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      Forest habitat parameters influence abundance and diversity of cadaver-visiting dung beetles in Central Europe

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          Dung beetles provide crucial ecosystem services and serve as model organisms for various behavioural, ecological and evolutionary studies. However, dung beetles have received little attention as consumers of large cadavers. In this study, we trapped copronecrophagous dung beetles on above-ground exposed piglet cadavers in 61 forest plots distributed over three geographically distinct regions in Germany, Central Europe. We examined the effects of land use intensity, forest stand, soil characteristics, vascular plant diversity and climatic conditions on dung beetle abundance, species richness and diversity. In all three regions, dung beetles, represented mainly by the geotrupid species Anoplotrupes stercorosus and Trypocopris vernalis, were attracted to the cadavers. High beetle abundance was associated with higher mean ambient temperature. Furthermore, A. stercorosus and T. vernalis were more abundant in areas where soil contained higher proportions of fine sand. Additionally, an increased proportion of forest understorey vegetation and vascular plant diversity positively affected the species richness and diversity of dung beetles. Thus, even in warm dry monocultured forest stands exploited for timber, we found thriving dung beetle populations when a diverse understorey was present. Therefore, forestry practices that preserve the understorey can sustain stable dung beetle populations and ensure their important contribution to nutrient cycles.

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          Diversity meets decomposition.

          Over 100 gigatons of terrestrial plant biomass are produced globally each year. Ninety percent of this biomass escapes herbivory and enters the dead organic matter pool, thus supporting complex detritus-based food webs that determine the critical balance between carbon mineralization and sequestration. How will changes in biodiversity affect this vital component of ecosystem functioning? Based on our analysis of concepts and experiments of leaf decomposition in forest floors and streams, we suggest that changes in species diversity within and across trophic levels can significantly alter decomposition. This happens through various mechanisms that are broadly similar in forest floors and streams. Differences in diversity effects between these systems relate to divergent habitat conditions and evolutionary trajectories of aquatic and terrestrial decomposers. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              A Day in the Life of a Seed: Movements and Fates of Seeds and Their Implications for Natural and Managed Systems


                Author and article information

                R Soc Open Sci
                R Soc Open Sci
                Royal Society Open Science
                The Royal Society
                March 2020
                4 March 2020
                4 March 2020
                : 7
                : 3
                [1 ]Department of Wildlife Ecology and Management, University of Freiburg , Tennenbacher Str. 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Visitor Management and National Park Monitoring, Bavarian Forest National Park , Freyunger Str. 2, 94481 Grafenau, Germany
                [3 ]Institute of Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genomics, Ulm University , Albert-Einstein Allee 11, 89069 Ulm, Germany
                [4 ]Department of Evolutionary Animal Ecology, University of Bayreuth , Universitätsstraße 30, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
                Author notes
                Author for correspondence: Christian von Hoermann e-mail: christian.vonhoermann@ 123456gmail.com

                Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4865778.

                © 2020 The Authors.

                Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001659;
                Award ID: AY 12/9-1
                Award ID: STE 1874/4-1
                Ecology, Conservation, and Global Change Biology
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                March, 2020


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