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PARENT SESSION
Wednesday, August 9, 8:00-11:30 am
COS 51 - Pollination ecology II
L-14, Lobby Level, Cook Convention Center
Presiders: S Pathikonda

Variable communities on a complex landscape: what determines bee incidence and abundance?

Messinger, Olivia*,1, 2, Griswold, Terry2, 1 Utah State University, Logan, UT2 USDA ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory, Logan, UT

ABSTRACT- If we are to conserve native bee species and their vital ecosystem services as pollinators, understanding their distributions and what drives them is essential. Yet little is known about the population dynamics of bees. In this study, the bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah were surveyed over four years in order to document a native bee fauna on the Colorado Plateau, and assess the characteristics of the landscape that best predict bee incidence and abundance. In addition to opportunistic collecting around the monument, we collected bees bi-weekly within standardized one-hectare plots. We found a rich bee fauna (643 bee species). Across the landscape bee species richness was patchy, varying 50-fold within a year. Beta diversity was high and many plots shared no species in common; very few species were widespread and abundant. Flowering species richness drove bee richness and abundance, but had little affect on beta diversity. In addition, interannual variability in floral richness affected both bee richness and community similarity. Elevation played a minimal role in determining bee richness and abundance, but was important for the distributions of individual species. Although closer sites shared more bee species in common, each site had a unique assemblage of species. For a large landscape, our results indicate the importance of intensive, widespread sampling when attempting to document a bee fauna, and suggest factors that could be used to identify areas of potentially high bee richness and predict distinctive communities.

Key words: bees, predicting species incidence and abundance, colorado plateau

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