Is Fragment Size or Fragment Number More Important to Moth Biodiversity in Iowa Prairie Fragments?

Andrew Seiler Thomas More College
Faculty Sponsor(s): Andrew Forbes University of Iowa
The state of Iowa has historically been covered in woodlands, wetlands, and tallgrass prairies. Of the 30 million original acres of Iowa prairie, less than one-tenth of one percent still exists as remnants or as a result of recent restoration projects. Vegetation-driven restoration is popular in the United States, but most organisms in an ecosystem are animals. One of the most specious taxa is Insecta, and of this group, Lepidoptera are highly charismatic and conspicuous along with both host-specific and generalist feeding habits, offering unique insight into prairie systems. This study to identified and quantified moth individuals captured in prairie fragments around Iowa City, using this data to calculate indices investigating these sites. All sites were found to experience similar values for both the Shannon and Simpson Biodiversity Indices; however, the Jaccard Similarity Index indicates high percentages of species difference between one site. This expresses the regional biodiversity may increase with the number of fragments, calling for the need to establish more prairie restorations.
Sustainability, Urban Ecology & Environmental Studies
Poster Presentation