Monday, December 10, 2007 - 9:17 AM

A comparison of insect diversity and abundance in Michigan oak savanna and prairie remnants of varying quality

Anna K. Fiedler, and Douglas A. Landis. Michigan State University, Entomology, 204 CIPS Bldg, East Lansing, MI

In the Midwestern U.S., Savanna and prairie habitats are rare and highly fragmented. As a result, remnant-dependant flora and fauna are also increasingly rare. Insects provide a key linkage from the first trophic level to higher levels, and as herbivores and pollinators, may be a determining factor in plant diversity. Habitat restoration efforts frequently include reintroduction of native plants. However, whether remnant-dependant insects may need to be reintroduced in these habitats has not been addressed. We examined remnant-dependant Cicadellidae and Noctuidae: Papaipema population levels in prairie and oak openings habitats of Michigan of low and high quality. We hypothesized that remnant-dependant insect species diversity and abundance is greater in high than low quality savanna and prairie habitats. These findings have potential to guide restoration efforts of savanna and prairie habitats to maximize insect diversity and prevent local extinction.