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Effects of land use on bee communities in an urban ecosystem.
McIntyre, Nancy1,3, Hostetler, Mark2,3, 1 3 2
ABSTRACT- We compared bee community diversity in two seasons (post-monsoon and vernal flowering periods) among four land-use types in the Phoenix, Arizona (USA), metropolitan area (xeriscaped residential yards, mesiscaped residential yards, urban desert remnants, and desert sites located on the boundary between the metro area and the outlying Sonoran Desert). Richness and abundance of bees were generally lower in residential areas than in desert areas, with desert areas on the fringe of the metro area possessing the highest diversity of all sites. Residential yards that utilized xeric landscaping had a more diverse bee community with proportionally more unique species than did mesic (turf grass) yards. Although bee community structure was apparently unaffected by the number of local habitat features (native and exotic trees, shrubs, cacti, herbaceous plants, and anthropogenic features), the types of habitat features do appear to influence the number and type of bees present in an area. These results suggest that urban development can be designed to promote the conservation of pollinators such as bees. Specifically, preservation of desert and greater use of xeric landscaping rather than mesiscaping may help preserve this ecologically and economically vital group of organisms.
KEY WORDS: urban, bee, Apoidea, Hymenoptera