Noriega, J.A.*, Hortal, J.*, deCastro-Arrazola, I., Alves-Martins, F., Ortega, J.C.G., Bini, L.M., Andrew, N.R., Arellano, L., Beynon, S., Davis, A.L.V., Favila, M.E., Floate, K.D., Horgan, F.G., Menéndez, R., Milotic, T., Nervo, B., Palestrini, C., Rolando, A., Scholtz, C.H., Senyüz, Y., Wassmer, T., Ádam, R., Araújo, C.O.d., Barragan-Ramírez, J.L., Boros, G., Camero-Rubio, E., Cruz, M., Cuesta, E., Damborsky, M.P., Deschodt, C.M., Rajan, P.D., D’hondt, B., Rojas, A.D., Dindar, K., Escobar, F., Espinoza, V.R., Ferrer-Paris, J.R., Rojas, P.E.G., Hemmings, Z., Hernández, B., Hill, S.J., Hoffmann, M., Jay-Robert, P., Lewis, K., Lewis, M., Lozano, C., Marín-Armijos, D., Farias, P.M.d., Murcia-Ordoñez, B., Karimbumkara, S.N., Navarrete-Heredia, J.L., Ortega-Echeverría, C., Pablo-Cea, J.D., Perrin, W., Pessoa, M.B., Radhakrishnan, A., Rahimi, I., Raimundo, A.T., Ramos, D.C., Rebolledo, R.E., Roggero, A., Sánchez-Mercado, A., Somay, L., Stadler, J., Tahmasebi, P., Céspedes, J.D.T. & Santos, A.M.C. (2023) Dung removal increases under higher dung beetle functional diversity regardless of grazing intensification. Nature Communications, 14(1), 8070. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-43760-8 [*Shared 1st authorship]

Dung removal by macrofauna such as dung beetles is an important process for nutrient cycling in pasturelands. Intensification of farming practices generally reduces species and functional diversity of terrestrial invertebrates, which may negatively affect ecosystem services. Here, we investigate the effects of cattle-grazing intensification on dung removal by dung beetles in field experiments replicated in 38 pastures around the world. Within each study site, we measured dung removal in pastures managed with low- and high-intensity regimes to assess between-regime differences in dung beetle diversity and dung removal, whilst also considering climate and regional variations. The impacts of intensification were heterogeneous, either diminishing or increasing dung beetle species richness, functional diversity, and dung removal rates. The effects of beetle diversity on dung removal were more variable across sites than within sites. Dung removal increased with species richness across sites, while functional diversity consistently enhanced dung removal within sites, independently of cattle grazing intensity or climate. Our findings indicate that, despite intensified cattle stocking rates, ecosystem services related to decomposition and nutrient cycling can be maintained when a functionally diverse dung beetle community inhabits the human-modified landscape.