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Data from: Partitioning resources through the seasons: abundance and phenology of carrion beetles (Silphidae) in southeastern Ontario

Citation

Wettlaufer, Jillian; Burke, Kevin; Beresford, David; Martin, Paul (2021), Data from: Partitioning resources through the seasons: abundance and phenology of carrion beetles (Silphidae) in southeastern Ontario, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2fqz612pd

Abstract

The coexistence of ecologically similar species is thought to require resource partitioning to minimize competition. Phenological, seasonal differences in activity may provide an important axis for resource partitioning. Here, we test for evidence of seasonal differences in activity within a diverse guild of carrion beetles (Silphidae) in a habitat preserve on the Frontenac Arch, southeastern Ontario, Canada using a large-scale survey during their active seasons (April to October). We then used generalized additive models to test for differences in seasonal abundance among eight co-occurring carrion beetle species, including five species of burying beetles (Nicrophorinae: Nicrophorus Fabricius, 1775) and three species from the Silphinae subfamily. Consistent with previous work, all species showed seasonal variation in abundance, with peak abundance of most species occurring between June and August. All but one species (Nicrophorus sayi Laporte, 1840) showed positive relationships between abundance and temperature. We find evidence consistent with seasonal partitioning of resources among Nicrophorus habitat generalists that could potentially reduce competition for limited carrion resources. In contrast, we find little evidence for seasonal differences in abundance among Nicrophorus habitat specialists, which instead may partition resources spatially. Overall, our results provide evidence consistent with an important role for seasonal resource partitioning among carrion beetle species that show higher levels of spatial (habitat) overlap within a temperate beetle guild.

Methods

Data are raw counts. See Methods for details of collection.

Usage Notes

See README file for description of variables, R code for analysis, and Methods in the original paper for details.

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Award: 355519-2013 , 04452-2018