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Spatiotemporal effects on dung beetle activities in island forests-home garden matrix in a tropical village landscape.

ABSTRACT: Insects in seasonal tropics experience a wide range of temperatures along seasons, habitats, and a day. Therefore, the thermal tolerance of the insects can be a major driver for their habitat preference, temporal patterns of activity, and formation of communities. We examined the dung beetle communities of eleven pairs of neighboring open (home gardens) and closed habitats (sacred groves) during dry and wet seasons and diel periods (day and night) to understand the dung beetle activities along a spatiotemporal gradient constituted by the sacred groves-home garden matrix on a tropical village landscape. We tested the following hypotheses: (i) closed habitats have greater activities of dung beetles over open habitats; (ii) the diurnal communities of dung beetles are different from the nocturnal communities; and (iii) the diurnal-nocturnal activities of dung beetles could be predicted by the habitat and season. We considered abundance, richness, total biomass, and Shannon diversity of overall beetles, abundance of different functional groups, and species composition in communities as the quantitative measures in the predictive statistical models. In total, 2727 dung beetles belonging to 38 species, ten genera, and three functional groups were collected. The open habitat supported more number of dung beetles (N = 2318) than the closed habitat (N = 409). The diurnal communities were different from nocturnal communities, particularly in open habitat, where the temperature was different between day and night. The dominant species of the diurnal communities of open habitat hardly used the closed habitat in any context including dry-wet seasons, but the nocturnal communities of the open habitat were closer to the communities of closed habitat. The diel period and habitat predicted the abundance activity of functional groups; season was a poor predictor of dung beetle activities. Given that the species composition has turned over across habitats, and the closed habitat supported remarkably lesser number of beetles than the open habitats, the closed habitat is unlikely to be a thermal refuge for the open habitat species in village landscapes that have island forests, such as sacred groves, and home gardens form a matrix.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8405664 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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