Sunday, February 03, 2008

Pollinator Research LREC

I have been reading these and other reports about the research being conducted on pollinators, trying to determine if there is evidence that backyard habitats provide adaquate corridors of food and nesting or overwintering, for insects moving from one area to another as habitat is futher fractured.

The last in this list of links provided below is of particular interest providing information on pollinators traveling between patches of native plantings.
Three separate areas of eryngium yuccafolium are monitored after dayglow powder is dusted onto inflorescene using a different color (pink,blue or green) on each patch. Insects are collected at intervals over the bloom time.
Any insects having more than one color of Day Glow powder had visited more than one patch of eryngium yuccafolium.

Insects need a lot of energy to travel and will use the closest patches of preferred plant populations. Small pollinators have small foraging ranges and need to nest relatively close to sources. Larger pollinators move over larger distances moving futher away as need arises but using closer patches first.
Since most native pollinators tend to be solitary the smaller patches of plantings available in home gardens can be of use to insects if the home owner is also amiable to providing requirements for nesting and overwintering .
Of course the more gardeners providing these plants the better for pollinators looking for a home.

Litzsinger Road Ecology Center St Louis MO

The Litzsinger Road Ecology Center (LREC) is an established educational site with land and facilities dedicated to promoting science teaching and learning, environmental literacy, and stewardship of the Earth. While located in the heart of the St. Louis metropolitan area, just 10 miles west of downtown St. Louis, this unique 34-acre study center encompasses a rich variety of habitats including bottomland forest, restored prairie, and an urban creek. In addition, classrooms and an on-site computer laboratory offer research and instructional experiences that increase the scope of learning for students and teachers.
The Litzsinger Road Ecology Center is under the management of the Missouri Botanical Garden .

Foraging Ecology of Selected Prairie Wildflowers (Echinacea, Liatris, Monarda, and Veronicastrum) in Missouri Prairie Remnants and Restorations by Richard R. Clinebell II, 1998

Proposed Litzsinger Road Ecology Center Pollinator Survey by Malinda Slagle, 2004

Methodology of Transect Netting versus Use of Sugar Bait for Surveying Butterfly Assemblages in Tall Grass Prairie by John P. Lawler, LREC Intern, 2004

Insect Size and Foraging Distances for Insects Visiting Eryngium yuccifolium by Valerie Slegesky, Elmhurst College, Chicago, IL, 2007

Beneficial insects and native plants

Previous Pollinator Postings


Blogger jodi said...

I'm slow commenting (I think my earlier comment on this post got eaten by Blogger) but also wanted to say congratulations; you've won an award for excellence in blogging (because I'm with you on being concerned about pollinators, among other things. Come by Bloomingwriter and pick it up!

10/2/08 1:05 PM  

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