Open Access Undergraduate Student Work
Type of Work
We studied interrelationships between prairie plant establishment, habitat heterogeneity, and bird and butterfly biodiversity in an experimental prairie reconstruction in Iowa, USA. We seeded 48 research plots on three soil types with one of four treatments containing one, five, 16, or 32 species. During early establishment, neither bird nor butterfly abundance, species richness, or community diversity varied among the three soil types; however, there were significant treatment × soil type interactions when comparing bird and butterfly community composition among plots. Our results demonstrate that plots established with identical seed mixes and management practices developed variable habitat characteristics due to variation in edaphic conditions and that animal communities were structured in response to this heterogeneity. We discuss the conservation implications of our findings in the context of the utilization of native prairie species as an agroenergy feedstock.
Date of Work
Department of Biology
Tallgrass Prairie Center
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
©2013 Benjamin J Hoksch, Dr. Mark C Myers, James T Mason, Jarrett D Pfrimmer, and Andrew J Ridgway
Hoksch, Benjamin J.; Myers, Mark C.; Mason, James T.; Pfrimmer, Jarrett D.; and Ridgway, Andrew J., "Birds and butterflies respond to soil-induced habitat heterogeneity in experimental plantings of native tallgrass prairie species in Iowa, USA" (2013). Undergraduate Student Work. 33.