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Using publicly available data to quantify plant–pollinator interactions and evaluate conservation seeding mixes in the Northern Great Plains

May 8, 2017

Concern over declining pollinators has led to multiple conservation initiatives for improving forage for bees in agroecosystems. Using data available through the Pollinator Library (npwrc.usgs.gov/pollinator/), we summarize plant–pollinator interaction data collected from 2012–2015 on lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and private lands enrolled in U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs in eastern North Dakota (ND). Furthermore, we demonstrate how plant–pollinator interaction data from the Pollinator Library and seed cost information can be used to evaluate hypothetical seeding mixes for pollinator habitat enhancements. We summarize records of 314 wild bee and 849 honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) interactions detected on 63 different plant species. The wild bee observations consisted of 46 species, 15 genera, and 5 families. Over 54% of all wild bee observations were represented by three generaBombus, Lassioglossum, and Melissodes. The most commonly visited forbs by wild bees were Monarda fistulosa, Sonchus arvensis, and Zizia aurea. The most commonly visited forbs by A. mellifera were Cirsium arvense, Melilotus officinalis, and Medicago sativa. Among all interactions, 13% of A. mellifera and 77% of wild bee observations were made on plants native to ND. Our seed mix evaluation shows that mixes may often need to be tailored to meet the unique needs of wild bees and managed honey bees in agricultural landscapes. Our evaluation also demonstrates the importance of incorporating both biologic and economic information when attempting to design cost-effective seeding mixes for supporting pollinators in a critically important part of the United States.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2017
Title Using publicly available data to quantify plant–pollinator interactions and evaluate conservation seeding mixes in the Northern Great Plains
DOI 10.1093/ee/nvx070
Authors Clint R.V. Otto, Samuel O'Dell, R. B. Bryant, Ned H. Jr. Euliss, Rachel Bush, Matthew Smart
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Entomology
Index ID 70187518
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center