Dung Beetles, Pasture Growth and Soil Fertility

7 March 2020
pasture growth - dung beetles

The MLA study The Pasture Growth and Environmental Benefits of Dung Beetles to the Southern Australian Cattle Industry was the first study of its kind in Australia, investigating the relationship between the role of dung beetles and their effect on pasture growth and soil fertility changes over time.

The study found that the winter-active dung beetle Bubas bison increased pasture production (dry matter) by 30%, increasing production persisting for 3 or more years following dung burial. Furthermore, findings from the study suggested that yearly B. bison resultant carbon sequestration in the subsoil could be equivalent to that sequestered by 400,000 hectares of eucalypt plantation. The researchers recommended that four species of deep-tunnelling dung beetles be established in their respective potential ranges in South Australia. These species were B. bison, Geotrupes spiniger, Onitis caffer and Copris hispanis.