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28 January 2020 Plant Selection by Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Montane Riparian Habitat of California
Jerry S. Cole, Rodney B. Siegel, Helen L. Loffland, Erin A. Elsey, Morgan B. Tingley, Matthew Johnson
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Abstract

Many bumble bee species (Bombus Latreille) have declined dramatically across North America and the globe, highlighting the need for a greater understanding of the habitat required to sustain or recover populations. Determining bumble bee species' plant selection is important for retaining and promoting high-quality plant resources that will help populations persist. We used nonlethal methods to sample 413 plots within riparian corridors and meadows in the Sierra Nevada of California for bumble bees during two summers following extremely low and normal precipitation years, respectively. We assessed the five most abundant bumble bee species' plant selection by comparing their floral use to availability. Additionally, we described the shift in plant selection between years for the most abundant species, Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski. Bumble bee species richness was constant between years (13 species) but abundance nearly tripled from 2015 to 2016 (from 1243 to 3612 captures), driven largely by a dramatic increase in B. vosnesenskii. We captured bumble bees on 104 plant species or complexes, but only 14 were significantly selected by at least one bumble bee species. Each of the five most frequently captured bumble bee species selected at least one unique plant species. Plant blooming phenology, relative availability of flowers of individual plant species, and plant selection by B. vosnesenkii remained fairly constant between the two study years, suggesting that maintaining, seeding, or planting with these ‘bumble bee plants’ may benefit these five bumble bee species.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Jerry S. Cole, Rodney B. Siegel, Helen L. Loffland, Erin A. Elsey, Morgan B. Tingley, and Matthew Johnson "Plant Selection by Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Montane Riparian Habitat of California," Environmental Entomology 49(1), 220-229, (28 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvz159
Received: 6 September 2019; Accepted: 11 December 2019; Published: 28 January 2020
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KEYWORDS
Bombus spp
floral selection
pollinator
Sierra Nevada
wild bee
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