Prescribed Fire Effects on Rangeland Dung Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae, Aphodiinae) in the Southern Great Plains


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.


Biological Sciences

Keywords and Phrases

Arthropods; Canthon; Disturbance; Nutrient Cycling; Texas; Wildland Fire

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1550-7424; 1551-5028

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2018 Society for Range Management, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2019