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Native bee nesting habitat use after wildfire in Montana - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program

Author(s): Michael P. Simanonok, Laura A. Burkle
Year Published: 2017

Changing fire regimes are leading to increasing scale and severity of burns, which may affect habitat for species of concern. Wood-cavity nesting bees are one such community, in that they have discrete foraging and nesting habitats which can both be maintained or removed by wildfire. Our objective is to provide data on how different species of wood-cavity nesting bees use nesting habitat following wildfire, and how habitat differences across burn severities and time since burn affect that nesting. We used bee nesting boxes in four burns in south west Montana, aged 3-27 years post-burn, to test the bee community while measuring different habitat characteristics in mixed and high severity treatments. Results show that the bee community and nesting habitat variables do not show much variability. However, intermediate levels of floral abundance appear to have a positive effect on many measures of bee nesting success. These results together suggest that a heterogeneous mixture of burn frequency and severity across the landscape would maximize bee nesting success, via achieving intermediate levels of nesting and foraging resource availability for wood-cavity nesting bees.

Citation: Simanonok, Michael P.; Burkle, Laura A. 2017. Native bee nesting habitat use after wildfire in Montana - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program. JFSP Project No. 16-2-01-20. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 18 p.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Wildlife, Fire & Wildlife, Invertebrates, Pollinators
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 17561
FRAMES RCS number: 26254
Record updated: Apr 30, 2018