Dung Beetle biodiversity patterns: implications of climate change.
Dung beetles are ecologically and economically important. The burial of dung by these beetles plays an important role in nutrient cycling, soil conditioning and aeration, secondary seed dispersal and for reducing micro- and macro-invertebrate parasites. Since dung beetles are widespread they are ideal for studies in biodiversity and research conservation. This study is being conducted in the Australian Wet tropics which stretches from approximately Townsville in the south to Cooktown in the north. Research suggests that the fauna of this region is highly vulnerable to global climate change.
The main aims of this study are to:
describe the seasonal spatial patterns of dung beetle biodiversity along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients;
identify factors determining any patterns, such as climate or habitat;
study the reproductive seasonality of the dung beetle (Coptodactyla depressa)along these gradients;
determine the climatic tolerances of high and low altitude dung beetles
model dung beetle spatial patterns of biodiversity to see how these patterns may be affected by climate change.
This project is part of the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change (CTBCC). For more information on this Centre please visit http://www.jcu.edu.au/ctbcc/
Contact person:, Richard.email@example.com