Rangeland dung beetles represent an important assemblage of insects for the Great Plains. In this study, we examine the effects of a postfire rangeland environment on a dung beetle assemblage in north-central Texas. We deployed baited pitfall traps to examine spring prescribed fire treatment, differences in vegetation visual obstruction, and dung density influence on dung beetle abundance and community composition. Using model-based multivariate methods, we did not find an influence of prescribed burning on the dung beetle assemblage. We report a negative influence of vegetation visual obstruction and no significant influence of dung density on dung beetle assemblages. These results suggest that prescribed fire may not negatively affect dung beetle species within the North American Great Plains; however, vegetation structure correlated to postfire rangeland environments may influence local beetle abundance.
- nutrient cycling
- wildland fire