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Tuesday, January 30 • 11:00am - 11:20am
UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Comparing Bee and Grasshopper Communities in Missouri's Reconstructed and Remnant Prairies

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AUTHORS. Joseph LaRose, University of Missouri; Lisa Webb, USGS Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, University of Missouri; Deborah Finke, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri

ABSTRACT. Tallgrass prairies and their obligate inhabitants once occupied a large swath of central North America, but now face the combined challenges of habitat loss and fragmentation. In Missouri, several hundred hectares of tallgrass prairie have been restored near patches of remnant native prairie. Typically, the success of reconstructed grasslands is assessed based on the extent to which native prairie plants have reestablished. Invertebrates are often assumed to colonize reconstructions if native vegetation returns. However, the limited mobility of many invertebrates and the isolation of many tallgrass remnants raises serious questions as to how prairie invertebrate communities in reconstructed prairies compare to those in remnants. To evaluate the effectiveness of prairie reconstructions in restoring grassland invertebrate communities, we sampled two guilds of terrestrial invertebrates: native bees (Apoidea) and grasshoppers (Acrididae). Both guilds include grassland specialists.  There are pollen specialists and rare kleptoparasitic bees found thus far only in remnant prairies in Missouri. The presence of those bees, and of several species of grasshoppers with limited mobility, on reconstructions would suggest successful prairie reconstruction.We sampled invertebrates from five conservation areas in Missouri containing tallgrass prairie habitat. Three areas contained prairie remnants adjacent to reconstructions, while the remaining two areas consisted of one remnant and one reconstructed prairie. We collected bees and grasshoppers in summers 2016 and 2017. We captured bees with bee bowls, and grasshoppers with sweep nets through standardized sweeps or targeted capture. Community analyses indicate that remnants and reconstructions may differ in composition for both taxa, particularly for grasshoppers. Reconstructed prairies were characterized by more mobile species, that are typically successful in agroecosystems Although not statistically significant, bee species richness and diversity were greater on remnant prairies than on reconstructions. For bees in particular, pollen specialists and kleptoparasites may be less capable of colonizing and surviving in reconstructed prairies. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am CST