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An inventory of the foliar, soil, and dung arthropod communities in pastures of the Southeastern United States
  • Ryan Schmid,
  • Kelton Welch,
  • Jonathan Lundgren
Ryan Schmid
Ecdysis Foundation
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Kelton Welch
Ecdysis Foundation
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Jonathan Lundgren
Ecdysis Foundation
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Grassland systems constitute a significant portion of the land area in the U.S., and as a result, harbor a significant amount of arthropod diversity. During this time of biodiversity loss around the world, bioinventories of ecologically important habitats serve as important indicators for the effectiveness of conservation efforts. We conducted a bioinventory of the foliar, soil, and dung arthropod communities in 10 cattle pastures located in the southeastern U.S. during the 2018 grazing season. In sum, 126,251 specimens were collected. From the foliar community, 13 arthropod orders were observed, with the greatest species richness found in Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Hemiptera. The soil-dwelling arthropod community contained 18 orders. The three orders comprising the highest species richness were Coleoptera, Diptera, and Hymenoptera. Lastly, 12 arthropod orders were collected from cattle dung, with the greatest species richness found in Coleoptera, Diptera, and Hymenoptera. Herbivores were the most abundant functional guild found in the foliar community, and predators were most abundant in the soil and dung communities. While bioinventories demand considerable time, energy, and resources to accomplish, the information from these inventories has many uses for conservation efforts, land management recommendations, and the direction of climate change science.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

03 Feb 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
06 Feb 2021Assigned to Editor
06 Feb 2021Submission Checks Completed
09 Feb 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Apr 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Apr 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor