Patterns of taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles in a human-modified variegated landscape in Brazilian Cerrado

  • César M. A. CorreaEmail author
  • Rodrigo F. Braga
  • Anderson Puker
  • Vanesca Korasaki


The Brazilian Cerrado harbors great floristic and structural diversity composed of a mosaic of natural vegetation types and anthropogenic environments such as introduced pastures. Here, our goal was to evaluate the patterns of taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles in a human-modified landscape in Brazilian Cerrado. For this, we evaluated the species richness, species composition and abundance (non-weighted by abundance) and species diversity (Shannon index—weighted by abundance) and three functional indexes (functional richness, functional evenness and functional dispersion). We collected the insects in fragments of Cerrado (Cerrado stricto sensu), riparian forests under pressure of timber removal and livestock and exotic pastures (Urochloa spp.) in Anastácio and Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. We used pitfall traps baited with human feces and fresh capybara dung, a large native rodent, as a representative of the mammal regional fauna. Dung beetle richness was higher in Cerrado fragments, while the abundance was higher in exotic pastures and riparian forests. Species composition differed among vegetation types. Finally, the species diversity and functional diversity did not differ among vegetation types. Thus, we demonstrated the information generated by conceptually similar indexes (e.g. functional richness, species richness and species diversity) may not provide similar information on dung beetles responses to disturbance due to differences in the weighting on species abundance. Finally, the use of taxonomic and functional metrics generate complementary information that can helps us to reach more efficient conclusions in terms of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functionality in human-modified variegated landscape.


Biodiversity conservation Functional metrics Functional traits Pastures Scarabaeinae 



We thank the father of the first author, Agenor Martinho Correa, for the encouragement and logistical support, and FAPEMIG (APQ—02696-15) for the financial support. We also thank Fernando Z. Vaz-de-Mello (UFMT) for identification of the dung beetle species; Cezar F. Borges for the map confection, Cleilsom M. Cristaldo, Naiara G. Oliveira and Kleyton R. Ferreira, for the field support; Mrs. Marcos Crestani, Gélio P. Brum and Jorge de Deus Ricardo for access to their properties, Wallace Beiroz and three anonymous reviewers for the fruitful comments on the manuscript. CMAC received a PhD scholarschip from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico Tecnológico (CNPq, Brazil) (140741/2015-1) from the Entomology Graduate Program, Universidade Federal de Lavras, and PhD sandwich scholarship from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoa de Nível Superior (CAPES, Brazil) (88881.134292/2016-01).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest among authors.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 29 KB)


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de EntomologiaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia, Setor de EcologiaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  3. 3.Universidade do Estado de Minas GeraisDivinópolisBrazil
  4. 4.Faculdades Integradas Aparício Carvalho (FIMCA)Porto VelhoBrazil
  5. 5.Universidade do Estado de Minas GeraisFrutalBrazil
  6. 6.Programa de Pós-Graduação em EcologiaUniversidade Federal de São João del-ReiSão João del-ReiBrazil

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