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Nutrient quality of vertebrate dung as a diet for dung beetles

Frank, Kevin ; Brückner, Adrian ; Hilpert, Andrea ; Heethoff, Michael ; Blüthgen, Nico (2017)
Nutrient quality of vertebrate dung as a diet for dung beetles.
In: Scientific Reports, 2017, 7 (1)
doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12265-y
Article, Secondary publication

Abstract

At the basis of a trophic web, coprophagous animals like dung beetles (Scarabaeoidea) utilize resources that may have advantages (easy gain and handling) as well as drawbacks (formerly processed food). Several studies have characterized the nutrients, e.g. C/N ratios and organic matter content, for specific types of dung. However, a comparative approach across dung types and feeding guilds of dung producers, and relationships between dung nutrients and preferences by coprophages, have been missing. Hence, we analyzed water content, C/N ratio, amino acid, neutral lipid fatty acid, free fatty acid and sterol composition and concentrations in dung from 23 vertebrates, including carnivore, omnivore and herbivore species. Our analyses revealed significant differences among the three vertebrate feeding guilds for most nutritional parameters. Although formerly processed, dung grants sufficient amounts of essential nutrients for insects. We tested whether nutrients can explain the dung beetles’ preferences in a field experiment, using 12 representative dung types in baits that were installed in 27 forests and 27 grasslands. Although consistent preferences for specific dung types were pronounced, the nutritional composition did not predict the variation in attractiveness of these dung diets, suggesting a primary role of dung volatiles irrespective of food quality.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2017
Creators: Frank, Kevin ; Brückner, Adrian ; Hilpert, Andrea ; Heethoff, Michael ; Blüthgen, Nico
Type of entry: Secondary publication
Title: Nutrient quality of vertebrate dung as a diet for dung beetles
Language: English
Date: 2017
Year of primary publication: 2017
Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal or Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Volume of the journal: 7
Issue Number: 1
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12265-y
URL / URN: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-12265-y
Origin: Secondary publication via sponsored Golden Open Access
Abstract:

At the basis of a trophic web, coprophagous animals like dung beetles (Scarabaeoidea) utilize resources that may have advantages (easy gain and handling) as well as drawbacks (formerly processed food). Several studies have characterized the nutrients, e.g. C/N ratios and organic matter content, for specific types of dung. However, a comparative approach across dung types and feeding guilds of dung producers, and relationships between dung nutrients and preferences by coprophages, have been missing. Hence, we analyzed water content, C/N ratio, amino acid, neutral lipid fatty acid, free fatty acid and sterol composition and concentrations in dung from 23 vertebrates, including carnivore, omnivore and herbivore species. Our analyses revealed significant differences among the three vertebrate feeding guilds for most nutritional parameters. Although formerly processed, dung grants sufficient amounts of essential nutrients for insects. We tested whether nutrients can explain the dung beetles’ preferences in a field experiment, using 12 representative dung types in baits that were installed in 27 forests and 27 grasslands. Although consistent preferences for specific dung types were pronounced, the nutritional composition did not predict the variation in attractiveness of these dung diets, suggesting a primary role of dung volatiles irrespective of food quality.

URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-68713
Classification DDC: 500 Science and mathematics > 570 Life sciences, biology
Divisions: 10 Department of Biology
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2017 19:55
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2017 19:55
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