Restoration practices that enhance pollinator habitat can improve conservation outcomes, including support of pollinator-dependent plant species. Yet, limited background research has assessed the benefits of incorporating greater native forb diversity into larger-scale restoration operations to justify the often increased costs of pollinator seed mixes. This study examined changes in pollination services received by Santa Susana tarweed, Deinandra minthornii, a California-listed Rare (CR) endemic of the Santa Susana Mountains that were associated with a native forb seed mix used in a large-scale remediation program at the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL) in Los Angeles, California. A four-year study of pollinator community dynamics and services was conducted from 2011 to 2014 examining aggregations of D. minthornii near to and farther from restoration activities. We hypothesized that D. minthornii located closer to the areas seeded with the forb mixes would be visited by more pollinators and receive greater pollination services, resulting in increased seed viability. Pollinator exclusion experiments indicate D. minthornii to be highly dependent on pollinators for seed set (excluded seed viability = 4.1% ± 7.4; open viability = 65.5% ± 19.5). Populations located closer to pollinator-specific restoration seedings were visited by more bees and more bee types (P = 0.00), and showed a 30% higher seed viability when compared to populations located in unrestored areas (mean seed viability near = 62.20% ± 18.6, far = 48.00% ± 11.7). We encourage the use of regionally appropriate forb seed mixes in remediation scenarios to enhance pollination services.
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Vol. 36 • No. 4