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Tuesday, February 7 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Symposia Session - S5: Playa Wetland Ecology. Influence of Playa Wetlands and the Conservation Reserve Program on Native Invertebrate Pollinator Communities in the Llano Estacado

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AUTHORS: Angela Begosh, Loren M. Smith, Scott T. McMurry - Oklahoma State University

ABSTRACT: In 2006 the first reports of massive die-offs of managed honey bee hives posed urgent questions of how society would deal with the implications of the loss of pollinator services. Native invertebrate pollinators have the potential to augment the agricultural role of honey bees; however, these populations are threatened by factors that include habitat degradation, agricultural practices, invasive exotic plant species, competition and disease from managed bees, and climate change. Our objective is to determine how the predominant land uses in the Southern High Plains of Texas (native grassland, Conservation Reserve Program, and cropland) affect invertebrate pollinator species richness, diversity and abundance, and more specifically, if CRP land hosts a diverse pollinator population given it consists primarily of non-native upland grasses. We also examined how playa wetlands, refuges of floral diversity in a semi-arid landscape, contribute to pollinator habitat. We used blue vane traps placed in the playa basins and adjacent uplands in each land use to compare pollinator diversity, richness, and abundance. We used targeted net collection, where we collected pollinators from the flowers upon which they fed, to allow us to determine what plant species pollinators utilize and the role playa plants serve in invertebrate pollinator habitat. Vegetation structure analysis indicated the vegetation characteristics of each land use are most important in influencing pollinator diversity. Initial analysis indicates that when land use effects are significant, CRP pollinator diversity is lower than cropland and/or native grasslands and there wasn’t a significant difference between uplands and playas. We will examine factors contributing to low CRP pollinator value and make recommendations for future CRP conservation practices to enhance pollinator habitat and maximize ecosystem services of the uplands influencing playas embedded in CRP lands.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Yankee Hill I/II

Attendees (3)