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Title:Effects of burn season on bee and floral community in tallgrass prairies, and the use of museum collections data
Author(s):Decker, Brenna L.
Advisor(s):Harmon-Threatt, Alexandra N.
Contributor(s):Cameron, Sydney A.; Heads, Sam W.
Department / Program:Entomology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Prescribed burn
Diadasia enavata
Abstract:Prescribed fires (controlled burns) in tallgrass prairie systems are a common land management technique used across the United States to maintain species diversity. Burns are conducted either in the winter or early spring (dormant season) or in late summer and early fall (growing season). Prairies are rich in diverse bee taxa, including many solitary and social species. It is unknown if dormant season or growing season burns differentially affects the following year’s bee community and their resources. Chapter 1 addresses the question of how fires affect bees in prairie fragments in Illinois. Understanding the effects of the different burn seasons will aid future pollinator- and bee-friendly land management and restoration projects. In 2016 and 2017, bees were collected from seven prairie sites in south-central Illinois using active netting, pan traps, and vane traps. Overall, both burn seasons increased the amount of bare ground compared to unburned areas, but growing season burns contained greater total area of bare ground than dormant season burns. This resulted in an increase in abundance of below-ground nesting bee species after growing season burns. The decrease in nesting material for above-ground nesting bees in the burned treatments resulted in a lower proportional abundance of those species compared to areas that were not burned. However, comparing the dormant and growing seasons of burn, there was no effect on the overall bee community. Amount of semi-natural area in the landscape and the matrix surrounding each prairie fragment may play a larger role in maintaining stable bee communities in highly fragmented habitats. Land managers can burn during both seasons knowing that bee communities will not be adversely affected. Chapter 2 utilizes the museum specimens housed at the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), University of Illinois, to address several issues concerning the use of museum collections to detect species distribution shifts and declines. Many changes to species distributions often occur over long time scales, where museum records are the only source of information regarding the historical occurrences of species. Efforts to digitize museum collections aids in identifying areas and species for conservation, but sampling biases and differences in specimen deposition into museum collections by various collectors over time, data entry errors, and misidentification of specimens can limit the accuracy of date collected from museums. This chapter describes the activities of compiling an updated Illinois bee species checklist of 455 species, correcting errors found in the INHS online database, and identifying potential new county and one state records (Diadasia enavata Cresson, 1872) for Illinois from the collections conducted in Chapter 1. Continued support for natural history museums across the country will allow future research on the impacts to ecosystems caused by human and natural influences.
Issue Date:2017-12-08
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Brenna Decker
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-13
Date Deposited:2017-12

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