Effect of Habitat Restoration on Native Bee Communities at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (2008-2010)



Native bees interact closely with their host plants and therefore, can be good indicators of habitat diversity and health. Due to the physical aspects of tamarisk removal, reintroduction of native vegetation (through seeding or natural recolonization) is a process that can take years to stabilize. The soil has been greatly disturbed and the recruitment of reproductively mature plants and therefore, the creation of a healthy seed bank takes time. Many types of adult insects, such as bees, wasps, flies, and beetles, use nectar as a source of energy. However bees dont just drink nectar, they also use the pollen as a source of nutrition on which to rear their offspring. Tamarisk is an incredibly good source of nectar, but is a lousy source of pollen. Since it is wind pollinated, the pollen grains are small and not very nutritious. Insect pollinated plants on the other hand provide both nectar and nutritious pollen. Many of these plants also have very tight relationships with their respective bees, in which case one species of bee may only pollinate a single genus of plant. Bees can be used to monitor the recovery of areas where tamarisk has been removed. The diversity of bees can vary greatly temporally and spatially. Bee traps are a low maintenance and low time commitment way of monitoring bees in xeric systems.

Data set ID: 


Date Range: 

Monday, March 24, 2008 to Monday, November 1, 2010

Publication Date: 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015