FLORAL SPECIES RICHNESS AND POLLINATOR PRESENCE IN INTERIOR FOREST STANDS AND ROADSIDE TRANSECTS
|Claire E Massaro; firstname.lastname@example.org; Chelcie Pierce, Jess Fan Brown, Lincoln Best, Deanna Williams, Laura Six, Katie Moriarty|
Insect pollinators in forest ecosystems are understudied and may have less pressure from disease and pesticides. Roads in forested systems may benefit pollinators by maintaining canopy gaps with increased floral and nesting resources. We evaluated bee communities and floral resources along roads and in adjacent stands of different ages in western Oregon and northern California (n = 81 stands), visiting each site up to 4 times (March-August). We hand-netted insects and surveyed plant species, counting blooms along six stand transects and one roadside transect. We collected 631 insects from interior stands and 172 insects from road transects but caught fewer insects along stand transects on average than road transects (x = 1.30 and 2.12 insects/stand and road transect, respectively). When comparing stand and road collected insects, percentages differed: 53% and 30% bumblebees, 26% and 6% honeybees, 13% and 41% solitary bees, and 7% and 19% flies, respectively. Stand and road transects had an average of 0.89 and 1.62 species, respectively, of blooming flowers/visit. Preliminary observations suggest floral resources were more abundant and diverse along roads than forest stands. Our results illustrate that canopy gaps created by roads could provide valuable forage resources for bees.