative effect in grasslands. Dung removal by beetles increased with grazing intensity (+6%), however, and was higher in non-native coniferous forests (+22%). Overall, our study demonstrates negative effects of habitat conversion from forest to grassland, and negative effects of land-use intensity within forests and grasslands on dung beetle activities.

AB - Dung beetles (Scarabaeidae) are common detritivores, and especially the tunnelling genera Geotrupes, Anoplotrupes and Onthophagus enhance the soil quality and support nutrient cycles by rapid burial of mammalian dung. These functionally important beetles are faced with a wide range of anthropogenic disturbances and changes in environmental conditions due to land use. We thus conducted quantitative surveys of the abundance (converted to total biomass) of dung beetles and their dung removal rates (g per two days) in 150 forest and 150 grassland sites with varying land-use intensity, located in north-east, central and south-west Germany. We used dung from livestock (cow, sheep, horse) and game animals (wild boar, red deer and fox) to provide a characteristic spectrum of dung resources on each site. Most dung beetle species showed habitat preferences: Anoplotrupes, Typhaeus and several Aphodius species almost exclusively occurred in forests, while most Onthophagus individuals were found in grasslands. In total we collected 18780 individuals from 33 species. The average dung beetle biomass was 36 times higher in forests than in grasslands, and their effective dung removal rate was 3 times increased. The beetles’ total biomass was strongly correlated to their removal rates. In forests, the amount of wood harvesting significantly reduced dung removal rates by 20%, and mowing frequency (−7%) and fertilisation (−4%) had a significant negative effect in grasslands. Dung removal by beetles increased with grazing intensity (+6%), however, and was higher in non-native coniferous forests (+22%). Overall, our study demonstrates negative effects of habitat conversion from forest to grassland, and negative effects of land-use intensity within forests and grasslands on dung beetle activities.

KW - Ecosystems Research

KW - Biodiversity exploratories

KW - Decomposition

KW - Ecosystem services

KW - Forest management

KW - Grassland management

KW - Land-use intensity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85017785532&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.010

DO - 10.1016/j.agee.2017.04.010

M3 - Journal articles

VL - 243

SP - 114

EP - 122

JO - Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

JF - Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

SN - 0167-8809

ER -