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Patterns of taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles in a human-modified variegated landscape in Brazilian Cerrado

Correa, César M. A., Braga, Rodrigo F., Puker, Anderson, Korasaki, Vanesca
Journal of insect conservation 2019 v.23 no.1 pp. 89-99
Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Urochloa, bait traps, biodiversity conservation, cerrado, dung beetles, ecosystems, fauna, feces, functional diversity, humans, landscapes, livestock, pastures, pitfall traps, riparian forests, rodents, species abundance, species richness, Brazil
The Brazilian Cerrado harbors great floristic and structural diversity composed of a mosaic of natural vegetation types and anthropogenic environments such as introduced pastures. Here, our goal was to evaluate the patterns of taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles in a human-modified landscape in Brazilian Cerrado. For this, we evaluated the species richness, species composition and abundance (non-weighted by abundance) and species diversity (Shannon index—weighted by abundance) and three functional indexes (functional richness, functional evenness and functional dispersion). We collected the insects in fragments of Cerrado (Cerrado stricto sensu), riparian forests under pressure of timber removal and livestock and exotic pastures (Urochloa spp.) in Anastácio and Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. We used pitfall traps baited with human feces and fresh capybara dung, a large native rodent, as a representative of the mammal regional fauna. Dung beetle richness was higher in Cerrado fragments, while the abundance was higher in exotic pastures and riparian forests. Species composition differed among vegetation types. Finally, the species diversity and functional diversity did not differ among vegetation types. Thus, we demonstrated the information generated by conceptually similar indexes (e.g. functional richness, species richness and species diversity) may not provide similar information on dung beetles responses to disturbance due to differences in the weighting on species abundance. Finally, the use of taxonomic and functional metrics generate complementary information that can helps us to reach more efficient conclusions in terms of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functionality in human-modified variegated landscape.