Dung removal increases under higher dung beetle functional diversity regardless of grazing intensification

Jorge Ari Noriega, Joaquín Hortal, Indradatta deCastro-Arrazola, Fernanda Alves-Martins, Jean C.G. Ortega, Luis Mauricio Bini, Nigel R. Andrew, Lucrecia Arellano, Sarah Beynon, Adrian L.V. Davis, Mario E. Favila, Kevin D. Floate, Finbarr G. Horgan, Rosa Menéndez, Tanja Milotic, Beatrice Nervo, Claudia Palestrini, Antonio Rolando, Clarke H. Scholtz, Yakup SenyüzThomas Wassmer, Réka Ádam, Cristina de O. Araújo, José Luis Barragan-Ramírez, Gergely Boros, Edgar Camero-Rubio, Melvin Cruz, Eva Cuesta, Miryam Pieri Damborsky, Christian M. Deschodt, Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan, Bram D’hondt, Alfonso Díaz Rojas, Kemal Dindar, Federico Escobar, Verónica R. Espinoza, José Rafael Ferrer-Paris, Pablo Enrique Gutiérrez Rojas, Zac Hemmings, Benjamín Hernández, Sarah J. Hill, Maurice Hoffmann, Pierre Jay-Robert, Kyle Lewis, Megan Lewis, Cecilia Lozano, Diego Marín-Armijos, Patrícia Menegaz de Farias, Betselene Murcia-Ordoñez, Seena Narayanan Karimbumkara, José Luis Navarrete-Heredia, Candelaria Ortega-Echeverría, José D. Pablo-Cea, William Perrin, Marcelo Bruno Pessoa, Anu Radhakrishnan, Iraj Rahimi, Amalia Teresa Raimundo, Diana Catalina Ramos, Ramón E. Rebolledo, Angela Roggero, Ada Sánchez-Mercado, László Somay, Jutta Stadler, Pejman Tahmasebi, José Darwin Triana Céspedes, Ana M.C. Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Dung removal by macrofauna such as dung beetles is an important process for nutrient cycling in pasturelands. Intensification of farming practices generally reduces species and functional diversity of terrestrial invertebrates, which may negatively affect ecosystem services. Here, we investigate the effects of cattle-grazing intensification on dung removal by dung beetles in field experiments replicated in 38 pastures around the world. Within each study site, we measured dung removal in pastures managed with low- and high-intensity regimes to assess between-regime differences in dung beetle diversity and dung removal, whilst also considering climate and regional variations. The impacts of intensification were heterogeneous, either diminishing or increasing dung beetle species richness, functional diversity, and dung removal rates. The effects of beetle diversity on dung removal were more variable across sites than within sites. Dung removal increased with species richness across sites, while functional diversity consistently enhanced dung removal within sites, independently of cattle grazing intensity or climate. Our findings indicate that, despite intensified cattle stocking rates, ecosystem services related to decomposition and nutrient cycling can be maintained when a functionally diverse dung beetle community inhabits the human-modified landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8070
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2023

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