The role of native plants in supporting biodiversity in suburban landscapes
My undergraduate thesis work investigated the influence of suburban landscaping plants (conventional vs. native) on butterfly and bird abundance and biodiversity. We found that yards landscaped with native plants supported a greater diversity and abundance of birds and Lepidoptera larvae than did conventionally landscaped yards. This effect was driven by differences in insectivorous bird species and included a number of bird species of conservation concern. This research was reported in Conservation Biology.
See the next research project page for an experimental test of these results.