CUTOVERS AS POTENTIAL SUITABLE BEE HABITATS

Pinksen, Jasmine (2017) CUTOVERS AS POTENTIAL SUITABLE BEE HABITATS. Bachelor's thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Bees are of great importance for pollinating agricultural crops and wild plant communities. Direct human activities such as urbanization, pesticide use, pollution, and introduction of species and pathogens as well as climate change are resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation for bees, causing declines in bee populations worldwide. Lack of suitable habitat is considered to be one of the main factors contributing to these declines. Commercial logging practices, such as clear-cutting, can potentially produce suitable bee habitat. Higher light levels after clear cutting may increase flowering plant diversity and abundance, and new nesting sites may be created in debris or exposed soil. Bees were collected in 2015 and 2016 in cutovers between 1 and 11 years post-harvest near Corner Brook, NL to assess bee abundance. Cutovers several years post-harvest had higher bee abundance than newly logged cutovers or those which were fairly old (i.e. 11 years post-harvest). These bee communities were made up mostly of Bombus borealis Kirby (Hymenoptera: Apidae), a large, long-tongued bumble bee. The vegetation of the cutovers was surveyed to determine what characteristics made a cutover most suitable for bee populations. Cutovers harvested between 2010 and 2013 had high amounts of forage vegetation while the newly logged and older cutovers had low flowering plant abundance and high unvegetated ground, making them less suitable for bees. Logging practices such as clear-cutting, considering both spatial and temporal scale to ensure appropriate successional stages and the continuous availability of suitable bee habitats within the dispersal range of target species, may help in the recovery of declining bee populations.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13079
Item ID: 13079
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Science
Date: April 2017
Date Type: Submission

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