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8 September 2023 Occupancy of Bombus affinis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Minnesota is highest in developed areas when standardized surveys are employed
Michelle L. Boone, Zachary M. Portman, Ian Lane, Sujaya Rao
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Mounting evidence of bumble bee declines and the listing of the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis Cresson) as federally endangered in the United States in 2017 and Canada in 2012 has stimulated an interest in monitoring and conservation. Understanding the influence of land use on occupancy patterns of imperiled species is crucial to successful recovery planning. Using detection data from community surveys, we assessed land use associations for 7 bumble bee species in Minnesota, USA, including B. affinis. We used multispecies occupancy models to assess the effect of 3 major land use types (developed, agricultural, and natural) within 0.5 and 1.5 km on occupancy of 7 Bombus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) species, while accounting for detection uncertainty. We found that B. affinis occupancy and detection were highest in developed landscapes and lowest in agricultural landscapes, representing an inverse relationship with the relative landcover ratios of these landscapes in Minnesota. Occupancy of 2 bumble bee species had strong positive associations with natural landscapes within 1.5 km and 2 species had strong negative associations with agricultural landscapes within 1.5 km. Our results suggest that best practices for imperiled Bombus monitoring and recovery planning depends upon the surrounding major land use patterns. We provide recommendations for urban planning to support B. affinis based on conservation success in the metropolitan areas of Minneapolis-St. Paul. We also encourage substantial survey effort be employed in agricultural and natural regions of the state historically occupied by B. affinis to determine the current occupancy state.

Graphical Abstract

Michelle L. Boone, Zachary M. Portman, Ian Lane, and Sujaya Rao "Occupancy of Bombus affinis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Minnesota is highest in developed areas when standardized surveys are employed," Environmental Entomology 52(5), 918-938, (8 September 2023).
Received: 1 April 2023; Accepted: 17 August 2023; Published: 8 September 2023

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Bombus affinis
detection probability
endangered bumble bee
occupancy model
urban conservation
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