Butterfly, bee and forb community composition and cross-taxon incongruence in tallgrass prairie fragments
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Pollinators provide an important class of ecological services for crop plants and native species in many ecosystems, including the tallgrass prairie, and their conservation is essential to sustaining prairie remnants. In Iowa these remnants are typically either block-shaped or long, linear strips along transportation routes. In this study we examined differences in the butterfly, bee, and forb community composition in linear and block prairie remnants, determined correlations between species diversity among butterflies, bees and forbs in the 20 prairie remnants sampled, and examined correlations of community similarity among butterflies, bees and forbs. Correspondence analysis showed that distinct communities exist for butterflies and forbs in block versus linear sites and discriminant analysis showed that the bee and forb communities in block and linear sites can be distinguished on the basis of a few species. Diversity of one group was a poor predictor of diversity in another, except for a significant inverse relationship between bees and butterflies. These two pollinator taxa may be responding very differently to microhabitat components within fragmented ecosystems. Our studies show that there need to be differences in conservation strategies for bees and butterflies to maintain both pollinator communities.
Jessica Davis, Stephen D. Hendrix, Diane Debinski and Chiara Hemsley. "Butterfly, bee and forb community composition and cross-taxon incongruence in tallgrass prairie fragments" Journal of Insect Conservation Vol. 12 Iss. 1 (2008) DOI: 10.1007/s10841-006-9063-4