Recently a global decline in pollinators has been observed. Nectar and pollen from flowers are important resource for many pollinators for powering flight and increasing reproductive success. Conservation of native grassland pollinator species in Iowa relies upon the preservation of high quality habitats, the reconstruction of new habitats, and the careful management of novel grasslands (fallow fields and moderately managed pastures dominated by exotic plant species). These three types of grasslands differ in their floral resource communities. Here we proposed to measure the floral resources available in three types of grasslands not only from a single or a few snapshots in time but throughout the growing season (spring-fall), and to observe the pollinator community over four sampling rounds. Understanding how these habitat types differ in their floral resources and seasonal availability is an essential step in determining their utility for pollinator conservation and for refining strategies for reconstruction, restoration, and management of habitat for pollinators.
This project was completed by Diane Debinski as the Principal Investigator, John Delaney as the student investigator, and Karim Grimlund as a collaborator from Iowa State University and TNC Missouri. To read more about this project, click here.