This data set includes longitudinal abundance of dung beetles at dung-baited pitfall traps, recorded in 2010, 2016 and 2017 (around six years before, six months after and 18 months after the 2015-16 El Niño event, respectively) in the Brazilian Amazon region.
Dung beetles were collected during the collaborative projects AFIRE (Assessing ENSO-induced Fire Impacts in tropical Rainforest Ecosystems) and ECOFOR (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in degraded and recovering Amazonian and Atlantic Forests), which are part of the NERC Human-Modified Tropical Forest (HTMF) programme.
Publication date: 2019-01-09
Between April and June 2010, dung beetles were sampled across all 381 study plots (total of 3429 pitfall traps set across all study plots). Post-El Niño beetle surveys happened in July 2016 and between March and April 2017 within a subset of 36 forest plots (from those 381 previously established) in the Santarém region (333 pitfall traps for each year). These plots were distributed along a gradient of previous forest degradation, including undisturbed forests (n = 10), logged-forests (n = 10), logged-and-burned forests (n = 10) and secondary forests (n = 6). Half of these forest plots were fire-affected during the 2015-16 El Niño, while the other plots suffered only with the drought effects. Forest disturbance classes were based on analysis of canopy disturbance in time series satellite images (1988 to 2010) and previous field assessments of fire scars, and logging/charcoal debris. Dung beetles were sampled using pitfall traps baited with 50 g of dung (80% pig and 20% human) and half filled with a killing solution (5% detergent and 2% salt). Traps were distributed at the corners of a 3-m equilateral triangle, at three sampling points (0, 150 and 300 m) of a 300-m transect; and were left in the field for 48 h before inspection. Beetle surveys in 2016 and 2017 happened following exactly the same methods established in 2010.