Consequences of urban land use change for bee community composition and function

Monday, November 17, 2014: 8:36 AM
C123 (Oregon Convention Center)
Scott Prajzner , The Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH
Mary M. Gardiner , Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH
Shrinking cities hold large quantities of previously-built vacant land due to home foreclosure and subsequent population loss. While urban vacant lands have been shown to support biodiversity and ecosystem services, they also pose challenges for stakeholders, including high management costs.  In Cleveland, OH, individuals and citizen groups have converted vacant lands into food-producing community gardens and farms as a land use alternative. We investigated how this land conversion influenced bee community composition and function. Using hand-collected insects and visual observations we created pollination networks in both habitats. Network differences were found by habitat, indicating that the bee community is utilizing both urban spaces but in dissimilar ways. Urban gardens provide several benefits, however we suggest some proportion of vacant should be maintained as early successional habitats for bee conservation.