Ground dwelling beetle assemblages of remnant and created prairies of east-central Indiana

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Brown, Angela M.
LeBlanc, David C.
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Biology
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Prairie restorations in east-central Indiana are commonly accomplished through purposeful planting of prairie vegetation, with the belief that prairie fauna will populate the planting independently at a later time. The objective of this study was to determine whether one assemblage, the ground dwelling beetles, would in fact re-populate tallgrass prairie restorations in a region where tallgrass prairie remnants are rare and highly fragmented. Two prairie remnants and five prairie plantings were sampled using pitfall traps from 21 May to 4 October 2003. Nine hundred forty-three beetles were collected, identified to family, and separated into morphospecies. Shannon diversity was greatest in the CR 575 E Cemetery prairie remnant, and increased linearly with increasing age in the created prairies, with the exception of the 1-year old prairie. TWINSPAN analysis grouped the two remnant prairies together in the first division, indicating that beetle assemblages of remnant prairies are more similar to each other than to created prairies.