Can clearcuts support health bee communities?
Over 500,000 acres are managed for timber production in the U.S., supplying 30% of the world's forest products. Beyond their critical role within the national and global economies, these forest systems have the potential to provide another kind of value: bee habitat. Despite growing evidence that temperate silvicultural practices may be compatible with supporting bee populations, unlike in other agricultural systems, the effect of floral enhancements in harvested forests on bee communities remains a key knowledge gap for evaluating the potential intensively managed forests hold for supporting pollinators.
Understanding this potential is critical because pollinator populations are in decline in North America and are cause for concern because this group plays a fundamental role in natural and agricultural systems. Focusing on one of the major timber-growing regions of North America, the Pacific Northwest, the primary objective of our proposal is to evaluate techniques for creating native plant enhancements in harvested forests for promoting pollinator populations, as well as incentives and barriers to adopting floral enhancements and other pollinator-friendly practices in harvested forests.