Seasonality and habitat preferences of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae) attracted to moose Alces alces L. dung in the Kampinos National Park
Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae) are an extremely important element of many ecosystems. Their activity allows the incorporation of mineral compounds trapped in feces into the nutrient cycle. Seasonality and habitat preferences are the most important factors shaping the beetle communities inhabiting dung. The present study compares beetle communities inhabiting moose dung Alces alces L. in various forest ecosystems quantitatively and qualitatively. Due to the beetle seasonality, field work was performed from the beginning of March until the end of October 2017 in three habitats: coniferous forest, oak-hornbeam forest and alder forest. The dung beetles were collected using three Barber traps on each site baited with moose dung (80 g ± 10 g) and the traps were emptied as well as rebaited every 15 days. Altogether, 2330 specimen of dung beetles representing three species were collected: Anoplotrupes stercorosus (2088), Trypocopris vernalis (154) and Geotrupes stercorarius (88). These three species were found in all of the studied habitats. The largest total number of individuals was captured in the alder forest (1132 individuals), followed by the broadleaved forest (712) and the smallest number was captured in the coniferous forest (486). In terms of individuals caught, each species was statistically significantly different between the habitats. The largest number of A. stercorosus was captured in the alder forest, followed by the broadleaved forest and the smallest number was caught in the coniferous forest. However, the reverse was observed in the case of T. vernalis and G. stercorarius, where the most individuals were caught in the coniferous forest, and fewer in the broadleaved and alder forests. This is most likely due to the various habitat preferences of each individual species. Furthermore, the seasonal dynamics of this beetle family showed some differences between habitats. These differences most probably resulted from different microclimatic and humidity conditions.
|Source||Leśne Prace Badawcze, 2018, 79 (4): 303–308|
|Type of article
||Original research article|
||Sezonowość oraz wybiórczość siedliskowa żuków (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae) wabionych odchodami łosia Alces alces L. w Kampinoskim Parku Narodowym|
|Publisher||Instytut Badawczy Leśnictwa, Sękocin Stary, Poland|