Local and Landscape-Scale Influences of Bee Abundance and Diversity in Residential Gardens.
Burgess, Hillary Kathleen
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Home gardens are receiving increasing attention from conservation advocacy groups and scientists for their potential ecological value. Gardening for wildlife, including pollinators, is not a new idea but its efficacy and impacts are largely untested. This study evaluated the relative importance of local, garden-scale variables to one another and to characteristics of the surrounding landscape for predicting bee abundance and diversity in the mixed rural, suburban and exurban context of Southern Snohomish County Washington. Results indicate that local, garden-scale variables are of greater influence on local bee abundance and diversity than landscape-scale variables, and among these, floral resource availability most important. These novel findings highlight the potential for actions by individuals to have measurable ecological impacts. However, wildlife gardening in general does not necessarily benefit bees, and recommendations ascribed specifically for bees such as artificial nest sites and the use of native plants require further investigation.
- Forestry