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Evaluations of Floral Resources and a Horticulture Practice on Wild Bee Foraging in Urban Habitats
Declining bee populations have been making headlines for the last decade or so, namely where natural habitat has been converted into agricultural production. In the last few years, however, awareness about the importance of urban habitat for pollinators has started to grow. Within these urban habitats there is a mix of native and non-native, cultivar and species plants. Native species are usually identified as the plants most important for pollinators, without much thought as to the ecological value of non-natives, and cultivars. I set out to identify non-native plants and cultivars of non-natives, and natives, that were attractive to pollinators. Additionally, I wanted to survey the bees of an urban setting (Lincoln, NE) to add to the baseline data we have about Nebraska bee populations. Important information was collected from this urban survey that can guide development of pollinator-plant lists. Additionally, this urban survey of plants and bees helped identify the plant genera I eventually used to conduct a cultivar comparison. Comparing cultivars and species of the same plant genera resulted in cultivars often outperforming the species. Finally, armed with this information, we set out to create a program that would encourage homeowners, business and schools to develop pollinator habitat. Understanding the importance and role that non-natives and cultivars have in pollinator conservation, has helped guide the development of our program, and could be used to guide others like it.
Bjorklund, Natalia A, "Evaluations of Floral Resources and a Horticulture Practice on Wild Bee Foraging in Urban Habitats" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI27956349.