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Data from: An inventory of the foliar, soil, and dung arthropod communities in pastures of the Southeastern United States

Citation

Schmid, Ryan; Welch, Kelton; Lundgren, Jonathan (2021), Data from: An inventory of the foliar, soil, and dung arthropod communities in pastures of the Southeastern United States, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ns1rn8ptc

Abstract

Grassland systems constitute a significant portion of the land area in the U.S. and as a result harbors significant arthropod biodiversity. During this time of biodiversity loss around the world, bioinventories of ecologically important habitats serve as important indicators for the effectiveness of conservation efforts. We conducted a bioinventory of the foliar, soil, and dung arthropod communities in 10 cattle pastures located in the southeastern U.S. during the 2018 grazing season. In sum, 126,251 arthropod specimens were collected. From the foliar community, 13 arthropod orders were observed, with the greatest species richness found in Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Hemiptera. The soil-dwelling arthropod community contained 18 orders. The three orders comprising the highest species richness were Coleoptera, Diptera, and Hymenoptera. Lastly, 12 arthropod orders were collected from cattle dung, with the greatest species richness found in Coleoptera, Diptera, and Hymenoptera. Herbivores were the most abundant functional guild found in the foliar community, and predators were most abundant in the soil and dung communities. Arthropod pests constituted a small portion of the pasture arthropod communities, with 1.01%, 0.34%, and 0.46% pests found in the foliar, soil, and dung communities, respectively. While bioinventories demand considerable time, energy, and resources to accomplish, the information from these inventories has many uses for conservation efforts, land management recommendations, and the direction of climate change science.

Funding

Carbon Nation Foundation

Carbon Nation Foundation