Understanding the impact of land use on bee populations in a seasonally dry tropical agro-ecosystem

Monday, November 17, 2014: 11:24 AM
C123 (Oregon Convention Center)
Sara M. Galbraith , Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Turrialba, Costa Rica
Jenny Ordoñez , Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Turrialba, Costa Rica
Nilsa A. Bosque-Pérez , Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Anthropogenic land use change is occurring rapidly and on a global scale, so it is critical that we understand its implication for ecological processes and the resulting ecosystem services (ES). Pollination by bees is one ES that is vulnerable to agricultural intensification and management. Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) have gained attention as a method of incentivizing land cover and management to maximize ES provision. In Costa Rica, PES have been provided to landowners who reforest with agroforestry, native secondary forest, or timber plantations, but there is little data linking these land cover types with specific ES, such as pollination. Bee population metrics can be used as a proxy for the spatial and temporal availability of pollination services. We ask: How do the abundance and diversity of bee populations compare in high-elevation pasture, low-elevation pasture, teak plantations, and coffee agroforestry systems in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica? Abundance and diversity of bees are being assessed using standard trapping and sweep net surveys over a two-year period. Bee visitation of coffee and teak flowers is being recorded, and blooming flora are being identified to assess the impact of floral resource availability and the relative temporal availability of floral resources in each land cover type. Results indicate that bee diversity and abundance are lower in teak plantations compared to other land uses. This study is part of an interdisciplinary evaluation of multiple ES by land cover types, and will contribute to our understanding of the impacts of policies such as PES.