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Citation. Reed, C. C. 1995. Species richness of insects on prairie flowers in Southeastern Minnesota. Pages 103-115 in, Hartnett, D. C., Editor, Fourteenth North American Prairie Conference: Prairie Biodiversity. Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.   [1600  CC]

Abstract. I systematically collected 3784 flower-visiting insects representing 287 species from 59 forb species in 4 prairie remnants and 4 prairie reconstructions (farm fields replanted to prairie plants) during 3 summers. Flower visitors included nectar and pollen feeders, parasitoids, and predators. Size of the site, time since planting of reconstructions and total flower number did not appear to influence the species richness of flower visitors on the sites. The presence of flowers throughout the summer and the presence of forb species that supported specialist insects appeared to increase insect species richness of sites. Certain forb species supported more than their share of insect visitors. Insect species richness was highest on sites of intermediate forb species richness The native remnants had slightly higher insect species richness than the reconstructions when collection effort was equalized, but the reconstructions also supported many flower visitors. Of the 287 insect species, 105 were found on only one site, implying that even small remnants and reconstructions can contribute to the conservation of prairie insect species.

Keywords. prairie insects, prairie forbs, prairie restoration: flower visitors, bees, species richness, insect phenology

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