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A comparison of dung beetle assemblages (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea) collected 34 years apart in an Iberian mountain locality

Cuesta, Eva, Lobo, Jorge M.
Journal of insect conservation 2019 v.23 no.1 pp. 101-110
Coleoptera, climate, climate change, dung beetles, forests, habitat destruction, inventories, species richness, temperature, vegetation cover, Spain
Knowing how recent environmental changes may have affected species diversity is a major objective to estimate the consequences of habitat alteration and climate change. In this study two dung beetle inventories made in the same locality of the Sierra de Guadarrama (Madrid, Spain) 34 years apart (1983–2017) are compared. Changes in diversity, species richness, abundances and composition were analysed and species replacements described considering the three main functional dung beetle groups: large paracoprids, small paracoprids and small endocoprids. In addition, changes in vegetation cover and climate between the two periods were also analysed to examine their association with the detected faunistic changes. Both the vegetation and climatic data show that the surveyed locality would have experienced an increase in the area covered by bushes and forest and an increase in temperature and warm conditions during the 34 years. These changes are associated with a probable increase in species richness and species dominance, a decrease in diversity and an important change in composition that would have positively affected small paracoprids but negatively affected large paracoprids.