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Successional patterns of diversity in insect fauna on carrion in sun and shade in the Boreal Forest Region of Canada, near Edmonton, Alberta

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 April 2012

Niki R. Hobischak
Affiliation:
Forensic Entomology Laboratory, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6
Sherah L. VanLaerhoven
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Drive, Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4
Gail S. Anderson
Affiliation:
Forensic Entomology Laboratory, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

We examined the successional community of insect fauna on exposed carrion in shade and sun in the Boreal Forest Region of Canada, near Edmonton, Alberta, over a 3-year period. This paper focuses on results obtained in the final year of study. Recently killed pigs (Sus domesticus L.) were clothed and placed in direct sunlight or shade on 18 and 20 May 1999. There was no difference in start time or duration of decomposition stages between the two habitats. Species abundance differed between the sun and shade habitats for Protophormia terraenovae (Robineau-desvoidy) larvae (Diptera: Calliphoridae), Necrobia sp. adults (Coleoptera: Cleridae), Catops basilaris Say adults (Coleoptera: Leiodidae), Onthophagus nuchicornis (L.) adults (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), Heterosilpha ramosa (Say) adults and larvae (Coleoptera: Silphidae), Creophilus maxillosus (L.) adults (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), and Ontholestes cingulatus (Gravenhorst) adults and larvae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). The orders Diptera and Coleoptera were important components of all communities and had the greatest diversity at both the family and the species level throughout succession. Overall species abundance within families was greater in the sun habitat than in the shade. Similar species dominated the sun and shade carcasses during early succession, but dominance was not clearly evident later in succession.

Résumé

Nous avons examiné durant une période de 3 ans la succession des communautés d'insectes sur de la charogne exposée à l'ombre ou au soleil dans la région de la forêt boréale du Canada, près d'Edmonton, Alberta. Nous présentons principalement les résultats de la dernière année de l'étude. Le 18 et le 20 mai 1999, nous avons recouvert de vêtements des cochons domestiques (Sus domesticus L.) fraîchement tués et les avons placés soit en plein soleil, soit à l'ombre. Il n'y a pas de différence temporelle dans le début ni la durée des divers stades de décomposition dans les deux habitats. L'abondance des espèces diffère entre les habitats d'ensoleillement et d'ombre en ce qui regarde les larves de Protophormia terraenovae (Robineau-desvoidy) (Diptera : Calliphoridae), les adultes de Necrobia sp. (Coleoptera : Cleridae), les adultes de Catops basilaris Say (Coleoptera : Leiodidae), les adultes de Onthophagus nuchicornis (L.) (Coleoptera : Scarabaeidae), les adultes et les larves de Heterosilpha ramosa (Say) (Coleoptera : Silphidae), les adultes de Creophilus maxillosus (L.) (Coleoptera : Staphylinidae) et les adultes et les larves d'Ontholestescingulatus (Gravenhorst) (Coleoptera : Staphylinidae). Les diptères et les coléoptères sont des composantes importantes de toutes les communautés et possèdent la diversité la plus grande, tant au niveau des familles que des espèces tout au cours de la succession. Le nombre global d'espèces dans les familles est plus élevé dans l'habitat ensoleillé que dans l'habitat d'ombre. Des espèces semblables prédominent dans les carcasses à l'ombre et au soleil au début de la succession, mais la dominance est moins claire plus tard dans le processus.

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Copyright
Copyright © Entomological Society of Canada 2006

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