Bumblebee Pollination in Central North Carolina: Conservation Through Land Management and Education

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Date

2012-04-27

Authors

Powell, Dana

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Reid, Chantal D.

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Abstract

For the first time, Bombus pollination activity was studied from a land management perspective using field surveys on managed properties in the Uwharries region of central North Carolina. Summer bumblebee populations were compared for three sites that differed in their management practices. Practices included combinations of prescribed burns, mowing, herbicide treatment, and planting vegetation to maintain open habitat. Surveys of Bombus pollination visits were supplemented by morphometric measurements of captured bees to assess bumblebee colony health. Only two common species of Bombus were found. Abundance and abundance per forage unit were greatest at the recently burned field site, suggesting that this site’s land management practices were most supportive of bumblebee populations. Bumblebee size did not differ significantly between sites. Abundance and diversity was low across all the sites, possibly due to daytime temperatures above many species’ optimal thermal range. Land management strategies are recommended for improving bumblebee conservation in the region. Citizen science and other educational initiatives are also encouraged to promote conservation.

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Powell, Dana (2012). Bumblebee Pollination in Central North Carolina: Conservation Through Land Management and Education. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5367.


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