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According to the vast literature, human feces remains the most effective bait for the attraction of dung beetles in the Neotropical region [ 74 ], even compared with feces of native mammals [ 75 , 76 ] or other baits like rotten meat or decaying fruit [ 44 ]. Human-pig mixes may be a promising alternative for sampling Scarabaeinae. However, obtaining human feces is much easier than pig feces, and human and human-pig feces show similar attractiveness [ 77 ]. The use of human feces and decaying meat as bait is useful for attracting dung beetle species with different food preferences copronecrophagous species in the Neotropical region.

The removal of insects and renewal of baits may be performed daily if necessary e. Increasing sampling time must be followed by an increase in spacing between traps. We understand that the sample design may be restricted by physical characteristics of the study site [ 28 ] or may be spatially distributed according to the purpose of the study.

Study Provides Insights on Evolution and Diversity of Dung Beetles

Our new proposed trap spacing is suitable for sites with at least m in length, including border areas. If a site has this minimal size, then the new spacing can also be adopted for open areas. The use of linear design may be suitable for smaller sites, by placing two transects of five traps each or reducing the number of traps and conducting sampling series so there is at least a sampling effort of 10 traps, which seems an appropriate number of traps for the construction of sample sufficiency curves see [ 78 , 79 ].

For studies investigating the effect of fragmentation e. Our new trap spacing may be suitable for investigating the response of dung beetles to ecological processes that require a considerable spatial extent to reveal their effects e. Dung beetles perform several ecological functions important for the maintenance of ecosystems [ 7 ].

These insects may be used for understanding and monitoring the relationship between human-driven disturbance, patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning [ 15 , 21 , 53 ] when they are properly sampled [ 28 ]. Knowing the movement process of dung beetles is critical to understand how communities are structured both locally and in the metacommunity [ 80 ]. Species with different sets of ecological traits may have different movement patterns and thus, they may influence local communities differently.

The use of standardized sampling protocols is essential to generate information necessary to investigate the processes that sustain biodiversity and ecosystem functioning [ 28 ], and to make the results comparable between studies conducted in different regions of the world [ 32 ].

About this book

Based on our estimates, we suggest a new minimum distance of m between traps to minimize the dependence between pairs of baited pitfall traps for sampling copronecrophagous Scarabaeinae dung beetles in Neotropical forests. The use of this new minimum distance is also encouraged for other types of environments. The results of our and other studies S3 Table suggest that several species of dung beetles have high dispersal ability, which is related to some species traits and may be little known due to the difficulty of conducting such studies due to spatial limitations of the sampling design or area and the low recapture rate of this fauna.

Distribution of marking points on elytra and pronotum used to mark Scarabaeinae dung beetles A and example of number on an individual of Dichotomius sericeus B. Letters in x-axis indicate species names in Table 1. Gray asterisks represent the mean movement rate. D: diurnal; DN: diurnal-nocturnal; N: nocturnal.

Number of marked and recaptured individuals, number of males and females, number of immature, young-mature and old individuals of dung beetles sampled in the Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil. Na: not applicable or not informed. Mean: mean movement distance. Max: maximum movement distance. Time: days. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field.

Abstract A primary goal of community ecologists is to understand the processes underlying the spatiotemporal patterns of species distribution. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

Introduction Understanding the patterns of the spatiotemporal distribution of species is still a challenge for community ecologists. Sampling design Dung beetles were sampled using baited pitfall traps during the spring and summer of — November to March , which is the period of greatest abundance of this group in southern Brazil [ 38 , 39 ]. Download: PPT. Mark-release-recapture After each 48 h sampling period, collected dung beetles were cleaned, identified, sexed, marked, and classified into one of three age classes.

Data analysis Spatial patterns of movement. Suitability of trap spacing. Results A total of 1, individuals belonging to 17 species were marked and released S1 Table. Table 1. Number of marked and recaptured individuals by gender and age categories, with movement values and time between recaptures for Scarabaeinae species. Spatial patterns of movement The spatial patterns of movement of dung beetles may be seen in Fig 1.

Fig 2. Linear model of movement distance m and time d for recaptured Scarabaeinae, including recaptures at same trap. Fig 3. Proportion of recaptured Scarabaeinae with increasing distance for estimated time periods of 48 A and 96 h B. Fig 4. Proportion of recaptured Canthon rutilans cyanescens with increasing distance for estimated time periods of 48 A and 96 h B.

First Investigation of the Semiochemistry of South African Dung Beetle Species.

Discussion Spatial patterns of movement This study assessed the mobility of a dung beetle assemblage. Suitability of trap spacing The proportion of individuals recaptured with increasing estimated distance showed that the 50 m between baited traps for sampling dung beetles previously proposed [ 28 ] is inadequate for species from an assemblage in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Supporting Information. S1 Dataset. Dataset used to test for differences in movement rate by Scarabaeinae dung beetle species. S1 Fig. Marking points used in mark-release-recapture experiment.

S2 Fig. Boxplots of movement rate of dung beetle species. S3 Fig. Boxplots of movement rate of dung beetle species with different reproductive behavior and diel activity periods. S4 Fig. Boxplots of movement rate of dung beetle species with different body size, diel activity period and relocation behavior.

S5 Fig. Linear model between movement distance and time for recaptured individuals of Scarabaeinae, excluding recaptures at same trap. Distance in meters and time in days.

