Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Complementarity of dung beetle species with dif...

Electronic data

  • Menendez_et_al_SBB_final_version

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Soil Biology and Biochemistry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 92, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.10.004

    Accepted author manuscript, 294 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Complementarity of dung beetle species with different functional behaviours influence dung–soil carbon cycling

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume92
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)142-148
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/10/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Decomposition of large ungulate herbivore dung and its subsequent incorporation into the soil play key roles in carbon and nutrient cycling and are important for grassland productivity. Dung beetles contribute to the initial breakdown and transport of organic matter from the dung into the soil but how they interact with the microbial community to modify decomposition processes remains poorly understood.

Using a mesocosm experiment, we investigated the individual and interactive effect of two dung beetle species with contrasting functional behaviour (dweller species: Agrilinus ater (De Geer 1774) vs. tunneler species: Typhaeus typhoeus (Linneaus 1758)) on dung C cycling (CO2 fluxes and C transfer through the soil profile) and resultant effects on microbial activity and biomass in the soil.

Both dung beetle species contributed significantly to dung removal, reducing the C lost through microbial respiration from the whole mesocosm. However, C concentrations measured in leachates from the mesocosm were only significantly higher in the presence of the tunneler species, indicating that tunnelling activity was required to increase C transfer down the soil profile. The combined effect of the two dung beetle species resulted in the highest soil microbial respiration from the soil and in particular in the 2–10 cm depth increment, suggesting positive complementarity effects between species with different functional behaviour.

We conclude that the return of C in the form of dung in grasslands, coupled with the activity of a functionally diverse dung beetle assemblage, could result in short term fluctuations in soil microbial activity with important consequences for soil C cycling.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Soil Biology and Biochemistry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 92, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.10.004