Canadian Forest Service Publications

Selected beetle assemblages captured in pitfall traps baited with deer dung or meat in balsam fir and sugar maple forests of Central Quebec. 2010. Brousseau, P.-M.; Cloutier, C.; Hébert, C. Environmental Ecology 39: 1151-1158.

Year: 2010

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31840

Language: English

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

Abstract

Vertebrate dung and carrion are rich and strongly attractive resources for numerous beetles that are often closely linked to them. The presence and abundance of beetles exploiting such resources are influenced by various ecological factors including climate and forest cover vegetation. We studied selected assemblages of coprophilous and necrophagous beetles in Quebec along a 115-km north-south transect in three balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Miller) forest sites and in a fourth forest site dominated by sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall), close to the southern fir site. Beetle abundance was estimated using a sampling design comprising replicated pitfall traps baited with red deer meat or dung in each site. A total of 8,511 beetles were caught and identified to family level, 95.7% of which belonged to families with known coprophilous or necrophagous behavior. Meat-baited pitfall traps caught nearly 15 times as many beetles as dung-baited traps. All Histeridae, Hydrophilidae, Scarabaeidae, and Silphidae were identified to species to examine specific diversity variation among sites. For the beetles caught in the meat-baited traps (majority of captures), decreases in abundance and species richness were observed from south to north along the fir forest transect, with evidence of decreasing specific diversity as measured by the Shannon index of diversity. Strong differences in species assemblages were also observed between the southern maple and fir forest sites. The Silphidae and Histeridae were more abundant in the maple forest, whereas the Hydrophilidae and Ptilidae were more abundant in the fir forest.

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