Butterfly Surveys on the MCSE — Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE)

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Introducing Prarie strips into an agricultural landscape will affect the presence and abundance of butterflies. The Butterfly presence and abundance are sampled using transect counts using a modified “Pollard Walk” scheme. Transects are walked between 10 am and 4 pm on relatively calm and moderately warm weather days.

This datatable is part of the Butterfly Surveys dataset.

Periodic Butterfly surveys from locations around KBS.

In order to prevent the loss of biodiversity, natural habitat must be incorporated in production landscapes. The LTER has been a leader in understanding how crop management affects ecosystem functions and productivity, however, many questions remain regarding how crop management affects biodiversity and ecosystem services at higher trophic levels. An understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem services is particularly important with the addition of the prairie strips in the LTER MCSE. Butterflies are a group of animals highly valued for pollination ecosystem services and cultural services. We sample butterflies across agricultural treatments, along prairie strips, and in Conservation Lands Experiment (CLE) plots in and around the LTER


Experiment: Main Cropping System Experiment (MCSE)
Data available from: June 2019 to September 2021
Dataset: KBS142
Datatable ID: KBS142-001.41
Core Areas Populations
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Last Updated 2023-10-24
Variate Description Units
sample date Sample Date in the Eastern Time zone
site site sampled
treatment field treatment
replicate field replicate
transect type type of transect performed
transect length m length of the transect
transect walking time min time it took to walk the transect
local start time local time the transect was started
start temperature c air temperature at the start of the transect C
cloud cover estimated cloud cover in percent
wind speed avg kph average wind speed at the start of the transect measured with a Kestrel wind speed meter
wind speed max kph maximum wind speed recorded on the Kestrel meter at the start of the transect
field species preliminary field species identification
family family of the butterfly species observed
species species of the butterfly were observed and corrected for errors from the field identification.
common name The common name of the butterfly observed
comments comments about the observation

Data Excerpt

sample_date site treatment replicate transect_type transect_length_m transect_walking_time_min local_start_time start_temperature_c cloud_cover wind_speed_avg_kph wind_speed_max_kph field_species family species common_name comments
2020-08-07 MCSE T4 R6 strip 100.0 8.0 23.6 0 6.6 10.0 Sulphur sp Pieridae Colias sp Sulphur sp
2021-07-22 MCSE T4 R6 strip 100.0 8.0 11:04:00 40 Monarch Nymphalidae Danaus plexippus Monarch
2019-06-06 MCSE T1 R2 walking 150.0 12.0 12:50:00 21.7 90 2.8 4.9 Tiger Swallowtail Papilionidae Papilio glaucus Tiger Swallowtail
2019-06-06 MCSE T2 R2 walking 150.0 12.0 14:16:00 25.1 40 1.6 2.8 Peck's Skipper Hesperiidae Polites peckius Peck's Skipper
2019-06-06 MCSE T2 R3 walking 150.0 12.0 12:14:00 21.5 100 2.8 4.7 Monarch Nymphalidae Danaus plexippus Monarch "off transect"
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