S6 Fig. Proportion of recaptured individuals of Scarabaeinae with increasing distance for estimated time periods of 48 A and 96 h B using rotten meat bait. S1 Table. Summary of mark-release-recapture experiment. S2 Table. Results of linear models comparing movement rate between dung beetle species or individuals of each species.

DF: degrees of freedom. Significant P values are in bold. S3 Table. Studies of dung beetle dispersal using mark-release-recapture conducted in the Neotropical region. References 1. Vellend M. Conceptual synthesis in community ecology. Q Rev Biol. Causes and consequences of animal dispersal strategies: relating individual behaviour to spatial dynamics.

Biol Rev. Bell WJ. Searching behavior patterns in insects. Annu Rev Entomol. View Article Google Scholar 4. The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology.

Ecol Lett. View Article Google Scholar 5. Empirical approaches to metacommunities: a review and comparison with theory. Trends Ecol Evol. A meta-analysis of dispersal in butterflies. Ecological functions and ecosystem services provided by Scarabaeinae dung beetles. Biol Conserv. View Article Google Scholar 8. Vaz-de-Mello FZ. Synopsis of the new subtribe Scatimina Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae: Ateuchini , with descriptions of twelve new genera and review of Genieridium , new genus.

View Article Google Scholar 9. Insecta Mundi. View Article Google Scholar The role of body size and shape in understanding competitive interactions within a community of Neotropical dung beetles. J Insect Sci. A comparison of two types of trap for sampling dung beetle populations Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae. Bull Entomol Res. Halffter G, Edmonds WD.

Nesting behavior of dung beetles Scarabaeinae. The night and day of dung beetles Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae in the Serra do Japi, Brazil: elytra colour related to daily activity. Rev Bras Entomol. Global dung beetle response to tropical forest modification and fragmentation: A quantitative literature review and meta-analysis. Dung beetles as indicators of tropical forest restoration success: Is it possible to recover species and functional diversity? Dung beetle communities as biological indicators of riparian forest widths in southern Brazil.

Ecol Indic. Changes in the dynamics of functional groups in communities of dung beetles in Atlantic forest fragments adjacent to transgenic maize crops. Klein BC. Effects of forest fragmentation on dung and carrion beetle communities in Central Amazonia. Spector S, Ayzama S. Rapid turnover and edge effects in dung beetle assemblages Scarabaeidae at a Bolivian Neotropical forest-savanna ecotone.

Understanding the biodiversity consequences of habitat change: the value of secondary and plantation forests for neotropical dung beetles. J Appl Ecol. Reproductive competition and its impact on the evolution and ecology of dung beetles. Ecology and evolution of dung beetles. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing; Hanski I, Cambefort Y. Competition in dung beetles. In: Hanski I, Cambefort Y, editors. Dung beetle ecology. Princeton: Princeton University Press; Roslin T, Viljanen H. Dung beetle populations: structure and consequences. Additional observations on the behavior of a tropical forest dung beetle, Megathoposoma candezei Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae.

Rev Biol Trop. Peck SB, Forsyth A. Composition, structure, and competitive behaviour in a guild of Ecuadorian rain forest dung beetles Coleoptera; Scarabaeidae. Can J Zool. Alicante: Univerdiad de Alicante; Larsen T, Forsyth A. Trap spacing and transect design for dung beetle biodiversity studies. Patterns of abundance and movement in relation to landscape structure: a study of a common scarab Canthon cyanellus cyanellus in Southern Mexico.

Landsc Ecol. As well as giving us insight into the private lives of these fascinating creatures, this book shows how dung beetles can be used as model systems for improving our general understanding of broad evolutionary and ecological processes, and how they generate biological diversity. Over the last few decades we have begun to see further than ever before, with our research efforts yielding new information at all levels of analysis, from whole organism biology to genomics.

This book brings together leading researchers who contribute chapters that integrate our current knowledge of phylogenetics and evolution, developmental biology, comparative morphology, physiology, behaviour, and population and community ecology. Dung beetle research is shedding light on the ultimate question of how best to document and conserve the world's biodiversity.

The book will be of interest to established researchers, university teachers, research students, conservation biologists, and those wanting to know more about the dung beetle taxon. Back cover copy This book describes the evolutionary and ecological consequences of reproductive competition for scarabaeine dung beetles. Table of contents List of Contributors.

Reproductive competition and its impact on the evolution and ecology of dung beetles Leigh W. Simmons and T. James Ridsdill-Smith. The evolutionary history and diversification of dung beetles T.

True Facts About The Dung Beetle

Keith Philips. Male contest competition and the evolution of weapons Robert Knell. Sexual selection after mating: the evolutionary consequences of sperm competition and cryptic female choice in onthophagines Leigh W. Olfactory ecology G. Tribe and B. Explaining phenotypic diversity: The conditional strategy and threshold trait expression Joseph L. Tomkins and Wade Hazel.


Evolution and development: Onthophagus beetles and the evolutionary development genetics of innovation, allometry, and plasticity Armin Moczek. Journal Reference : Nicole L. Gunter, Tom A. ScienceDaily, 4 May Cleveland Museum of Natural History. New evidence connects dung beetle evolution to dinosaurs. Retrieved July 5, from www. Researchers have now shown that the beetles can use polarized light when its signal strength is weak, Researchers have now taken a new step in understanding the existence of these unique Below are relevant articles that may interest you.

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