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      Roads may act as barriers to flying insects: species composition of bees and wasps differs on two sides of a large highway

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      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Roads may act as barriers to animal movements, but direct barrier effects on insects have rarely been studied. In this study we collected data on bees and wasps along two sides of a large road in Sweden using yellow pan traps. We then analyzed if the species composition differed between the two sides of the road; first for the whole community, and then only for the smallest species (which typically are poorer dispersers). As a complement, we analyzed if different vegetation variables differed between the two sides of the road, as this may also affect differences in species composition. Finally, we analyzed if species richness and abundance in general differed between the two sides and how these two response variables were explained by the vegetation variables. There was a significant difference in species composition between the eastern and the western side of the road when analyzing the whole community, and this relationship became even stronger when the largest species were excluded. The vegetation variables did not strongly differ between the two sides, and there was no difference in species richness and abundance of bees and wasps either. Abundance was, however, explained by the number of flowering plants in the surroundings of the trap. Even though using a rather limited data set, our results indicate that large roads may act as barriers on the movement of bees and wasps, especially for small species with poor dispersal ability. On the other hand, road verges may be important habitat for many species, which leads to a potential conflict that is important to consider in the planning of green infrastructure.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Bee foraging ranges and their relationship to body size.

          Bees are the most important pollinator taxon; therefore, understanding the scale at which they forage has important ecological implications and conservation applications. The foraging ranges for most bee species are unknown. Foraging distance information is critical for understanding the scale at which bee populations respond to the landscape, assessing the role of bee pollinators in affecting plant population structure, planning conservation strategies for plants, and designing bee habitat refugia that maintain pollination function for wild and crop plants. We used data from 96 records of 62 bee species to determine whether body size predicts foraging distance. We regressed maximum and typical foraging distances on body size and found highly significant and explanatory nonlinear relationships. We used a second data set to: (1) compare observed reports of foraging distance to the distances predicted by our regression equations and (2) assess the biases inherent to the different techniques that have been used to assess foraging distance. The equations we present can be used to predict foraging distances for many bee species, based on a simple measurement of body size.
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            Foraging ranges of solitary bees

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              Long-range foraging by the honey-bee, Apis mellifera L.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                July 11 2017
                July 11 2017
                : 18
                : 47-59
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.18.12314
                © 2017

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