Spatial and temporal patterns of floral resources and bumble bee foraging across a Czech urban-agricultural gradient

Authors and Affiliations: 

Vera Pfeiffer, Mendel University, Brno, Czech Republic and University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Janet Silbernagel, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Zdenek Laštůvka, Mendel University, Brno, Czech Republic

Speaker: Janet Silbernagel

Corresponding author: 
Vera Pfeiffer

Global declines of pollinators threaten the productivity and sustenance of native plant populations as well as production of important crops. These declines cause concern in urban as well as rural landscapes as production of food and plant derived ecosystem services are of increasing importance in all ecosystems due to growing human populations. Many factors have been shown to contribute to pollinator declines including loss of bee nesting habitat and food resources, parasites, and pesticides. The landscape content (i.e. nesting habitat and flower abundance), as well as the configuration of resources have been shown to affect bee foraging behavior. Information regarding bee foraging behavior and colony density in different types of habitat is important to develop effective conservation policies and ensure protection of bee habitat. The Czech landscape provides a patchy matrix of agricultural, urban, and forested zones, although suburbanization is a major form of land use transition that is occurring throughout the country. In these land use zones, major foraging resources can be differentiated and compared with regard to bee presence. This study uses a systematic walking survey repeated through the growing season to contrast the spatial and temporal distribution of floral resources and bumble bee foraging from the early summer to the late summer using point pattern statistics and a linear mixed model. The results of the survey are also compared with the results of a similar study from a Midwestern American urban-agricultural landscape gradient.


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