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Effect of land use change on ecosystem function of dung beetles: experimental evidence from Wallacea Region in Sulawesi, Indonesia

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Author(s): SHAHABUDDIN

Journal: Biodiversitas
ISSN 1412-033X

Volume: 12;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 177;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: land use change | ecosystem function | dung beetles

ABSTRACT
Shahabuddin (2011) Effect of land use change on ecosystem function of dung beetles: experimental evidence from Wallacea Region in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 12: 177-181. The deforestation of tropical forests and their subsequent conversion to human-dominated land-use systems is one of the most significant causes of biodiversity loss. However clear understanding of the links between ecological functions and biodiversity is needed to evaluate and predict the true environmental consequences of human activities. This study provided experimental evidence comparing ecosystem function of dung beetles across a land use gradient ranging from natural tropical forest and agroforestry systems to open cultivated areas in Central Sulawesi. Therefore, standardized dung pats were exposed at each land-use type to assess dung removal and parasite suppression activity by dung beetles. The results showed that ecosystem function of dung beetles especially dung burial activity were remarkably disrupted by land use changes from natural forest to open agricultural area. Dung beetles presence enhanced about 53% of the total dung removed and reduced about 83% and 63% of fly population and species number respectively, indicating a pronounce contribution of dung beetles in our ecosystem.
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