Bee Community Responses in Pine Systems to Future Biofuel Cultivation in Southeastern US. Open Access

Gruenewald, David (2014)

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In order to meet projected biofuel demands, pine forests in the Southeastern US are anticipated to be a primary supplier for the cellulosic biomass used for biofuel production, yet there is little understanding how these expected changes in forest management will affect biodiversity in these systems. Due to their agricultural and ecological importance, bees were collected from 40 forest sites across Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. In this study, I focus on measuring the responses of bee communities in the forest management conditions currently in practice compared to the future management conditions expected for biofuel production. Throughout all models, bee abundance, species richness, and community composition were found to be significantly related to the management type and region of sampling while only marginally related to flower communities. This supports previous work that land-use has an impact on bee communities. However, examining the pairwise comparisons of bee abundance and species richness across management types suggests that observed differences in management resides in the age of the forest rather than changes brought on by biofuel production. These results suggest that while management conditions of forests can impact bee diversity, changes in management brought on by biofuel production may not significantly affect bee diversity at the local, short-term scale.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

Introduction 1

Methods 4

Site Selection and Sample Cycles 4

Table 1: Management Conditions for Sites 4

Bee Collection & Vegetation Surveys 5

Data Analyses 6

Overview 6

Spatial Autocorrelation 8

Mixed-Effects Models 8

Model Selection & Post-Hoc Tests 8

Community Composition 9

Results 10

Overview 10

Table 2: Overall Abundance 10

Figure 1: Rank Abundance Curve & Species Accumulation Curve 11

Spatial Autocorrelation 11

Bee Abundance and Species Richness 12

Table 3: AIC Model Selection 13

Management Condition Effects 13

Table 4: Summary of Highest Ranked Models 14

Figure 2: Bee Diversity Responses to Management Type 15

Community Composition 16

Table 5: Adonis Results of Community Similarity 16

Figure 3: Community Composition of Bee Tribes Across Management Type 17

Discussion 18

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