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2017 Update: Pollinators on roadsides

This summer we collected samples of pollinators from 39 roadside sites using yellow pan traps. We captured over 400 insects across 8 weeks. The specimens are stored frozen until pinning and identification. We will use this information to make comparisons between the pollinator communities collected in 2004. This information could inform potential diversity and abundance changes across the 13 years, and provide valuable insight into potential pollinator decline in this system.

Pollinator diversity and abundance are declining due in part to land use changes such as habitat destruction & fragmentation, pesticide contamination, and numerous other anthropogenic disturbances. The extent to which pollinator diversity and abundance is changing is not well understood, especially within tallgrass prairie ecosystems. Pollinators are important in the prairie: they provide valuable ecosystem services to native plants and to important plants used in agriculture.

The goal of this experiment was to repeat a similar study done in 2004 by Wagenius and Lyon, in which they collected information on pollinator abundance and diversity with the aim of relating landscape characteristics to bee community composition.

Augochlorella sp. foraging for pollen. Our yellow pan traps are similar in color.

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