The importance of soil and vegetation characteristics for establishing ground nesting bee aggregations

Journal article


Tsiolis, K., Potts, S., Garratt, M., Tilston, E., Burman, J., Rintoul-Hynes, N.L.J. and Fountain, M. 2022. The importance of soil and vegetation characteristics for establishing ground nesting bee aggregations. Journal of Pollination Ecology. 32 (17), pp. 186-200. https://doi.org/10.26786/1920-7603(2022)682
AuthorsTsiolis, K., Potts, S., Garratt, M., Tilston, E., Burman, J., Rintoul-Hynes, N.L.J. and Fountain, M.
Abstract

Most bee species are ground-nesters, yet knowledge on the nesting behaviour of this diverse group remains sparse. Evidence on the effectiveness of ground-nesting bee species as crop pollinators is growing, but there is limited information on their nesting habits and preferences and how to manage habitats to enhance populations on farms. In this study, artificially prepared plots of bare soil were constructed with the aim to attract ground-nesting bees to nest in a commercial orchard in Kent, UK. Nine soil parameters were measured to determine their preferred soil properties: hydraulic conductivity, soil compaction, soil moisture, soil temperature, soil stoniness, soil organic matter, soil root biomass, soil texture and vegetation cover. Eighteen non-parasitic ground-nesting bee species (7 Andrena, 9 Lasioglossum, 1 Halictus and 1 Colletes spp.) were recorded in the study plots. Soil stoniness and soil temperature at 10cm depth were positively correlated, and vegetation cover and hydraulic conductivity were negatively correlated with the number of ground-nesting bees on the plots. We show that artificially created habitats can be exploited for nesting by several ground-nesting bee species. This study’s findings can inform management practices to enhance ground-nesting bee populations in agricultural and urban areas.

KeywordsHymenoptera; Nest-site selection; Solitary bees; Pollination; Ecosystem service
Year2022
JournalJournal of Pollination Ecology
Journal citation32 (17), pp. 186-200
PublisherEnviroquest Ltd.
ISSN1920-7603
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26786/1920-7603(2022)682
Official URLhttps://www.pollinationecology.org/index.php/jpe/article/view/682
Publication dates
Print15 Nov 2022
Publication process dates
AcceptedNov 2022
Deposited24 Nov 2022
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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