Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Invertebrate availability for upland game birds in tall fescue and native warm-season grass fields
Year: 2002
Author(s): Fettinger, J.L., Harper, C.A., Dixon, C.E.
Source Title: Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science
Source Type:
pages: 83-85
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Native warm-season grasses (NWSG) are commonly recommended over introduced cool-season grasses to enhance the structure of available wildlife habitat. Data concerning food availability (macroinvertebrate abundance) for young gallinaceous birds within these field-cover types are lacking. We collected invertebrate samples from 10 NWSG fields and 10 fields of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) during the brooding season across Tennessee using a terrestrial vacuum sampler. Fields of tall fescue did not differ in overall invertebrate density or biomass from NWSG fields. Density and biomass of Hemiptera (true bugs) was greater in tall fescue fields (P = 0.012), while density of Orthoptera (grasshoppers) was higher in NWSG fields (P = 0.088). The lack of difference in overall invertebrate availability between cover types suggests that other parameters (vegetation structure and presence of forbs) have a greater influence on use of fields by young gallinaceous birds.