Flower visitor communities are similar on remnant and reconstructed tallgrass prairies despite forb community differences

  • Published source details Denning K.R. & Foster B.L. (2018) Flower visitor communities are similar on remnant and reconstructed tallgrass prairies despite forb community differences. Restoration Ecology, 26, 751-759.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Replant native vegetation

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Replant native vegetation

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2013–2015 in five restored and five remnant tallgrass prairies in Kansas, USA (Denning & Foster 2018) found that prairies restored by planting had a similar diversity and abundance of flower-visiting insects (including butterflies and moths) to remnant prairies. The diversity and total abundance of all flower-visiting insects, 14% of which were butterflies and moths, in restored prairies (abundance: 3,155 individuals) was similar to remnant prairies (abundance: 3,315 individuals; diversity data presented as model results). The total abundance of butterflies and moths in restored prairies was 353 individuals of 36 species, compared to 487 individuals of 38 species in remnant prairies (statistical significance not assessed). From 1992–2009, five restored prairies (3.1–7.0 ha) were created on former croplands by sowing 6–12 native grass and 15–121 native non-woody, broadleaved plant (forb) species. They were compared with five remnant prairies (3.5–5.8 ha). All prairies were >5 km apart, managed by periodic burning or haying, and all but one were burned or hayed at least once between 2013 and 2015. From April–July 2013–2015, a 100 × 100 m plot near the centre of each prairie was surveyed 2–4 times/year. On each survey, four 20-m transects/plot were walked twice recording all insects visiting open flowers. The whole plot was then surveyed for an additional 60 minutes recording all flower visitors.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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