The Life and Death of Barn Beetles: Faunas from Manure and Stored Hay inside Farm Buildings in Northern Iceland

Veronique Forbes, Andrew Dugmore, Erling Olafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

1. Subfossil beetle remains from archaeological sites have proven invaluable for examining past living conditions, human activities and their impacts on landscapes and ecosystems.
2. In Iceland, specific economic practices (e.g. land management, natural resource exploitation) and major historical events (i.e. colonisation, economic intensification and commercialisation, urbanisation) have affected local environments and left recognisable traces in the beetle subfossil record.
3. Understanding the ecology of synanthropic beetles is crucial if they are to be employed in highresolution reconstructions of past lifeways and their ecological impacts, yet, because buildings’ interiors are rarely the object of systematic entomological research, the ecological requirements of many such species are poorly understood.
4. We conducted a survey of live and dead beetle faunas from habitats that have so far been largely neglected by entomological research: stable manure and stored hay inside farm buildings, two key facets of a northern European pastoral economy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcological entomology
Early online date10 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2016

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