Bee Communities in Biofuel Production Plantations: Interactive Effects of Local-Level Management and Landscape Context Open Access

Miljanic, Andriana Stana (2017)

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Land-use change in agricultural landscapes is believed to be a major driver of pollinator declines. In the United States, expansion of the biofuel industry is expected to cause extensive land-use change. Increasing energy demands have led the US Department of Energy to enact mandates to increase cellulosic biofuel production, which will require extensive cultivation of fast-growing trees as feedstock. Managed forests and tree plantations can support rich biodiversity. While we know that local management regimes often can impact plantation wildlife, we know little about how changes in the surrounding landscape, such as those brought about by the rapid expansion of biofuel plantations, impact resident communities. Furthermore, we know little about how local management and landscape context interact to affect biodiversity. I examined the effects of forestry management practices associated with cellulosic biofuel production - both local-level forest management (pine plantations, clearcuts, natural longleaf forests, and cornfields) and landscape management - on bee communities in 85 sites in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. I explored the interactions between local management and landscape context, and their effect on bee abundance and richness. I found that both landscape composition and configuration impact both bee abundance and richness. Percent tree cover, landscape richness, landscape Shannon's diversity, and patch shape had significant main effects on both bee abundance and richness. There was an interactive effect between local and landscape management, and these interactions may have been driven by differing impacts of landscape heterogeneity based on the quality of local habitats. Landscape heterogeneity may be more important for bees in low-quality or disturbed local habitats. Future studies should explore how landscape context and the interactions of local and landscape management impact bee community composition and beta-diversity. Understanding how land use changes will impact pollinators on both a local and landscape scale is critically important to maintaining biodiversity and ensuring resilience of these ecosystems.

Table of Contents

Introduction Methods Study Sites Bee Sampling Passive Sampling Active Sampling Bee Identification Data Analysis Landscape Metrics Richness and Abundance Model Selection Results Buffer Radius Landscape Metrics Bee Abundance Bee Richness Discussion Landscape Composition and Configuration Local - Landscape Interactions Local Habitat Quality and Landscape Context Study Limitations Future Work Conclusion Literature Cited Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Supplemental Table 1 Supplemental Table 2 Supplemental Table 3 1 6 6 9 9 9 10 10 10 12 12 13 14 14 15 16 20 20 22 23 24 25 26 26 8 11 14 17 17 7 18 18 19 19 38 38 39

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