Cerrado vegetation conversion into exotic pastures negatively impacts flower chafer beetle assemblages in the west-Central Brazil.
The native vegetation conversion into exotic pastures has been some of the most common land changes in the Brazilian Cerrado, causing biodiversity declines. However, our understanding of how biodiversity communities are responding to this activity is still limited for many biological groups. In this study, we evaluated the effects of Cerrado vegetation conversion into exotic pastures on flower chafer beetle assemblages. We sampled flower chafer beetles using aerial fruit baited-traps, every two weeks from October to December 2013, in five sites of Brazilian Cerrado (sensu stricto) and in five sites of exotic pastures (Urochloa spp.) in Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. A total 311 individuals from three genera and seven species were sampled. The species richness and abundance of flower chafer beetles were higher in Cerrado remnants. Species composition was similar between Cerrado remnants and exotic pastures in position, but was different in dispersion. Our results demonstrate that Cerrado conversion into exotic pastures reduces the abundance and species richness of flower chafer beetles, causing the alteration in species composition in terms of dispersion. Although these beetles can be 'guests' in exotic pasture sites, using them as ecological corridors, exotic pastures establishment negatively impacts flower chafer beetle assemblages in the Brazilian Cerrado.