Volume 50, Issue 1 (January 2005)
Does Carcass Enrichment Alter Community Structure of Predaceous and Parasitic Arthropods? A Second Test of the Arthropod Saturation Hypothesis at the Anthropology Research Facility in Knoxville, Tennessee
In a second test of an arthropod saturation hypothesis, we analyzed if the on-campus Anthropology Research Facility (ARF) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with its 20+ yr history of carcass enrichment, is comparable to non-enriched sites in community structure of predatory and parasitic arthropods that prey upon the sarcosaprophagous fauna. Over a 12-day period in June 1998, using pitfall traps and sweep nets, 10,065 predaceous, parasitic, and hematophagous (blood-feeding) arthropods were collected from freshly euthanized pigs (Sus scrofa L.) placed at ARF and at three surrounding sites various distances away (S2-S4). The community structure of these organisms was comparable in most paired-site tests with respect to species composition, colonization rates, and evenness of pitfall-trap abundances on a per carcass basis. Site differences were found in rarefaction tests of both sweep-net and pitfall-trap taxa and in tests of taxonomic evenness and ranked abundances of sweep-net samples. Despite these differences, no evidence was found that the predatory/parasitic fauna at ARF was impoverished with fewer but larger populations as a result of carcass enrichment. Comparison of the sarcosaprophagous and predatory/parasitic faunas revealed a tighter (and more predictable) linkage between carrion feeders (sarcosaprovores) and their carrion than between carrion feeders and their natural enemies (predators and parasitoids), leading us to conclude that ARF is more representative of surrounding sites with respect to the sarcosaprovore component than to the predatory/parasitic component within the larger carrion-arthropod community.