Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2002
Publication Date: 10/1/2005
Citation: Cane, J.H. 2005. Bees, pollination, and the challenges of sprawl. In "Nature in Fragments: the Legacy of Sprawl" E.A. Johnson and M.W. Klemens (eds.). Columbia Univ. Press. p. 109-124.
Interpretive Summary: This chapter outlines the pollination benefits of native bees and their floral and nesting needs, viewed from the perspective of urbanization. Actual urban bee faunas are compiled from around the world for the first time, revealing that faunas of a 100 or more native bee species can persist under the right conditions within a city's reserves, forested parks, and other undeveloped areas for over a century. The consequences of urban habitat fragmentation for native bee faunas are reviewed, and promising steps for their conservation proposed.
Technical Abstract: The pollination services of urban bee faunas benefit gardeners, song birds, habitat restoration efforts, and biology education programs for schoolchildren. To persist, urban bees require suitable pollen and nectar resources and appropriate nesting sites (soils, vegetation cover, pithy stems or insect riddled dead wood). Surveys of urban reserves, woodlands and meadows from 10 cities around the world found 50 to 200 native bee species present, mostly consisting of floral generalists from a dozen or so genera. Properly managed with and eye toward nesting and foraging needs, subsets of native bee faunas can persist in fragmented urban landscapes for decades if not centuries. Lessons can be learned from the European experience.