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Prairie biofuel surveys

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  • elaineceleste
    Hello all. I am working with some ecologists at the U of MN who are doing a grand scale study looking at using established prairies as sources of biofuel. The
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 20, 2008
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      Hello all.

      I am working with some ecologists at the U of MN who are doing a grand
      scale study looking at using established prairies as sources of
      biofuel. The study focuses on the impact of different harvest regimes
      on wildlife. They are looking at many different groups but they would
      like to include bees.

      The study in a nutshell: There will be from 3 to 6 target areas in
      different parts of the state. Each target area will be organized into
      four blocks. All treatments will appear in each block. Each treatment
      will be as large as possible with the goal of 10 to 40 acres. So there
      will be four replicates in each target area. The treatments are 100%
      harvest, harvest all but 25%, harvest all but 10%. Harvest will take
      place in late Sept. They'll be examining effects on birds, small
      mammals, soil macro-invertebrates, and a slew of other things.

      In thinking about what bee groups will be most impacted by this, I am
      guessing it may be stem nesters. I'm thinking about using both pan
      traps (bee bowls) and trap nesting. I have concerns about the
      treatments affecting the attractiveness of the traps. If there is 10
      acres of stubble, the trap nests and bowl will be more visible and
      attractive. I've thought about bumble bee surveys at flowers, but I am
      afraid of too much variation between field workers as I am not sure
      how much training they will get. Sweep netting to supplement the bowl
      traps is a good possibility.

      Although I have experience identifying a wide variety of bees, I need
      to learn more about their biologies.

      Does anyone have a sense of the distance from which trap nests would
      attract bees? Would they be likely to draw in bees from off the plot?

      Ideas about what prairie plants are most used by stem nesters?

      What bee groups do you think would be affected, either positively or
      negatively, by having vegetation removed in the fall?

      My first guess is that there won't be an impact on bees or rather that
      any impact will not be as large as the bee population variability due
      to things like weather and disease, and so will be difficult to
      measure. However, I love the idea of getting some bee survey
      information for various regions in MN and this may be a good excuse
      for that.

      I look forward to hearing your ideas.

      -Elaine Evans
      http://www.befriendingbumblebees.con
    • T'ai Roulston
      Elaine: A point of clarification: when do you want to do the surveys? I am guessing that you are interested in population effects on bees, which would be best
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 20, 2008
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        Elaine:

        A point of clarification: when do you want to do the surveys?

        I am guessing that you are interested in population effects on bees, which would be best measured the following year. Would you expect so much difference in vegetation structure the following year (e.g., all that stubble and difference in trap visibility)?

        If you were to measure in the same year, when that would clearly be an issue you wouldn't necessarily be measuring population effects but rather where the bees go when you wipe out most of their flowers.

        T'ai

        On Nov 20, 2008, at 11:12 AM, elaineceleste wrote:

        Hello all.

        I am working with some ecologists at the U of MN who are doing a grand
        scale study looking at using established prairies as sources of
        biofuel. The study focuses on the impact of different harvest regimes
        on wildlife. They are looking at many different groups but they would
        like to include bees.

        The study in a nutshell: There will be from 3 to 6 target areas in
        different parts of the state. Each target area will be organized into
        four blocks. All treatments will appear in each block. Each treatment
        will be as large as possible with the goal of 10 to 40 acres. So there
        will be four replicates in each target area. The treatments are 100%
        harvest, harvest all but 25%, harvest all but 10%. Harvest will take
        place in late Sept. They'll be examining effects on birds, small
        mammals, soil macro-invertebrates , and a slew of other things.

        In thinking about what bee groups will be most impacted by this, I am
        guessing it may be stem nesters. I'm thinking about using both pan
        traps (bee bowls) and trap nesting. I have concerns about the
        treatments affecting the attractiveness of the traps. If there is 10
        acres of stubble, the trap nests and bowl will be more visible and
        attractive. I've thought about bumble bee surveys at flowers, but I am
        afraid of too much variation between field workers as I am not sure
        how much training they will get. Sweep netting to supplement the bowl
        traps is a good possibility.

