Arthropod Diversity in Corn and Mixed Prairie Biofuel Crops
MetadataShow full item record
As part of a larger study to evaluate biodiversity across different biofuel crops this is one of the first studies to investigate beneficial arthropods in corn and mixed prairie fields. These two field types are different biofuel crops in lower Michigan. Four corn and four mixed prairie fields were selected for their proximity to each other and similarities in landscape context. Abundance and biodiversity of bees, abundance of syrphid flies, and wasps were measured using pan traps. Pollination level was quantified with the use of sentinel sunflowers. There were a total of 514 specimens captured during the three sample periods with the majority of captures in elevated platform traps instead of ground level traps. Corn and prairie fields had similar abundance and richness of bee taxa. June was the only sample period with a significant difference in bee abundance between field types with significantly more captures in prairie than in corn. There were no significant differences in abundance between syrphid flies or wasps between field types. The pollination quantification was unusable because of experimental error. The conversion of agricultural land to biofuel production requires an assessment of the consequences of landscape changes and the consequent effects on ecosystem services provided by arthropods.