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Title: Pasture diet of cattle contributes to the reproductive success of dung beetles
Contributor(s): Heddle, T  (author)orcid ; Hemmings, Z  (author)orcid ; Burns, A  (author)orcid ; Andrew, N R  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2024-02
Early Online Version: 2023-08-13
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/afe.12590
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  1. Cattle diet plays a crucial role in the quality of dung and the consequent reproductive capacity of dung beetles. We investigated how three pasture types (improved native, forage oat and inter-sown rye/clover) influence the dung quality, the number of broods and reproductive output measured as brood size (dry weight and ellipsoid volume), development time and F1 progeny size (beetle length and pronotum width) of Onthophagus binodis, Euoniticellus africanus and Euoniticellus intermedius.
  2. Nitrogen content was highest in rye/clover-derived dung compared with improved native and forage oat. Improved native-derived dung had the highest carbon, energy, organic matter, pH and insoluble non-starch polysaccharide content, whereas forage oat had the lowest contents. Forage oat had the highest moisture content, ash and soluble non-starch polysaccharide content compared with the other pastures.
  3. Progeny length was influenced by pasture type, with female E. intermedius, and males and females of O. binodis being 11.4%, 11.2% and 7.3% longer, respectively, in rye/clover-derived dung than forage oat dung. The pronotum width of O. binodis F1 progeny was 9.8% wider when produced from rye/clover dung than forage oat.
  4. Rye/clover- and improved native-derived dung provided the best resource for dung beetle reproduction compared with forage oat dung. Based on this study, cattle diet is important for consideration when evaluating reproductive ability and progeny measurements. Cattle diet should be further investigated as only three pasture types were investigated out of a numerous number of species and combinations.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 26(1), p. 38-50
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1461-9563
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300202 Agricultural land management
310999 Zoology not elsewhere classified
310913 Invertebrate biology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100401 Beef cattle
100407 Insects
100599 Pasture, browse and fodder crops not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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