Entomologist, Farmer & TV Presenter
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New paper: The importance of species-rich communities
In our paper published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, we suggest that species-rich communities sustain ecosystem services in the event of human-led disturbances.
Whilst species-rich dung beetle communities did not perform better than species-poor communities in the short term in the absence of disturbance, when the system was disturbed (by the anthelmintic, ivermectin), only species-rich communities sustained the ecosystem service of dung decomposition. However, in the long term, species-rich communities out-performed species-poor communities irrespective of disturbance.
Please contact me if you would like to receive a pdf copy of the paper.
The abstract is available by following this link to the article:
Beynon, S. A., Mann, D. J., Slade, E. M., Lewis, O. T. (2012) Species-rich dung beetle communities buffer ecosystem services in perturbed agro-ecosystems. Journal of Applied Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02210.x
filmed recently for BBC Countryfile. The film, in which I visit Adam
Henson's Farm to discuss beneficial insects on farmland, will also touch
upon my recent research on the importance of dung beetles to farmers.
It is now available to view online by following this link.
Hippo goes stateside!
'Hippo: Nature's Wild Feast' has been re-jigged by Animal Planet and was released yesterday as 'Eating Giants: Hippo'. Lots more insect footage than on the C4 version, including me venturing into the carcass to search for hide beetles and histerid beetles. Due to the possible threat of Anthrax, I had to don a plastic boiler suit...pretty hot in 50°C midday heat!
Great reviews in the US, including the New York Times and Daily News. Glad the insects get a mention in the New York Times! You can see the show (or clips from it) on the Animal Planet website.
Filming for 'Hippo: Nature's Wild Feast' / 'Eating Giants: Hippo'.
Looking for insects on an elephant carcass
New paper suggests alternative products may impact non-target wildlife!
I have just had a paper published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. The paper investigates the non-target environmental impacts of alternative products for livestock parasite control including Bug A Tub lick (<5 % diatomaceous earth, a mix of undisclosed plant oils and nutritional supplements), a homeopathic product, a copper bolus and the conventional anthelmintic ivermectin.
This is the first published research to look at non-target impacts of alternative products and suggests that Bug A Tub and perhaps the copper bolus can impact the dung decomposer community. However, no impact on dung removal was associated with any alternative products. Ivermectin however, severley retarded dung removal as well as having a negative impact on dung-associated insects.
As alternative products are not licenced as veterinary medicines they require no efficacy or environmental safety testing. Our results highlight the needs for tests on the environmental safety of alternative products.
Please contact me if you would like to receive a pdf copy of the paper. The abstract is available by following this link to the article:
Beynon et al. (2012) Consequences of alternative
and conventional endoparasite control in cattle for dung-associated
invertebrates and ecosystem functioning. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 162, 36-44.
Stall at Really Wild Food & Countryside Festival
DUNG BEETLES DIRECT made its first public appearance at The Really Wild Food & Countryside Festival 2012!
The stall showcased live insects from across the world to give
everyone a chance to get up close and personal to some of nature's most
wonderful creatures. More information on DUNG BEETLES DIRECT coming soon!