Call of nature: How do livestock veterinary drugs impact dung beetles and other macroinvertebrates, their microbiota and associated ecosystem services

Lead Research Organisation: UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Department Name: Biosciences


Project Outline:

The activities of dung beetles and other soil macroinvertebrates support the maintenance of healthy soils by facilitating the breakdown of dung through combined direct consumption and facilitated microbial community action, but livestock veterinary drugs such as avermectins and antibiotics threaten such ecosystem services.

Although avermectins (wormers) and antibiotics are both routinely administered to livestock and may be present in dung at the same time the combinational impacts (negative or positive) of these veterinary drugs on dung beetle behaviour, reproduction, soil fauna-microbiome interactions, and associated ecosystem level consequences are likely to be substantive but have not been studied before.

This project aims to address these issues to provide a better understanding of the processes involved which may help improve food security and mitigate against antibiotic resistance, biodiversity loss and climate change in agricultural environments.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/V013041/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2027
2866055 Studentship NE/V013041/1 30/09/2023 30/07/2027