Graduate Student to Discuss Establishment of Pollinator Habitat Within Livestock Pasture Ecosystem

Roshani Sharma Acharya is a graduate student working in Neel Joshi's lab in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.
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Roshani Sharma Acharya is a graduate student working in Neel Joshi's lab in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology is hosting seminar speaker Roshani Sharma Acharya, a graduate student in Neel Joshi's lab, today. The seminar is titled "Establishment of Pollinator Habitat within a Livestock Pasture Ecosystem."

The seminar takes place from 8:30-9:30 a.m. via Zoom:

The seminar is open to everyone.

Roshani describes her research:

"Establishment of native flowering forbs and grasses provide continuous food (i.e., nectar and pollen) and habitat resources for native pollinators throughout the year, therefore benefitting farmers and society by supporting biodiversity and pollination services. Native bees are important pollinators and monitoring their abundance and diversity is necessary to develop conservation protocols. Use of pollinators to maximize crop production is proven agriculture practice; however, it has been less explored in livestock forage production system.

This study explores the potential of developing pastures into pollinator-friendly habitat by incorporating native flowering plants and investigating pollinator abundance and diversity in pastures using different sampling methods and determining the impact of different pasture management practices and forage types on insect pollinator communities in livestock pasture ecosystem. This study found that the livestock pasture ecosystems that include native forages can support a diverse array of bees and other insect fauna, which—in combination with grazing and management intensity—should be considered in pollinator and insect conservation programs in farmscapes.

Abundance, diversity, and evenness of bee communities and other insects were greater in non-grazed pastures as compared to grazed pastures. However, diversity indices were statistically similar between the livestock pastures under organic and non-organic management practices. Differences in community assemblage patterns of insects may provide insight on how the insect community structure is influenced by grazing and other management practices in pasture systems and highlight the importance of rotational grazing regimes to allow for sufficient floral resources for pollinators at relevant scales. This multi-year study advances our knowledge of pollinator sampling and developing pollinator-friendly pastures that support diversity of native bee species and other beneficial insects in livestock pasture ecosystem."

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture. For more information about Bumpers College, visit our website, and follow us on Twitter at @BumpersCollege and Instagram at BumpersCollege.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3% of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Ashley Roller, administrative specialist III
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
479-575-2445, ear007@uark.edu

Robby Edwards, director of communications
Bumpers College
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu

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