RE: [beemonitoring] Quantifying Soil/Bee associations
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Sam- certainly moisture at cell depth during the nesting season can be important…probably it is most directly gotten by sealed samples of dirt that you weigh, dry thoroughly, and reweigh (less trouble than a tensiometer, which is what I use for Nomia melanderi). If you chose to standardize these samples with a hollow corer, then you can get bulk density too. Texture it seems like you will have, which is good. Aspect and slope should matter, esp to a spring bee wanting early morning warm-up. What few studies sample for are attributes of sites that lack nesting bees (or else random samples) to give insights into the range of variables from which bees are choosing. Bill Stephen’s work (attached) laid the groundwork for understanding what the bee Nomia melanderi wants…it is admittedly quite the fussy bee. I also think that, if you get good at finding nests, then the surface right where they go under would be of interest, as I get the impression that ducking under the edge of a grass clump or pebble is preferred when available.
James H. Cane
USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA
tel: 435-797-3879 FAX: 435-797-0461
web page: www.ars.usda.gov/npa/beelab
I just finished up my masters and my thesis work was on O. cornifrons.
I am working on getting that all published at this time. One article
is being reviewed for Psyche right now, and the other will be sent out
in a couple weeks.
Sam, sorry to get your post slightly off topic! I am very interested
in how soil parameters affect bee community structure. I think its an
understudied factor affecting bee diversity. The topic is, along with
questions about some other habitat parameters, one of the components
of my dissertation (which I am currently writing a proposal for). If I
manage to dig up any good papers on previous studies I will share them