Richardson, Jennifer , Byers, Diane .
Pollinators and seed production of a native prairie species Lobelia spicata, in a fragmented landscapes.
Prior to European settlement in the early 1800ís, 60 percent of land in Illinois was composed of tallgrass prairie; today less than 1 percent; this prairie remains in Illinois. Most fragments are small (less than 10ha) and isolated. While the remnants contain many prairie plant species, their population sizes are small. Given these small population sizes and unsuitability of the environment between fragments for pollinators and native plants, beneficial plant and pollinator interactions are expected to be disrupted in these prairies. Larger restored prairies, while typically less diverse for prairie species, we predict will have greater pollinator diversity, visitation and seed production compared to remnants. To determine potential negative consequences of habitat fragmentation, we have been studying Lobelia spicata, a gynodioecious species. This species is visited by bees, butterflies and a hawkmoth. In the smaller prairies, the female plants compared to hermaphrodites have reduced visitation by the pollinators. The female seed produce is greater than hermaphrodites but less than twice as predicted from evolutionary theory. In 2009, we have expanded this research to include pollinator observations and assessment of seed production in ten remnant prairies representing a range of sizes and types of prairies (tallgrass, hill and savanna). As large remnant tallgrass prairies are rare, we have included a high-quality restored tallgrass prairies. Preliminary analysis of the pollinator diversity did not show any pattern with fragment or population size. There was a tendency for the diversity of bees to be negatively correlated with butterflies, suggesting different habitat requirements. The diversity in types of prairies makes it difficult for comparisons. Therefore, now we are focusing our observations on small remnant tallgrass prairies and large restored tallgrass prairies for pollinator observations and assessment of seed production. Our poster will compare these different assessments of the consequences of habitat fragmentation, for plant-pollinator interactions. We will discuss the difficultly of making generalizations when studying a rare habitat.
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1 - Illinois State University, Biological Sciences, 208 W. Irving , Apt 1, Normal, IL, 61761
2 - Illinois State University, School of Biological Sciences, Campus Box 4120, Normal, IL, 61790-4120, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM