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Abstract Detail

Plant/Pollinator Interactions in Fragmented Landscapes

Hendrix, Stephen [1], Kwaiser, Kyle [2], Heard, Steve [3], Klein, Alexandra [4].

Native Bee Diversity in Fragmented Prairie Landscapes and Implications for Pollinator-Dependent Agriculture.

Habitat fragmentation of tall grass prairies reduces floral and nesting resources available to native, solitary bees with the possible consequence of reducing diversity at remnants and diversity available for agricultural dependent pollination. We have focused on the relative effects of local and landscape features on the distribution of bee diversity in the fragmented Iowa landscape. We have examined bee diversity in large, prairies preserves (>30 ha), small, high quality prairie remnants (<5 ha), ruderal grasslands, and naturally small, high quality hill prairies in Iowa. We show that regardless of physical size, high quality prairies can attract equivalent diversity of bees and that bee diversity is positively related to local floral resource richness. Analysis of landscapes surrounding preserves indicate that floral resources in the landscape have a significant effect on bee diversity with landscapes comprised of resource poor row-crop agriculture resulting in low diversity of native bees at prairie remnants. Significant landscape effects are seen from 1- 2 km from the center of prairie remnants and grasslands are an important landscape element positively influencing bee diversity at a site. Another portion of our research concerns the role of native bee diversity in the pollination process in prairies and agriculture. We have shown that native bee diversity is positively related to reproductive success in the out-crossing prairie legume Amorpha canescens. Loss of bee diversity may also be critical in important out-crossing crops such as almonds. Almond yield, a billion dollar industry in California, is highly dependent on pollination while relatively tolerant to water and nutrient reductions. In almonds native pollinators deliver more out-crossed pollen than honeybees and pollen delivery by honey bees improves with the presence of wild bees at an orchard. These results emphasize the importance of wild bee diversity to pollination in native and agricultural settings and indicate that preservation of bee diversity must address changes in landscapes surrounding sites as well as preservation of local on-site resources.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
University of Iowa faculty webpage

1 - University of Iowa, Department of Biology, 143 Biology Building, Iowa City, IA, 52242, USA
2 - University of Michigan, University of Michigan Biological Station, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA
3 - University of New Brunswick, Department of Biology, #10 Bailey Drive, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5A3, Canada
4 - University of Gottingen, Agroecology, Waldweg 26, Gottingen, , 37073, Germany

bee diversity in landscape elements
Tallgrass prairie
local and landscape effects on bee diversity
wild bees and agriculture
almond pollination.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY8
Location: 552B/Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: SY8006
Abstract ID:272

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