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Monday, April 9 • 10:15am - 10:30am
SYMPOSIA-01: Twenty Years of Changes in Floral Resources Across Urban and Rural Midwestern North America

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AUTHORS: Greg Spyreas*, David N. Zaya – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Multiple lines of evidence suggest a rapid decline in populations of several pollinator taxa. Their declines have increasingly become a focus for conservation research. One of the largest gaps in knowledge is how floral resources for pollinators have changed through time, and how trends in those resources vary in different landscapes or habitat types. We compared long-term plant community data from the Chicago region, to the rest of Illinois, to measure differences in their floral resources. Data were drawn from 20 years of the Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP), which surveys randomly selected sites across Illinois. We considered both quantity and diversity of floral resources available. We found that changes in overall floral resources were largely driven by two factors, habitat loss/conversion, and within-site changes in the abundance of key plant species. The relative role of those two factors differed between the Chicago area and more rural regions. Our dataset is a unique, large-scale estimate of floral resources, which we use to quantify important patterns and trends in them across regions. Understanding these resource trends and spatial patterns will aid conservation of the pollinators that depend on them.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:15am - 10:30am CDT
Hancock Parlor