Abstract Detail



Ecology

Day, Meigan  [1], Michaels, Helen [2].

Nectar resource quality for oak savanna pollinator habitat restoration.

Federally endangered since 1992, Karner blue butterfly (Plebejus melissa samuelis, KBB) populations have been limited by landscape fragmentation, natural succession, and fire suppression in oak savanna habitats. Several studies document flowers visited by Karner blue butterflies, while others found that nectar resource abundance is a strong predictor of overall butterfly richness. However, these studies did not consider the nutritional quality of nectar resources. Research reveals that butterfly population size has a stronger association to detailed course estimates of native nectar quantity than coarse estimates of flowering stem density. Therefore, the improvement of nectar quality available in rare butterfly habitat appears to be an important factor for conservation. Butterflies in captivity with rich sugar and amino acid diets often experience improved fecundity, longevity, and increased fitness over the female's lifetime. To characterize nectar resources available in KBB habitats, the nutritional quality and quantity of nectar will be compared between sites occupied and unoccupied by KBB. This will provide insight on factors that limit the success of both spring and summer broods of KBB metapopulations. Understanding the characteristics and temporal variations in nectar resources will aid habitat restoration planning and benefit conservation efforts for KBB and other rare butterflies.  
To better evaluate the nutritional quality of previously surveyed habitats occupied and unoccupied by KBB, we will measure nectar volume, sugar and amino acid concentrations. Flowers utilized by KBB often have inflorescences of small florets and produce small nectar volumes, therefore, the entire inflorescence will be collected, and nectar will be extracted using a modified centrifugation technique. The centrifugate at the bottom of the tube will then be measured for total volume with a micropipette and used to calculate nectar produced per inflorescence. Nectar sugar concentration will be estimated using a handheld refractometer and total amino acid concentration will be measured with a chromatography paper ninhydrin test. The volume and nutritional quality of nectar produced by sampled species will be averaged from each survey site to create a generalized nectar profile. At each plant sampled one stem in each cardinal direction will be counted for the total number of flowers produced. The average number of flowers produced per stem will be applied to data of the species density of flowering stems per m2. The volume and nutritional quality of nectar will be applied to this data, species density of flowers per stem per m2, for sites occupied and unoccupied by Karner blue butterflies.


1 - Bowling Green State University , Biology, Bowling Green State University , Bowling Green , OH, 43403, USA
2 - Bowling Green State University, Department of Biological Sciences, 217 Life Sciences Building, Bowling Green, OH, 43403, USA

Keywords:
nectar.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEC008
Abstract ID:207
Candidate for Awards:None


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