Bee communities differ between high and low-intensity agricultural areas


Bee abundance in croplands (light grey) and rangelands (dark grey) across three ecoregions (Grassland, Parkland, Boreal), two sampling methods (pan trap, netting) and two sampling years (2014, 2015).

A new paper by Jessamyn Manson and collaborators at the University of Alberta indicates that the abundance and diversity of native bees in prairie ecosystems vary between croplands and rangelands, but that factors such as temperature and ecological region interacted with land use to shape bee communities, indicating regional rather than general patterns in bee biodiversity. The paper, which is published in Insect Conservation and Diversity, also found that cavity-nesting species, which have nests in dead wood or hollow plant stems, were associated with rangelands but found less commonly in crop fields, suggesting these species may be more sensitive to habitat loss. 

Kohler, M. A. Sturm, C.S. Sheffield, C.N. Carlyle and J.S. Manson. 2020. Native bee communities vary across three prairie ecoregions due to land use, climate, sampling method and bee life history traits. Insect Conservation and Diversity. https://doi.org/10.1111/icad.12427

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