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Goal: Sustain Our Nation’s Forests and Grasslands Comparing bee communities in undisturbed and second-growth longleaf pine forests

Old-growth longleaf pine forest on Eglin Airforce Base, Florida. (Forest Service photo by Michael Ulyshen)

Introduction

SRS researchers compared bee communities between longleaf pine forests with no history of disturbance to those that had been logged in the past. Results suggest that bee communities in second-growth forests are comparable to those in undisturbed forests. Baseline information on pollinator communities under relatively undisturbed conditions are needed to inform conservation and restoration plans.

Summary

While a basic understanding of what a healthy pollinator community looks like is essential for guiding restoration efforts, this information is lacking for most forested ecosystems. SRS researchers addressed this question in the longleaf pine ecosystem by comparing bee communities between undisturbed tracts of old-growth forest and second-growth forests with a history of logging. The work took place on Eglin Airforce Base, Florida, and on several properties near Thomasville, Georgia. Although the diversity and composition of bee communities varied among locations, the study found no consistent differences between the old-growth and second-growth forests. These results indicate that second-growth longleaf pine forests have great potential for supporting healthy pollinator communities.

Principal Investigator
Michael Ulyshen, Research Entomologist
RWU
4552 - Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants
Strategic Program Area
Wildlife and Fish
Publication
A comparison of bee communities between primary and mature secondary forests in the longleaf pine ecosystem
CompassLive Article
Bees of Longleaf Pine Forests
External Partners
Scott Pokswinski - Tall Timbers Research Station
Kevin Hiers - Tall Timbers Research Station