ISSN: 1659-2751

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Dung Beetles as Bioindicators to Identify Island Biogeography in Banana Agroecosystems

Abstract

Food production worldwide has increased according to demographic growth, which has caused the agricultural frontier to expand. This enlargement is linked with the intensification of the existing agro-ecosystems and the change of soil use in undisturbed areas. The ecological impact caused by the homogenization of land use and the employment of synthetic additives in banana plantations is related to the study of biodiversity dynamics in these places. Environmental bio-indication allows recognizing and characterizing specific organisms in ecosystems and correlating their presence with particular characteristics of each site. This study seeks to test the theory of island biogeography by using dung beetles as ecological bioindicators. Biogeography aims to document and understand spatial patterns of biodiversity, in this case it helps to understand what role do climate, topography and interactions between organisms have in order to determine the distribution of particular species. Canthon moniliatus, Eurysternus mexicanus, Scatimus ovatus and Phanaeus pyrois were identified as indicators of an organic agro-ecosystem management, where a great diversity of species was found; contrary to this, C. cyanellus and Onthophagus marginicolis were identified as indicators of agro-ecosystems with a conventional management. This study could not prove the theory of island biogeography on the base of regressions that were calculated, but the maintenance of biological corridors near agricultural systems for the conservation of biodiversity became evident.

Key words: banana, island biogeography, bioindicators, Scarabaeidae, dung beetles.

Artículo en español (pdf) (552)