Carrion and Dung: the Decomposition of Animal Wastes

Produced in 1983 by the Institute of Biology as part of its Studies in Biology series, this booklet looks at the interesting subject of the decomposition system and the importance of the organisms which facilitate this to ecology. This booklet examines the mechanics and processes of the decomposition of carrion and animal wastes and the evolution of the organisms which are involved.

[b]Contents:[/b]
1. Introduction: carrion and dung and their place in the ecosystem
The context
Carrion and dung as bottlenecks in ecosystems
Carrion and dung as specialized habitats

2. Recyclers
The organisms
The relative roles of scavengers and decomposers in the degradation of litter, dung and carrion

3. Decomposition of carrion and dung
Removal of carrion by vertebrate scavengers
Decomposition of carrion
Effects of decaying carrion on the surrounding environment
Decomposition of dung
Effects of decaying dung on the surrounding environment
Sewage treatment: artificial decomposition of human excrement

4. The carrion community
Vertebrates as scavengers of carrion
Invertebrates on carrion
Succession
Carrion blowfiies
Burying beetles or sexton beetles: [i]Necrophorus[/i] spp.
Carrion for r-selected organisms

5. The dung community
Succession
Dung beetles
Dung flies
Dung flies and optimal behaviour sequences
Dung as a problem for parasites

6 Decomposition in aquatic systems

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Downloads

Published by

Actions

Share this resource

Comments