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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

On-line version ISSN 2007-8706Print version ISSN 1870-3453


HUERTA, Carmen; ARELLANO, Lucrecia  and  CRUZ, Magdalena. Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae) and dung removal in Mexican livestock pastures. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2018, vol.89, n.4, pp.1280-1292. ISSN 2007-8706.

In the present article, a summary and analysis of literature published in Mexico on the removal and burial of dung by dung beetles, a primary function that represents an ecosystem service of great importance for livestock production, is presented. Studies from distinct ecosystems are examined, emphasizing the findings in livestock pastures with active grazing in several different states of Mexico. In addition, the unpublished results of the authors obtained in pastures across an altitudinal gradient in central Veracruz are presented for a dung exposure time of 24 hours. No significant differences were found in species richness among sites. However, differences were found in the dung removal rate; higher values were found at the sites with higher elevation and lower values at sites with lower elevation. The species with the highest biomass included the 3 largest species and small but very abundant species. Nocturnal tunnelers reincorporated the largest quantity of dung over the first 24 hours; in contrast, rollers only removed dung at the lowest areas of the gradient (< 250 m asl). However, much more information is still required regarding the capacity of the different functional groups and dung beetle species for dung burial in the livestock production zones of Mexico.

Keywords : Tunnelers; Rollers; Dwellers; Waste degradation; Relocation; Ecosystem services.

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