Claire Townsend Brewer, Stephanie Kay Gunter



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Ohio has historically hosted a patchwork of tallgrass prairies, which provide habitat for native species and prevent erosion. As these vulnerable habitats have declined in the last 200 years due to increased human land use, restoration efforts have increased, and it is important to evaluate their success. The Hemiptera (true bugs) are an abundant and varied order of insects including leafhoppers, aphids, cicadas, stink bugs, and more. They play important roles in grassland ecosystems, feeding on plant sap and providing prey to predators. Previous research has found that Hemiptera respond in their abundance and composition to grassland restorations, age of restoration, and size and isolation of habitat. This study investigates the effects of these variables on the abundance and composition of Hemiptera within 13 Ohio prairies in order to answer 4 questions regarding prairie restoration: 1- Do older constructed prairies resemble remnant prairies in Hemiptera abundance, diversity, and composition more than they resemble newer constructed prairies? 2- Does the size of a prairie fragment affect the abundance, diversity, and composition of Hemiptera? 3- Does the distance of a prairie to an agricultural field affect the abundance, diversity, and composition of Hemiptera? 4- Are there particular morphospecies that indicate particular prairie types? Insect samples were taken via sweep net from 13 prairies (7 restored and 6 remnant) in 4 southwestern Ohio counties in summer 2019, and were sorted to order. I then sorted the Hemiptera to family and morphospecies. I will use analysis of variance, correlations, linear regression, and NMDS to determine the effect of prairie type (remnant, old constructed, new constructed), fragment size, and distance to agriculture on Hemiptera abundance, diversity, and composition. I will also perform an Indicator Species analysis to determine if any morphospecies indicate any particular prairie type.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Kathleen A. Kargl, Chelse M. Prather

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Life On Land

Influence of Prairie Restoration on Hemiptera Composition