Catalog of Bee Abundance and Diversity at the Kalamazoo College Lillian Anderson Arboretum
Funke, Erik Thomas
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Bees play a critical role in maintaining balance within many ecosystems through pollination. Without bees, modern agricultural systems and the natural pollination of many different plant species could not function in the way that they presently do. Recently, many bee species are being negatively impacted by environmental changes, exposure to pesticides, and adverse habitat alteration. These alterations in abiotic and biotic factors to the bee’s surrounding ecosystems is resulting in a reduction of the abundance and biodiversity of bees; If this is to be controlled more research needs to be done on advantageous ways to alter an environment, and surveys of bee abundance and diversity must be conducted before and after and alterations. Recently, funding was received for a pollinator habitat enrichment project at the Kalamazoo College Lillian Anderson Arboretum, along the Powerline Trail. This project will involve seeding with native plant species to provide food resources for bees and other pollinator populations. The purpose of this study was to compare abundance and diversity of bees inhabiting the Powerline Trail of the arboretum prior to habitat alteration, and compare it to Old Field plot in the arboretum where no habitat alteration is planned. Bee captures were compared using two different sampling methods—vane traps and cups— with two different painting treatments used on the vane traps. We found that there is no a significant difference in the abundance of bees (p= 0.52) or diversity of bees (p=0.16) between the Powerline Trail and the Old Field, although a few genera were captured at only a single plot. Cane traps captured significantly more bees (p= 0.002) more bee genera (p< 0.0001) than did cups. Lastly, there was no significant difference in the abundance (p=0.25) and diversity (p=0.34) of bees captured by painted and unpainted vane traps. This research provides a better understanding of bee abundance and diversity at the Lillian Anderson Arboretum and a baseline sample of local bees before any alteration is to take place. Combining bee captures from this study with other collections from 2018, 2017. 2014, and 2008, we assembled a comprehensive catalog of bees for the Lillian Anderson Arboretum.