More on Infrastructure

I looked at some land use data for Iowa.  Iowa State University Outreach and Extension publishes it here.  Calculating the numbers a little bit shows 74% of the land in Iowa as “cropland.”  Apparently there are several different types of cropland, including” rotational pasture,” and “other,” so “harvested cropland” comes in at 65%.  I think that means mostly row crops, and mostly corn and soybeans.

What kind of habitat is corn and beans?  Let’s look specifically at butterfly habitat.

2-17-130022

This is a bean field.  The photo was taken in the middle of winter, of course, but where could butterflies survive here?

7-6-09006

The habitat is no better in the summer time.  There is no place for caterpillars to grow.   No host plants.  No structure for any pupa to hide under.

Corn fields are no better.  In terms of butterfly habitat, a corn field or a bean field is as bad as a parking lot.

65% of Iowa’s land is corn and beans.  If all other habitat was pristine, we would still be down to only 35% of the butterflies that the habitat would support.

But the remaining 35% is far from pristine.

Advertisements

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in butterflies, insects and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s