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Wednesday, January 27 • 2:40pm - 3:00pm
Bee Diversity and Butterfly Relative Abundance In Organic, Conservation, and Conventional Farms; The Value of On Farm Conservation Practices.

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AUTHORS: Cassandra A. Wilcoxen, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign; Michael P. Ward, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign; Jeffery W. Walk, The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: With the intensification of agriculture over the last couple decades in the United States, pollinator populations have steadily decreased. Simultaneously, soil erosion and water quality issues became a major problem. To mitigate these issues, various programs have been constructed to aid farmers with incorporating conservation practices on their farm fields and setting aside important habitat for wildlife. To better understand the effect various conservation practices have on pollinators, butterfly relative abundance and bee diversity was measured on organic, conventional and conservation farms. Preliminary bee diversity indices indicate conservation practices host more diverse groupings of bees than compared to organic and conventional practices. Relative butterfly abundance is influenced more by conservation practices and crop type, but can be higher in organic production systems if more conservation practices are incorporated.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST