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Bethany A. Harris, S. Kristine Braman and Svoboda V. Pennisi

Insects provide ecosystem services, such as pollination and biological control. Additionally, flowering ornamental plant species have the potential to support beneficial insect communities, such as pollinating bees, wasps, and predatory plant bugs. We conducted visual observations and sampled via sweep nets to assess the potential of flowering ornamentals to act as a conservation resource for pollinators. Hoverflies (family: Syrphidae), small bees [Lasioglossum (dialictus) imitatum Smith and Halictus ligatus Say], skippers (family: Hesperiidae), predatory plant bugs (family Miridae), and parasitic wasps were frequent visitors to the specially designed Butterfly and Conservation Gardens. Agastache (Pursh) Kuntze ‘Black Adder’ and Celosia spicata L. were the most frequently visited by pollinators among 74 plant taxa. The results obtained will be useful in formulating recommendations on planting the best species for the purpose of attracting pollinators as well as for conservation purposes.

Open access

Bethany A. Harris, Wojciech J. Florkowski and Svoboda V. Pennisi

Biodegradable containers of various types are available on the market and can be directly purchased by growers and homeowners. However, adoption of these containers has been slow, limiting their potential as an alternative to plastic containers. It is crucial to assess level of knowledge and use of biodegradable containers by horticultural growers and landscape service providers to help explain their slow rate of adoption by the industry. An online survey instrument was implemented to assess grower and landscaper knowledge and familiarity regarding biodegradable containers in the state of Georgia. Results indicated that 83% of horticultural growers do not purchase biodegradable containers. However, peat biodegradable containers were primarily purchased when these containers were used. Both growers and landscape service providers “neither agreed nor disagreed” that the use of biodegradable containers could improve plant growth. Growers “did not know” if using biodegradable containers “improved water efficiency.” Landscape service providers exhibited low knowledge of the wide variety of biodegradable containers available on the market as well as limited awareness of features of such containers as they pertained to plant growth.