        Although I have experience identifying a wide variety of bees, I need
        to learn more about their biologies. 

        Does anyone have a sense of the distance from which trap nests would
        attract bees? Would they be likely to draw in bees from off the plot? 

        Ideas about what prairie plants are most used by stem nesters?

        What bee groups do you think would be affected, either positively or
        negatively, by having vegetation removed in the fall?

        My first guess is that there won't be an impact on bees or rather that
        any impact will not be as large as the bee population variability due
        to things like weather and disease, and so will be difficult to
        measure. However, I love the idea of getting some bee survey
        information for various regions in MN and this may be a good excuse
        for that.

        I look forward to hearing your ideas.

        -Elaine Evans
        http://www.befriend ingbumblebees. con


        T'ai Roulston
        Associate Director, Blandy Experimental Farm
        Research Assoc. Professor, Dept Envi Sci. University of Virginia
        400 Blandy Farm Lane
        Boyce, VA 22620

      • Pierre Martineau
        Elaine: What is the method of harvest? Will it affect the soil structure? Pierre ... From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 20, 2008
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          Elaine:

          What is the method of harvest? Will it affect the soil structure?

          Pierre

          -----Original Message-----
          From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com]On
          Behalf Of elaineceleste
          Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 8:12 AM
          To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [beemonitoring] Prairie biofuel surveys


          Hello all.

          I am working with some ecologists at the U of MN who are doing a grand
          scale study looking at using established prairies as sources of
          biofuel. The study focuses on the impact of different harvest regimes
          on wildlife. They are looking at many different groups but they would
          like to include bees.

          The study in a nutshell: There will be from 3 to 6 target areas in
          different parts of the state. Each target area will be organized into
          four blocks. All treatments will appear in each block. Each treatment
          will be as large as possible with the goal of 10 to 40 acres. So there
          will be four replicates in each target area. The treatments are 100%
          harvest, harvest all but 25%, harvest all but 10%. Harvest will take
          place in late Sept. They'll be examining effects on birds, small
          mammals, soil macro-invertebrates, and a slew of other things.

          In thinking about what bee groups will be most impacted by this, I am
          guessing it may be stem nesters. I'm thinking about using both pan
          traps (bee bowls) and trap nesting. I have concerns about the
          treatments affecting the attractiveness of the traps. If there is 10
          acres of stubble, the trap nests and bowl will be more visible and
          attractive. I've thought about bumble bee surveys at flowers, but I am
          afraid of too much variation between field workers as I am not sure
          how much training they will get. Sweep netting to supplement the bowl
          traps is a good possibility.

          Although I have experience identifying a wide variety of bees, I need
          to learn more about their biologies.

          Does anyone have a sense of the distance from which trap nests would
          attract bees? Would they be likely to draw in bees from off the plot?

          Ideas about what prairie plants are most used by stem nesters?

          What bee groups do you think would be affected, either positively or
          negatively, by having vegetation removed in the fall?

          My first guess is that there won't be an impact on bees or rather that
          any impact will not be as large as the bee population variability due
          to things like weather and disease, and so will be difficult to
          measure. However, I love the idea of getting some bee survey
          information for various regions in MN and this may be a good excuse
          for that.

          I look forward to hearing your ideas.

          -Elaine Evans
          http://www.befriendingbumblebees.con
        • Cane, Jim
          Elaine- Ceratina and maybe Hylaeus come to mind as cavity nesters for your herbacous prairie vegetation, maybe the smaller megachilids too. Flight vagility
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 20, 2008
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            Elaine- Ceratina and maybe Hylaeus come to mind as cavity nesters for your herbacous prairie vegetation, maybe the smaller megachilids too.  Flight vagility will vary with body size, and dispersal distances into trap blocks may not correspond with foraging distances.  Prairies have been hayed for more than a century, and burned for much longer than that, so cavity-nesters that are still around must have been putting up with this for a long time.  Indeed, land use history on those plots will be important to know.  I am inclined to agree with you, that of all the ways you could modify prairie, this one probably will be among those with least impact on bee faunas.  Now if it enocouraged more prairie restorations because it gave them value, why that might even be good!

