reference : Modeling the status, trends, and impacts of wild bee abundance in the United States

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Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract In 2014, a presidential memorandum called for an assessment of the nation’s pollinators, in response to growing awareness of their economic importance and recent declines. We assess, for the first time to our knowledge, the status and trends of wild bee abundance and their potential impacts on pollination services across the United States. We develop national maps of wild bee abundance, report land-use–driven changes over time, and relate them to trends in agricultural demand for pollination. We estimate uncertainty in the findings, so future research can target the least-understood regions and topics. Our findings can also help focus conservation efforts where declines in bee abundance are most certain, especially where agricultural demand for pollination services is growing.Wild bees are highly valuable pollinators. Along with managed honey bees, they provide a critical ecosystem service by ensuring stable pollination to agriculture and wild plant communities. Increasing concern about the welfare of both wild and managed pollinators, however, has prompted recent calls for national evaluation and action. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we assess the status and trends of wild bees and their potential impacts on pollination services across the coterminous United States. We use a spatial habitat model, national land-cover data, and carefully quantified expert knowledge to estimate wild bee abundance and associated uncertainty. Between 2008 and 2013, modeled bee abundance declined across 23% of US land area. This decline was generally associated with conversion of natural habitats to row crops. We identify 139 counties where low bee abundances correspond to large areas of pollinator-dependent crops. These areas of mismatch between supply (wild bee abundance) and demand (cultivated area) for pollination comprise 39% of the pollinator-dependent crop area in the United States. Further, we find that the crops most highly dependent on pollinators tend to experience more severe mismatches between declining supply and increasing demand. These trends, should they continue, may increase costs for US farmers and may even destabilize crop production over time. National assessments such as this can help focus both scientific and political efforts to understand and sustain wild bees. As new information becomes available, repeated assessments can update findings, revise priorities, and track progress toward sustainable management of our nation’s pollinators.
Author Koh, Insu; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Williams, Neal M.; Brittain, Claire; Isaacs, Rufus; Gibbs, Jason; Ricketts, Taylor H.
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1517685113
Issue 1
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Pages 140-145
Title Modeling the status, trends, and impacts of wild bee abundance in the United States
Volume 113
Year 2016
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 26589
_uuid 9a868281-67c0-49c9-bc42-69f29b3705da