Date of Completion
Dr. Ana Legrand, Dr. Kimberly Stoner, Julia Cartabiano
Field of Study
Master of Science
Beneficial insects, such as natural enemies and pollinators, provide billions of dollars of ecological services to agricultural operations. However, as the climate changes, Connecticut is projected to have longer periods of drought. This could negatively impact the availability of flowering plants, and the beneficial insects who rely on their floral resources.
This research focuses on the diversity of insect visitors to five species of drought-resistant plants at the Plant Science Research and Educational facility. Over the two-year study the visitation frequency of pollinators and beneficial insects on the plants was observed, insect samples were collected for further identification. Agastache foeniculum and Gaillardia pulchella had the most visitors, and the majority of the visiting pollinators were from the families Apidae and Halictidae. Cota tinctoria had the most visitors from natural enemies.
Additionally, the length of time insects visited the plants was compared against a water-stressed experimental group. There was no significant difference between the total length of insect visitation to the water-stressed experimental group and control groups of Agastache foeniculum. However, there was significant differences between the total length of bee visitation to the experimental and control groups of Fagopyrum esculentum.
Gluck, Benjamin, "Evaluation of Drought-Resistant Plants for Beneficial Insect Attraction" (2019). Master's Theses. 1446.
Dr. Ana Legrand