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Can dung beetles (Scarabaeinae) indicate the status of Amazonia’s ecosystems? Insights integrating anthropogenic disturbance with seasonal patterns

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Temporal and spatial variation in dung beetles abundances is a pattern observed in many tropical forests. The present study evaluated the seasonal patterns of dung beetles in a range of increasingly disturbed ecosystems of the state of Pará, northern Brazil, to identify valuable disturbance indicators. The areas included native forest, agriculture, pasture for extensive livestock grazing and secondary forests. Fieldwork was carried out encompassing the complete range of environmental conditions encountered during the year. In total, 13,649 individuals were captured within 23 genera and 99 species but with pronounced differences among ecosystems and seasons. The obtained results seem to demonstrate that dung beetles can be used to help identify ecosystems under very complex and variable environmental conditions. The ecological drift observed also demonstrates the possibility of using dung beetles as ecological indicators of disturbance in Amazonia.

Affiliations: 1: 1Laboratory of Ecology and Evolution, University of Taquari Valley, R. AvelinoTallini, 95900-000 Lajeado, RS, Brazil ; 2: 3Laboratory of Applied Ecology, CITAB – Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-911 Vila Real, Portugal ; 3: 4Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Maranhão, R. Dep. Gastão Vieira 1000, 65393-000, Buriticupu, MA, Brazil ; 4: 2Federal University of Pará, R. Cel. José Porfírio 2515, 68371-040 Altamira, PA, Brazil

*Corresponding author; e-mail:

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