0953 Necrophagous insect and microbial community assembly variation in a Midwest forest

Tuesday, December 15, 2009: 3:35 PM
Room 103, First Floor (Convention Center)
Andrew Lewis , Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
M.C. Berg , Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
Sandra Tilton , Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
M. Eric Benbow , Department of Biology, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
Few studies have addressed variation in necrophagous invertebrate and microbial community assembly on carrion resources. While temperature is a primary variable in decomposition, other variables (e.g., distance between carcasses and moisture gradients) can contribute to community assembly variation between carrion of similar resource quantity and quality. The objective of this study was to monitor insect and microbial community assembly among six replicate swine carcasses in an Ohio forest. We hypothesized that insect species richness would correlate with microbial community diversity throughout decompositional succession, peaking during active decay. When community data from all carcasses were pooled, species richness at the fresh stage of decomposition, ranged from 1-2, but increased to up to four during the active decay stage and then decreased during the dry stage. Two carcasses tended to attract rare species of Scarabaeidae and Staphylinidae more frequently than the others, which could be explained by their close proximity to a deer trail and an agricultural field, by being at the highest elevation, or the furthest away from a stream that flows through the site. Microbial community assembly tended to change with the insect community but was variable depending decay stage.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.45210