             

            Yours,

             

            Jim

             

            PS You are familiar with the several papers by Catherine Reed on tall grass prairie bee faunas, I presume.

             

            ===============================

            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

            email: Jim.Cane@... 

            web page: www.ars.usda.gov/npa/beelab

             

            "Seek simplicity but distrust it."
            Alfred North Whitehead

             

          • Charles Guevara
               Hello, Elaine, thanks to orthography we have a pretty much :east to west precipitation gradient in going west from Ohio valley.  Our praries grasses
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 21, 2008
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                 Hello, Elaine, thanks to 'orthography' we have a pretty much :east to west precipitation gradient in going west from Ohio valley.  Our praries 'grasses' consequently differ in their assemblage-ecosystems...going :east to west.  Growth season for regions along this gradient(east to west) are strongly adapted/linked to precipitation.
               
                 Your rather unclear description of: 'harvest protocol', but note of:'September harvest'....leads to asking you: what criteria of 'growth-season recovery' are you using?
               
              Precipitation being the driver  of growthseason, have you first (our praries severely fragmented already in con-US)...have you first honestly defined 'prarie growthseason for Mn, in times of drought?'.  Always a temptation in 'celulosic fuel protocols' to follow the 'energyyield of a particular resource plant'...and ignore the community assemblage...sort of 'a drift to monoculture', rather than prarie stewardship.
               
                 Long story short, what criteria are you using for 'growthseason recovery' in your various treatments?    charlie guevara NJ,US
               
               
               
               
               
               


              --- On Thu, 11/20/08, Pierre Martineau <pierrem@...> wrote:
              From: Pierre Martineau <pierrem@...>
              Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Prairie biofuel surveys
              To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 4:41 PM

              Elaine:
              
              What is the method of harvest?  Will it affect the soil structure?
              
              Pierre
              
              -----Original Message-----
              From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com]On
              Behalf Of elaineceleste
              Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 8:12 AM
              To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [beemonitoring] Prairie biofuel surveys
              
              
              Hello all.
              
              I am working with some ecologists at the U of MN who are doing a grand
              scale study looking at using established prairies as sources of
              biofuel. The study focuses on the impact of different harvest regimes
              on wildlife. They are looking at many different groups but they would
              like to include bees.
              
              The study in a nutshell: There will be from 3 to 6 target areas in
              different parts of the state. Each target area will be organized into
              four blocks. All treatments will appear in each block. Each treatment
              will be as large as possible with the goal of 10 to 40 acres. So there
              will be four replicates in each target area. The treatments are 100%
              harvest, harvest all but 25%, harvest all but 10%. Harvest will take
              place in late Sept. They'll be examining effects on birds, small
              mammals, soil macro-invertebrates, and a slew of other things.
              
              In thinking about what bee groups will be most impacted by this, I am
              guessing it may be stem nesters. I'm thinking about using both pan
              traps (bee bowls) and trap nesting. I have concerns about the
              treatments affecting the attractiveness of the traps. If there is 10
              acres of stubble, the trap nests and bowl will be more visible and
              attractive. I've thought about bumble bee surveys at flowers, but I am
              afraid of too much variation between field workers as I am not sure
              how much training they will get. Sweep netting to supplement the bowl
              traps is a good possibility.
              
              Although I have experience identifying a wide variety of bees, I need
              to learn more about their biologies.
              
              Does anyone have a sense of the distance from which trap nests would
              attract bees? Would they be likely to draw in bees from off the plot?
              
              Ideas about what prairie plants are most used by stem nesters?
              
              What bee groups do you think would be affected, either positively or
              negatively, by having vegetation removed in the fall?
              
              My first guess is that there won't be an impact on bees or rather that
              any impact will not be as large as the bee population variability due
              to things like weather and disease, and so will be difficult to
              measure. However, I love the idea of getting some bee survey
              information for various regions in MN and this may be a good excuse
              for that.
              
              I look forward to hearing your ideas.
              
              -Elaine Evans
              http://www.befriendingbumblebees.con
              
              
              
              
              
              
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