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1 April 1998 Diversity and Abundance of Springtails (Insecta: Collembola) in Native and Restored Tallgrass Prairies
Raymond H. Brand, Christopher P. Dunn
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This study suggests that heterotrophic components of prairie ecosystems can be used with autotrophic components to assess the degree to which a restored prairie approaches the biotic complexity of a native prairie. Springtails (Collembola) were collected from prairie vegetation and litter samples from 13 prairie sites (seven native and six restored) located in southwestern Michigan and northeastern Illinois. The diversity and abundance of these insects and the plant and litter biomass were compared. There were 27 different taxa of springtails in the 225 samples collected. Native prairies had the greatest species richness with 26 species. The oldest restored prairie had 17 species. Three common species were Hypogastrura boletivora, Isotoma viridis, and Lepidocyrtus pallidus. Neanura muscorum, Xenylla grisea, and Pseuduosinella rolfsi were rare. Tomocerus flavescens was found primarily in native prairies with only one occurrence in the oldest restored prairie in this study. Native prairies and restored prairies of 17 and 24 yr did not differ significantly in numbers of springtails.

Differences in springtail numbers did occur, however, between restored prairies of <6 yr and native prairies, and between younger (<6 yr) and older (17 and 26 yr) restored prairies. An analysis of plant and litter biomass indicated significant differences among the prairie sites sampled. These results suggest that all components of the prairie ecosystem are useful for making restoration management decisions.

Raymond H. Brand and Christopher P. Dunn "Diversity and Abundance of Springtails (Insecta: Collembola) in Native and Restored Tallgrass Prairies," The American Midland Naturalist 139(2), 235-242, (1 April 1998).[0235:DAAOSI]2.0.CO;2
Received: 27 August 1996; Accepted: 1 July 1997; Published: 1 April 1998
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