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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Student Research-in-Progress Poster Display. Evaluating Differences in Invertebrate Communities Between Remnant and Restored Prairies in Missouri

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AUTHOR: Joseph LaRose, University of Missouri
ABSTRACT: North American tallgrass prairies and their obligate inhabitants, which before mechanized agriculture occupied a large swath of central North America, now face the combined challenges of habitat loss and fragmentation. In the Upper Osage Grasslands of Missouri and the southern Central Dissected Plains, several hundred hectares of tallgrass prairie have been restored near tracts of remnant native prairie. To evaluate the effectiveness of prairie reconstructions in restoring grassland invertebrate communities, we used sweep nets and bee bowls to sample two guilds of terrestrial invertebrates: native bees (superfamily Apoidea), and grasshoppers (Acrididae). Remnant prairie sites with adjacent or nearby reconstruction plantings were chosen in order to compare community composition and species richness between the two habitat types. We swept a total of 134 transects at five conservation or natural areas between June and September of 2016. Bee bowls were deployed at 101 of those transects during the three sampling periods. Species richness and community composition were also used to evaluate the effects of reconstruction patch size and age. We hypothesized that grasshopper and bee species richness will be greater in remnant prairies than in reconstructed prairies, and that reconstructions will be characterized by a distinct suite of invertebrate species. These characteristic species are probably more capable of colonization due to above average mobility or their ability to survive in the surrounding matrix. Preliminary results suggest that diversity and abundance trends across prairie type may vary across invertebrate guilds.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Olive Branch Room