1 October 2009 Receptiveness of Foraging Wild Bees to Exotic Landscape Elements
Sarah J Hinners, Mervi K Hjelmroos-Koski
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Wild pollinators provide important services in both wild and human-dominated ecosystems, yet this group may be threatened by widespread anthropogenic landscape change. We explored the responses of wild bees to exotic floral species and novel habitat in a fragmented, suburban landscape using pollen grain identification. Pollen loads from bee specimens collected in 13 suburban grassland fragments in Denver, Colorado were sampled and compared with a pollen reference collection. Averaged across two seasonal sampling rounds, 45% of the bee-borne pollen grains were identified to the species level. Wild bees in this system were very receptive to using alien plants for pollen foraging; at least 45% of pollen sampled from bee specimens consisted of non-native pollen grains. During peak flowering in early summer, bees obtained at least 32% of their pollen resources from within-fragment sources and at least 7.5% from surrounding suburban residential yards. In midsummer, within-fragment sources represented 58% of pollen sampled while yards dropped to 1.5%. These bees appear to be more accepting of exotic floral species than of exotic habitat types (yards). The advantages and disadvantages of pollen load analysis for movement studies are discussed.

Sarah J Hinners and Mervi K Hjelmroos-Koski "Receptiveness of Foraging Wild Bees to Exotic Landscape Elements," The American Midland Naturalist 162(2), 253-265, (1 October 2009). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031-162.2.253
Received: 7 July 2008; Accepted: 1 December 2008; Published: 1 October 2009
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