The Bees of Algonquin Park: A Study of their Distribution, their Community Guild Structure, and the Use of Various Sampling Techniques in Logged and Unlogged Hardwood Stands

Nardone, Erika
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University of Guelph

This study investigates the distribution and functional guild structure of the bee community in hardwood stands of Algonquin Provincial Park under different logging regimes, assessing both the role of different aspects of the habitat in affecting this distribution and structure, as well as the use of different sampling techniques. The distribution of bee individuals and species was most dependent on the abundance of raspberry (Rubus strigosus), an important floral and nesting resource. Also of importance were total floral resources, microclimate, and habitat heterogeneity. The functional guild structure of the bee community, which was relatively resilient to habitat variation, was related to a greater variety of factors, reflecting wide-ranging behaviours and requirements of different guilds. Malaise traps, pan traps and nets varied in their effectiveness at collecting different bee genera and a high percentage of species were collected only with one trap type. Malaise traps performed relatively poorly in forested environments, though very well in more disturbed, open habitats. Pan traps and nets performed better in forested environments. Trap nests were an inefficient sampling technique in forests, but were effective at collecting some species of cavity-nesting bees. These findings underline the importance of raspberry for bee communities of northern hardwood forests, and the importance of heterogeneity, both of habitat types and sampling techniques, to attain the highest species richness of bees.

bees, pollination, Algonquin Provincial Park, logging