“Small Spaces, Big Benefit” was originally broadcast live on Oct. 13, 2020. It was presented by Karen Cole, Cindy Bennington and Peter May of Stetson University. View the recording above.
Learn about pollinator research in the Volusia Sandhill Ecosystem, a 0.5-hectare urban habitat fragment at the Gillespie Museum, Stetson University, DeLand. Established in 2011 and supported by a Florida Wildflower Foundation grant, this is an ongoing restoration of the Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) sandhill habitat that was native to western Volusia County before the area’s agricultural and residential transformation began in the 1880s.
In addition to an overview of this teaching landscape by Gillespie Museum director Karen Cole, the presentation describes initiatives and research in the site that have increased public awareness about native pollinators and assessed the ability of the landscape to support a diverse insect pollinator community.
The most recent research, conducted by Professors Cindy Bennington and Peter May, was published in Natural Areas Journal (“Pollinator Communities of Restored Sandhills,” April 2020) and describes a comparison of insect visitation to flowering plants in two sites — the campus urban restoration site and a sandhill site at nearby Heart Island Conservation Area. Their data show that total insect visitation rates were similar, suggesting that even a small urban fragment is capable of maintaining abundant pollinators.