ESA Pacific Branch Annual Meeting Online Program

Effect of dispersed oil and gas development on a bee community in the Piceance Basin, Colorado

Monday, March 26, 2012: 1:57 PM
Salon A (Marriott Downtown Waterfront )
Sarah L. Clark , Biology Department, Utah State University, Logan, UT
James P. Pitts , Biology Department, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Natural gas and oil production in the Piceance Basin has rapidly increased over the last two decades. Concerns over the impact this development may have on the Piceance biota have intensified, specifically regarding effects on the rare plant community and their respective pollinators. We investigated the potential effects of dispersed development on pollinators important to two rare mustards, Physaria congesta and Physaria obcordata. Both species of Physaria are listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and require pollination services for adequate reproduction. Development may potentially change the pollinator community important to these rare plants through habitat fragmentation and suitable habitat declination. These changes could include modification in diversity, abundance, or pollinator functional type. During the spring of 2010 and 2011, pollinator communities were monitored within the rare plant populations at selected distances from road sides. For these experiments, roads were considered the major type of development. Pollinator nesting success was also measured at the same distances, using trap nests. Differences in the pollinator community, both abundance and diversity, were analyzed for multiple covariance parameters to determine if there was any significant effect due to the development. Analysis determined that the effects of development were minimal, with both nesting and community composition.
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