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Boletín Científico. Centro de Museos. Museo de Historia Natural

Print version ISSN 0123-3068

Abstract

CONCHA-LOZADA, Clara M; GALLEGO, María Cristina  and  PARDO-LOCARNO, Luis Carlos. MONTANE ECOSYSTEM FRAGMENTATION, STRUCTURAL AND POPULATION IMPACTS ON THE COPROPHAGOUS SCARAB (COL.: SCARABAEINAE) COMMUNITY IN THE UPPER CAUCA RIVER BASIN, POPAYAN, CAUCA, COLOMBIA. Bol. Cient. Mus. Hist. Nat. Univ. Caldas [online]. 2010, vol.14, n.1, pp.43-55. ISSN 0123-3068.

Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea-Scarabaeinae) are saprophagous organisms that maintain stenotypic relations with forest environments, forming communities dependent of the conservation status and ecosystem management. Therefore, this research associated the structure variation, its richness and abundance on the habitat plots in the Clarete municipal rural settlement (Popayan, Cauca: humid pre-montane forest, 1890-1940 m.a.s.l., 19-20 ºC). Beetles were captured using faeces with baited pitfall traps. Monthly sampling (6) was done on Pine-Eucalyptus (4), Oak (8) and Grassland (16) plots. Data were assessed with Shannon, Simpson and complementarity indices. 1075 individuals belonging to 8 genera and 10 species were collected (Canthidium aurifex, Canthidium aurifex, Dichotomius bellus, Eurysternus marmoreus, Ontherus lunicollis, Onthophagus curvicornis, Onthophagus (circa). steinheili, Oxysternon conspicillatum, Uroxys (circa). caucanus, Uroxys (circa). depressifrons), finding that guild richness decreased from the most preserved to very disturbed habitats in the following order: Oak (9), Grassland (8) and Pine-Eucalyptus (7). Similarly, the scarab abundance showed differential data dependent on habitat quality and scarab preference as follows: Oak (766 individuals), Pine-Eucalyptus (165) and Grassland (144), showing that the natural oak forest offers the best environmental conditions, with unique records (Canthidium aurifex and Onthophagus (circa). steinheli), which had only been previously reported for well-preserved ecosystems, while Dichotomius bellus, Eurysternus marmoreus and Onthophagus curvicornis were associated to disturbed habitats (Grassland and Pine Eucalyptus), significant variations which support the recommendation for using this guild as a biological evaluation parameter to assess the conservation status in the Colombian Andes.

Keywords : scarabaeinae; coprophages; forest habitat; Upper Cauca River Basin; Colombia.

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