Increasing sika deer population density may change resource use by larval dung beetles

Autoři: Hayato Yama aff001;  Tomoko Naganuma aff002;  Kahoko Tochigi aff001;  Bruna Elisa Trentin aff003;  Rumiko Nakashita aff004;  Akino Inagaki aff001;  Shinsuke Koike aff005
Působiště autorů: Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Japan aff001;  United Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Japan aff002;  Department of Ecology, UNESP Sao Paulo State University, Botucatu, Sao Paulo, Brazil aff003;  Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan aff004;  Institute of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Japan aff005;  Institute of Global Innovation Research, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Japan aff006
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article


Because animal feces contain organic matter and plant seeds, dung beetles (Scarabaeinae) are important for the circulation of materials and secondary seed dispersal through burying feces. Dung beetles are usually generalists and use the feces of various mammals. Additionally, the larval stages have access to feces from only one mammal species leaving them susceptible to changes in animal fauna and variations in animal populations. Here, we explain the effects of resource availability changes associated with sika deer (Cervus nippon) overabundance on dung beetle larvae feeding habits in Japan. δ15N values were notably higher in raccoon dog and badger dung than in that of other mammals. A dung beetle breeding experiment revealed that the δ15N values of dung beetle exoskeletons that had fed on deer feces during their larval stage were significantly lower than those of beetles that had fed on raccoon dog feces. The δ15N values of the adult exoskeleton were significantly lower in a deer high-density area than in a low-density area in large dung beetles only. It is possible that the high-quality feces, such as those of omnivores, preferred by the large beetles decrease in availability with an increase in deer dung; large beetles may therefore be unable to obtain sufficient high-quality feces and resort to using large amounts of low-quality deer feces. Small dung beetles may use the easily obtained feces that is in high abundance and they may also use deer feces more frequently with increases in deer density. These findings suggest that a larval resource shift associated with deer overabundance may affect ecosystem functions such as soil nutrient cycling and seed dispersal.

Klíčová slova:

Deer – Dogs – Dung beetles – Exoskeleton – Macaque – Mammals – Raccoons – Badgers


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