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Dung beetles are critical in preventing post-dispersal seed removal by rodents in Congo rain forest

  • David Beaune (a1) (a2), Loïc Bollache (a2), François Bretagnolle (a2) and Barbara Fruth (a1)
Extract

Dung beetles (Scarabaeidae subfamily Scarabaeinae) are ubiquitous and play an important role in the removal of animal dung and the dispersal of seeds embedded therein. They exhibit a range of dung-acquisition and burying behaviours, from burying dung directly beneath the dung deposit to rolling dung balls up to several metres. Dung beetles act as important agents for secondary seed dispersal and seed survival: the burial of seeds is said to be of advantage against predators and desiccation (Andresen & Feer 2005, Culot et al. 2009, Feer 1999). In addition, burial of seeds by dung beetles is considered beneficial as seeds are not only deposited within the range of depths that are favourable for seedling establishment but also among organic fertilizer that is said to increase seedling growth rates (Andresen 1999, 2002; Estrada & Coates-Estrada 1991, Shepherd & Chapman 1998).

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Corresponding author
1Corresponding author. Email: david.beaune@gmail.com
References
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Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • ISSN: 0266-4674
  • EISSN: 1469-7831
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology
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