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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger

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Weithmann, S; Kuppler, J; Degasperi, G; Steiger, S; Ayasse, M; Hoermann, Cv: Local and Landscape Effects on Carrion-Associated Rove Beetle (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) Communities in German Forests, Insects, 11(828), 1-16 (2020), doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11120828
ntensification of anthropogenic land use is a major threat to biodiversity and thus to essential ecosystem services provided by insects. Rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), which react sensitively to habitat changes, are species-rich colonizers of vertebrate cadavers and contribute to the important ecosystem service of carrion decomposition. The unveiling of anthropogenic and environmental drivers that modify carrion-associated rove beetle communities should improve our understanding of the plasticity of cadaver decay. We report the presence of 80 rove beetle species on 65 decomposing piglet cadavers at forest sites characterized by a gradient of management intensity across three geographic regions in Germany. Local and landscape drivers were revealed that shape beetle abundance, diversity, and community composition. Forest management and regions affect rove beetle abundance, whereas diversity is influenced by local habitat parameters (soil pH, litter cover) and regions. The community composition of rove beetles changes with management intensification by promoting generalist species. Regarding single species, Philonthus decorus and Anotylus mutator are linked to unmanaged forests and Ontholestes tessellatus to highly used forest stands. The spatial information provided about carrion-associated rove beetle communities in German forests is not only of carrion-ecological but also of forensic entomological interest.
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