Insect succession and carrion decomposition in selected forests of Central Europe. Part 3: Succession of carrion fauna
The succession of insects on pig carrion was monitored in spring, summer and autumn, in three forest types and 2 years in Western Poland (Central Europe). In most forensically useful taxa, significant differences between seasons, forests and years in time of appearance on carrion were found. The lowest values of appearance time were recorded in summer and the highest in spring. In alder forest insects appeared on carcasses significantly earlier than in pine-oak forest and hornbeam-oak forest. In summer periods of insect presence on carrion were significantly shorter than in spring and autumn. In most taxa no significant effect of forest type or year on length of the presence period was found. In all seasons assemblages of adult taxa were clearly more aggregated than assemblages of larval taxa. Sequence of insects’ appearance on carcasses was very similar in different seasons, forests and years. General seasonal models of insect succession on carrion are proposed for forests of Central Europe. Data on appearance time and length of the presence period in particular seasons, forests and years are presented for forensically useful taxa. Implications for methods of PMI estimation (particularly the succession-based method) are discussed.
Keywords: Forensic entomology, Insect succession, Forest habitats, Post-mortem interval