Temporal resource continuity in agricultural landscapes
Simplified landscapes often have highly variable patterns of vegetation over the course of a season. For example, a region dominated by soybean fields may hav abundant vegetative cover (and associated insect community) late in the summer, but leave only bare soil for the rest of the year. This could create gaps & bottlenecks for beneficial insects. I am studying the extend to which such landscape-scale patterns of prey resource availability influence the population dynamics and health of lady beetles in southern Wisconsin, using field surveys of landscapes that vary in their cropping diversity and area of “natural” landcover.