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The importance of forests in bumble bee biology and conservation

November 30, 2021

Declines of many bumble bee species have raised concerns because of their importance as pollinators and potential harbingers of declines among other insect taxa. At present, bumble bee conservation is predominantly focused on midsummer flower restoration in open habitats. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that forests may play an important role in bumble bee life history. Compared with open habitats, forests and woody edges provide food resources during phenologically distinct periods, are often preferred nesting and overwintering habitats, and can offer favorable abiotic conditions in a changing climate. Future research efforts are needed in order to anticipate how ongoing changes in forests, such as overbrowsing by deer, plant invasions, and shifting canopy demographics, affect the suitability of these habitats for bumble bees. Forested habitats are increasingly appreciated in the life cycles of many bumble bees, and they deserve greater attention from those who wish to understand bumble bee populations and aid in their conservation.

Publication Year 2021
Title The importance of forests in bumble bee biology and conservation
DOI 10.1093/biosci/biab121
Authors John Michael Mola, Jeremy Hemberger, Jade Kochanski, Leif L. Richardson, Ian Pearse
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title BioScience
Index ID 70226886
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center