Functional connectivity of a fragmented tallgrass prairie landscape for wild bees in Nebraska

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 11:15 AM
E143-144 (Oregon Convention Center)
Bethany Teeters , School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
This study assessed the functional connectivity and spatial distribution of suitable pollinator habitats in southeastern Nebraska, a landscape mosaic of relict tallgrass prairie, other natural and semi-natural grasslands, and row crop agriculture.  Habitat suitability scores were assigned to the different types of land cover that form the matrix of this landscape.  Scores were based on the potential to provide nesting and forage resources to the diverse suite of wild bee species found in this area.  Using the assumed, but ecologically realistic foraging distances of different species, dispersal potential was estimated.  These components were then modeled for a putative future landscape with varying degrees fragmentation to identify areas where connectivity could be at risk of becoming insufficient to support the current assemblage of wild bees.  Such information may be useful in guiding conservation efforts and land management techniques in this landscape.