Short-term effects of experimental boreal forest &logging disturbance on bumble bees, bumble &bee-pollinated flowers and the bee–flower match
Author: Cartar, Ralph V.
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 14, Number 8, July 2005 , pp. 1895-1907(13)
Abstract:This study examines how, over the short term, logging affects the density of bumble bees (Apidae: Bombus), the understory plants commonly visited by bumble bees, and the numerical relationship between bumble bees and flowers. In the summers before and after winter logging, bumble bees and plants were surveyed in 50 deciduous stands (each of 8–10 ha) in the boreal forest of northern Alberta, Canada. Logging was replicated at three different intensities: 0, 10–20, and 50–75% of trees remaining. There were generally more bumble bees, species of bumble bee-visited plants, and flowers in moderately (50–75%) logged sites, but this pattern depended on the time of year. Before logging, bumble bees matched resources according to an ideal free distribution (IFD). Logging affected the distribution of bumble bees across floral resources: the slope of the regression relating bumble bee and flower proportions was less than one for clearcut and control treatments (i.e., undermatching), with too many bumble bees in the flower-poor compartments and too few in the flower-rich ones. Deviations from an IFD were negative in control sites, such that fewer bumble bees occurred here than warranted by flower numbers. Controlling for flower density, bumble bee density was significantly greater in clearcuts than in the other treatments. By disproportionately visiting plants in clearcuts (relative to flower density), and by undermatching, bumble bees in clearcuts should experience higher levels of competition. Conversely, the fewer (and undermatching) bumble bees in control sites (relative to flower abundances there) may cause these plants to obtain diminished pollination service. The proximity of clearcut logging to pristine areas may therefore negatively impact plants and bumble bees in the pristine areas, at least in the season immediately following logging.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, T1K 3M4, Canada, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2005-07-01