The role of semi–natural grasslands and livestock in sustaining dung beetle communities (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea) in sub–Mediterranean areas of Slovenia.

Jugovic, J.  Koprivnikar, N.  Koren, T. 

Abstract

We studied the richness and structure of the coprophagous Scarabaeoidea community in two pastures (Hrastovlje and Zazid) in sub–Mediterranean Slovenia. In each pasture, we examined three habitat patches characterised by different levels of grazing (S1, the active part of
the pasture; S2, the overgrown part of the pasture, mainly spiny shrubs; S3, a meadow with some overgrown patches of shrubs outside the fenced pasture). The main results were as follows: (1) 29 species were sampled, corresponding to about three quarters of the species presumably present at the two study sites; (2) species richness and abundance in Zazid are were similar in all three patches; (3) the species richness and abundance in Hrastovlje (in total, and separately for dwellers and tunnelers) were highest in S2. In Hrastovlje, dwellers were most abundant in S1. As the two different habitat patches were shown to positively influence the dung beetle community, we recommend maintaining a traditionally–managed mosaic landscape.

Key words

Karst pasture/meadow, Species biodiversity, Microhabitat, Bait, Pitfall traps

Reception date: 24 II 17 | Acceptation date: 20 XII 17 | Publication date: 12 II 18

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