Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Subject Area

Biology

Description

We investigated how change in plant community composition and vegetative structure brought about by annual grass-specific herbicide application affects terrestrial arthropod communities, with special emphasis on the potential mutualists and predators of the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly, Plebejus icarioides fender (Family: Lycaenidae). Larvae of this species form facultative protective mutualisms with ants, and they may be preyed upon by numerous invertebrate predators. We used pitfall trapping to compare terrestrial invertebrate community structure between control and herbicide-treated plots through time. The extent to which major changes in plant community composition affect the rest of the invertebrate community may have relevance for management decisions if the focus of the conservation effort has strong ecological interactions with greatly affected non-target species.

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May 15th, 9:30 AM May 15th, 10:45 AM

How Changes in Plant Community Structure Affect Terrestrial Invertebrate Food Webs

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

We investigated how change in plant community composition and vegetative structure brought about by annual grass-specific herbicide application affects terrestrial arthropod communities, with special emphasis on the potential mutualists and predators of the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly, Plebejus icarioides fender (Family: Lycaenidae). Larvae of this species form facultative protective mutualisms with ants, and they may be preyed upon by numerous invertebrate predators. We used pitfall trapping to compare terrestrial invertebrate community structure between control and herbicide-treated plots through time. The extent to which major changes in plant community composition affect the rest of the invertebrate community may have relevance for management decisions if the focus of the conservation effort has strong ecological interactions with greatly affected non-target species.

 

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