Publication Date

4-27-2017

Document Type

Conference Poster

First Advisor

Jones, Holly P.||Barber, Nicholas A.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Abstract

Humans are highly dependent upon functional ecosystems for a wide variety of goods and services, known as ecosystem services. Through the decomposition of dung, dung beetles provide an ecosystem service valued at US$380 million per year in the United States. The decomposition of dung also aids in the cycling of nutrients, dispersal of seeds, and control of parasites in tallgrass prairies. The tallgrass prairies of North America are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world. The reinstatement of disturbance regimes, including bison grazing, are a key facet in the active management of restored and remnant tallgrass prairies, and the effects of these disturbances on both flora and fauna have been well studied. However, the effect of bison grazing and time since restoration on the ecosystem service of dung decomposition has not been studied in tallgrass prairies. At Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove, Illinois, we studied dung decomposition rates in six restoration sites with varying time since restoration and bison presence. Dung decomposition rates varied with the age (time since restoration) of sites. Dung beetles were more abundant in bison-grazed sites, and dung decomposition was also greater in these sites. Further research will be able to determine the proportional role of individual beetle species in this critical ecosystem service.

Program Program

Student Engagement Fund

Extent

1 poster

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Image

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