Kentucky State University

Poster Title

Beneficial Insects Associated with Newly Established Native Perennial Plant Borders

Institution

Kentucky State University

Abstract

Native perennial plants are beneficial to the environment because they create habitat for wildlife species including beneficial insects. Attracting beneficial insects in a farmscaping approach could be important in trying to establish sustainable methods of insect pest management in vegetable and fruit crops. It has been suggested that non crop vegetation such as grasses and floral strips planted as crop field margins could enhance populations of predaceous arthropods and parasitoids. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare several insect groups colonizing newly established perennial border plots vs. nonmowed mixed grass/weedy pasture border plots. This study was conducted at the Kentucky State University Research and Demonstration Farm in Franklin Co., KY. Sixteen plant species including big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana), New England Aster (Aster novaeanglica), side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), grayheaded coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), hairy beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus), slender mountain mint (Pycantheum tennuifolium), little bluestem (Schizacharium scoparium), and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis) were established in 25 m × 2 m border rows replicated three times. Insects were sampled weekly during September using four 15 cm × 15 cm sticky traps mounted to tobacco sticks in each border row. Lady beetles, solitary bees in the genus Agapostemon, soldier beetles (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) and green lacewings (Chrysops sp.) were more abundant in perennial borders than pasture borders. Results will be discussed relative to the selected flowering plants.

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Beneficial Insects Associated with Newly Established Native Perennial Plant Borders

Native perennial plants are beneficial to the environment because they create habitat for wildlife species including beneficial insects. Attracting beneficial insects in a farmscaping approach could be important in trying to establish sustainable methods of insect pest management in vegetable and fruit crops. It has been suggested that non crop vegetation such as grasses and floral strips planted as crop field margins could enhance populations of predaceous arthropods and parasitoids. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare several insect groups colonizing newly established perennial border plots vs. nonmowed mixed grass/weedy pasture border plots. This study was conducted at the Kentucky State University Research and Demonstration Farm in Franklin Co., KY. Sixteen plant species including big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana), New England Aster (Aster novaeanglica), side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), grayheaded coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), hairy beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus), slender mountain mint (Pycantheum tennuifolium), little bluestem (Schizacharium scoparium), and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis) were established in 25 m × 2 m border rows replicated three times. Insects were sampled weekly during September using four 15 cm × 15 cm sticky traps mounted to tobacco sticks in each border row. Lady beetles, solitary bees in the genus Agapostemon, soldier beetles (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) and green lacewings (Chrysops sp.) were more abundant in perennial borders than pasture borders. Results will be discussed relative to the selected flowering plants.