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Global dung webs: high trophic generalism of dung beetles along the latitudinal diversity gradient.

Frank, Kevin and Krell, Frank-Thorsten and Slade, Eleanor M. and Raine, Elizabeth H. and Chiew, Li Yuen and Schmitt, Thomas and Vairappan, Charles S. and Walter, Philippe and Blüthgen, Nico (2018):
Global dung webs: high trophic generalism of dung beetles along the latitudinal diversity gradient.
In: Ecology letters, pp. 1229-1236, 21, (8), ISSN 1461-0248, DOI: 10.1111/ele.13095, [Article]

Abstract

At the global scale, species diversity is known to strongly increase towards the equator for most taxa. According to theory, a higher resource specificity of consumers facilitates the coexistence of a larger number of species and has been suggested as an explanation for the latitudinal diversity gradient. However, only few studies support the predicted increase in specialisation or even showed opposite results. Surprisingly, analyses for detritivores are still missing. Therefore, we performed an analysis on the degree of trophic specialisation of dung beetles. We summarised 45 studies, covering the resource preferences of a total of 994503 individuals, to calculate the dung specificity in each study region. Our results highlighted a significant (4.3-fold) increase in the diversity of beetles attracted to vertebrate dung towards the equator. However, their resource specificity was low, unrelated to diversity and revealed a highly generalistic use of dung resources that remained similar along the latitudinal gradient.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2018
Creators: Frank, Kevin and Krell, Frank-Thorsten and Slade, Eleanor M. and Raine, Elizabeth H. and Chiew, Li Yuen and Schmitt, Thomas and Vairappan, Charles S. and Walter, Philippe and Blüthgen, Nico
Title: Global dung webs: high trophic generalism of dung beetles along the latitudinal diversity gradient.
Language: English
Abstract:

At the global scale, species diversity is known to strongly increase towards the equator for most taxa. According to theory, a higher resource specificity of consumers facilitates the coexistence of a larger number of species and has been suggested as an explanation for the latitudinal diversity gradient. However, only few studies support the predicted increase in specialisation or even showed opposite results. Surprisingly, analyses for detritivores are still missing. Therefore, we performed an analysis on the degree of trophic specialisation of dung beetles. We summarised 45 studies, covering the resource preferences of a total of 994503 individuals, to calculate the dung specificity in each study region. Our results highlighted a significant (4.3-fold) increase in the diversity of beetles attracted to vertebrate dung towards the equator. However, their resource specificity was low, unrelated to diversity and revealed a highly generalistic use of dung resources that remained similar along the latitudinal gradient.

Journal or Publication Title: Ecology letters
Volume: 21
Number: 8
Divisions: 10 Department of Biology
10 Department of Biology > Ecological Networks
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2018 10:22
DOI: 10.1111/ele.13095
Identification Number: pmid:29938888
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